We don't own a car, because when you're away from home ten months of the year, it's really not worth it. So we rent one every time we're in town, which drastically reduces chances of emotional attachment – not to mention chances of an Aston Martin/Jaguar/Chevrolet Bel Air – but comes with several perks, one of which is Sirius radio. Yes, there it is, the operatic segue; two sentences about cars is already beyond my capacity, more would be foolhardy.
I should be honest, though. Opera isn't the only reason I love Sirius. 40s on 4, 50s on 5, Bluegrass Junction, Radio Classics, Siriusly Sinatra: these stations are also among those we usually have programmed in by the time we've exited the MCO carpark. But it sure is nice to have Met Opera on 74. In an ideal world, there would be another, more general opera station too – maybe one with live broadcasts from companies around the globe – but All Opera, All The Time is fine by me in any form.
The Met broadcasts themselves are fabulous, of course, particularly the archival ones. There's nothing like stumbling upon the entire last act of Parsifal on the way home from our local BBQ restaurant and sitting in the garage for twenty minutes because turning off Jerome Hines's Gurnemanz is unthinkable. I have a soft spot, though, for the bits and pieces they play in between: single arias, art songs and various other vocal selections. I love the variety and the surprises, and to a certain extent, I love playing Name That Artist.
If only they'd ever give you the answer. Sometimes I'm delighted by a familiar voice, sometimes I eventually work it out, sometimes I make an educated guess and sometimes I'm completely clueless; but as far as I can tell, there's no way to confirm it one way or the other. Nobody back-announces, and the online schedule lists only the composer and the title of the work. Come on, people. You must know your audience is full of people who care deeply whose voice they're hearing – and that singers deserve credit. Or maybe I'm just missing the magic button which would reveal all of these answers immediately unto me. Do let me know if that's so.
Tonight, at least, when we tuned in and heard Rossini, I did know the voice immediately and needed no confirmation. Jennifer Larmore! Pretty unmistakeable, particularly in Rossini. It's been a while – too long – since I've heard her, and it was a thrill to hear her jetting her way effortlessly through all those millions of notes. It was a reminder, too, that I have quite a few of Jennifer's CDs sitting around semi-neglected.
Not a comment on Jennifer, of course, but rather on how lamentably little time I spend listening to most of my opera collection these days. Frankly, I'm still adjusting to the fact that I have so many CDs at my fingertips again – they spent so long in storage that I kind of got used to life without them. Several times lately, I've found myself trawling Google for recording information, or YouTube for audio clips, only to realise belatedly that I could just walk into the next room and grab my own physical copy.
So I don't blog enough and don't listen to enough of my own music collection. I can't help thinking there's a Blog Challenge lurking in there somewhere, but while I think about that, here's a little bit of Jennifer.