Please alert your Operatic Elf Division (or Universal Music) that these are the presents I'd like. They don't exist yet but I have absolute faith in your little helpers to make them happen.
Natalie Dessay: songs of Débussy, Poulenc, Satie and Fauré. Natalie doesn't seem to do art song, and I've never quite understood why. And while I could happily live on the French song albums of her compatriots Sandrine Piau and Véronique Gens – not to mention the Divine Flott – I'm still curious as to what she'd do with this repertoire.
The Complete Elly Ameling Edition. I am catching up, lamentably late, with the glory that is Elly Ameling, but my trademark laziness is, as usual, doing battle with my completist aspirations. I just want it all, and, like Veruca Salt, I want it now. A complete Mirella Freni edition wouldn't go amiss either; I have quite a bit of her, but I know there are gaps, and one can never have too much Mirella.
Karina Gauvin Sings: The Phone Book. She might as well. I'd listen to it.
Stuart Skelton: German Romantic arias and orchestral songs. Thus spake bias, but hey, I'm guessing that if you've heard him, you'd quite like this to exist too, no? And speaking of Australian singers in need of solo discs, where oh where is Peter Coleman-Wright sings Baritone Hits when you need it? ABC Classics, I'm looking at you. And while we're at it, the world would be a better place if Duets and Debauchery with Jacqui Dark and Kanen Breen were a real thing.
A chance (and a ticket) to see Aleksandra Kurzak live. I've consulted my calendar and hers, and so far, we scheduled to coincide exactly nowhere. Hope, however, springs eternal.
Michelle DeYoung Sings: Anything She Darn Well Pleases. As with Karina. I am at her mercy. Anything she chooses to sing will delight me. And I will buy it for everyone I know. And for strangers. And an extra copy for myself, just in case.
I would also really appreciate it if the Elves could dig up a beautifully produced studio Lohengrin with Lucia Popp as Elsa and, say, James King in the title role. If Melba Recordings cares to do a Thaïs with Cheryl and Peter, well, I wouldn't complain. And let's not forget the Opera Australia Britten DVDs. Midsummer Night's Dream, Turn of the Screw, Billy Budd and, oh yes, Peter Grimes. Hey, it's Christmas: a girl can dream.
So much for the realms of fantasy. Now for some excerpts from my real life wish list:
Véronique Gens: Tragédiennes III. One serious disadvantage of no longer working in classical music retail is that releases like this pass me by completely. I waited for Volume II for weeks, tore into every box from EMI/Virgin with indecent haste, and snapped up the very first copy we unpacked. But I only found out Volume III existed courtesy of somebody's throwaway comment on (sigh) Parterre. I've yet to see it in a physical CD store; that's still my preference, but the day is fast approaching when I give in and download the thing.
As many tickets as I can sensibly acquire for Opera Australia's Salome and Die Tote Stadt. I'm still not convinced on the whole Korngold-wrote-film-scores-so-it's-OK-to-pipe-the-orchestra-in thing, but hey: Cheryl. As Marie/Marietta. And Salome needs no explanation. Amazingly, I will be in Australia at the right time for both.
All the Karina Gauvin I don't already own. Self explanatory. I'm getting there, but some help would be nice, Santa!
Alice Coote: The Power of Love. I cannot tell you how much I've longed for another Alice Coote recital disc, and at last, it's on its way. (The title is giving me visions of Alice Coote as Céline Dion, but this seems unlikely to eventuate.)
Cheryl Barker: Pure Diva. I downloaded it, so buying the physical CD has slipped down my priority list. But it would still be nice to own, if not to fork out for. Ergo, ideal stocking stuffer.
Enough demands? Probably. Once again I have betrayed my teenybopper nature – I'm afraid I can't help but feel guilty for not filling my list with rare archival recordings of Amelita Galli-Curci or eleven different Callas Toscas. But maybe I should beat myself up instead for asking Santa for anything at all. The amount of amazing live opera I'll be brushing up again in the next twelve months is an embarassment of riches: enough for any number of Christmases, I'd say.
Now tell me (and I'll tell Santa). What's on your wish list, real or fantastic?