Wednesday, February 16, 2011
February 10th marked the birthday of Miss Leontyne Price, the one artist who inspired me above all others.
Her birthday reminds us all of a phenomenal career that paved the the way for many African-American opera singers; Miss Price's bigger than life personality, regal bearing, beauty of tone, and commitment to her art are so appreciated by myself and opera lovers woldwide. I have a special connection with Miss Price in the fact that my father Leslie Scott sang Porgy to her Bess on tour of the opera houses of Europe. I was privileged as a boy to witness their performance in Porgy and Bess at the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City in the 1950s.
Miss Price was also very supportive of my career, and, to put it in her words: "We have strong and deep memories, don't we?"
Her voice was a gift to the world and her standards an example to which we should aspire. Frequently I wrote to her. "To me you are the evidence there is God."
Happy Birthday, Leontyne Price.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
This past Sunday countless millions of Americans and viewers around the world witnessed one of the most horrific moments that a singer could experience: not to remember the words of her National Anthem. Christina Aguilera has long been an artist whose excitement and creative singing style infected the entire musical community. Like many, I have also championed her talent, but that kind of "flub" was hard to understand.
Recently, I posted about my student Wendy Gerbier who sang the Anthem for President Obama's mid-term campaign appearance in Connecticut. There's something to be said for having respect for the opportunity regardless of your own accomplishments, as I have had that honor twice in my career for the New York Mets.
I am a totally committed singer/entertainer and at something like Super Bowl XLV, the Anthem is part of the sermon, "Every performance should be like your first."
Update: Interesting that there are no Google images of Ms. Aguilera's Super Bowl performance.