Cher Public

Here the maestro put down his pen

On this day in 1926 Puccini’s opera Turandot premiered in Milan. 

Born on this day in 1915 bass Italo Tajo.

Born on this day in 1917 singer Ella Fitzgerald.

Born on this day in 1918 soprano Astrid Varnay.

Born on this day in 1919 soprano Irene Jordan.

Born on this day in 1933 bass Fritz Hübner.

Happy 71st birthday tenor Seppo Ruohonen.

Happy 68th birthday mezzo-soprano Cynthia Clarey.

  • Porgy Amor

    I think the last time I was really an idiot over a celebrity’s death was with Ella, in 1996. I could never have heard her singing at its best (and her “best” went on a long time…at least 30 years, arguably 40). The actual image I had in my mind, just from the generation I was part of, was of a frail woman with big glasses who might show up a ballgame and sing the National Anthem, or present an award somewhere, and she would be applauded by people who knew her or didn’t. But of course, I knew the records, from the studios and from venues all over the world, and I had heard in those something I was sorry the world had had to let go of.

    She was another of those who lived to perform. She doesn’t get any of the tragic hagiographic bullshit that Billie Holiday and others get; the face and the sound she showed the world were too sunny to make good copy of that. But I don’t know if she found real happiness anywhere else, other than before a crowd, big or small, singing. Even late in her life, when she was demented and had had leg amputations from diabetic complications, and needed to be cared for, she would wake up frantic, insisting that she had to go perform. “The people are waiting and they’ll be disappointed.”

    Happy 100th, Ella.

  • Camille

    Forgot to say, or rather, remember the great Ella Fitzgerald on her centenary. A great singer. Just heard her golden, fluent and beautifully phrased song once more in an interesting little film the other day,“Illusions”, by Julie Dash, @ MoMA, and I must say this: she certainly proves that singing is an inborn instinct, as she came up the hard, hard way, and that she made not only the best of it, she totally transcended her hard beginnings with that wonderful instrument.

    Hats off, gentlemen.