Tis rigor and not law

The Friday OT on a Thursday: Kiri Te Kanawa sings ‘E Susanna non vien!… Dove sono i bei momenti’ from Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro

The original, the one-and-only, the pioneer “Where did all the good times go?” song. Lyrics of lament over love are a sub-sector of thousands of songs these days and their emotional appeal is as strong as ever, imagine the bombshell this caused in 1786, a well-to-do wife singing about her husband and her broken heart.

We’re already into Act 3, the countess has worked out that the Count is a rogue when it comes to women, she’s hatched a plan with her servant to catch him red-handed (Susanna the servant had previously refused to sleep with the Count in exchange for cash, not least because she’s in love with Figaro) and awaits her return. But Susanna is late, so the Countess begins to reflect on her marriage and when Kiri Te Kanawa absolutely owned this aria back in the 80s and 90s, professional Rugby Union and Australian Rules Football players would weep uncontrollably en masse in opera houses and then stop the shows with standing Os.

Youtube here. Reader OM made it happen on a Thursday this week, so blame him.

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