Sunday, October 17, 2010


The BBC have been having some trouble with their Joan tributes. It's all bit of a giggle, but worth watching for more than the muddle. I was struck by the emotion of Pavarotti's face, as he holds her tightly, visibly moved by the occassion, Joan's final stage appearance, guesting in Fledermaus at Covent Garden.

If they were looking for a good tribute, there's none better than that Kennedy Centre Honours night, presented by Marilyn Horne. Americans are so good at this sort of thing. She includes the story of that New York debut.

The Rosalinde clip that the BBC finally showed as they tied themselves in knots is quite interesting in itself. It is from 1982 in Sydney. Now if you don't know, Sydney has a significant Hungarian community, and as generalisations go, they love music, love opera, and love good seats. Joan laughed at herself telling the story of the complaints about her diction and someone once saying for all intents and purposes it could have been Hungarian, when it was!

Well, this is it. She is 56, singing the Czardas in Hungarian, but not before a fabulous "Zsank you darlink" (0:10) to the front stalls.

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