Belated birthday wishes for Leontyne Price
Leontyne Price turned 85 on Friday. I should have stopped what I was doing that day to make note of the occasion, but will try to make amends now.
No singer I have experienced live sent more chills and thrills through me than Miss Price. Something in the timbre is pure magic; something in the phrasing is extraordinarily communicative and meaningful; something in the bearing says "diva" in the best sense of the word.
You will remember Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard" summing up the glorious days of silent movies: "We had faces!" Whenever I hear Miss Price, I think how ...
she so nobly represents a peak of vocal art during a time that could be described with the line: They had voices!
This soprano has lived for art, just like Tosca, so I had to include Miss Price singing "Vissi da'arte" fabulously. And I couldn't resist a modern take on that sentiment -- her sumptuous performance of "What I Did for Love."
Many happy returns, Miss Price.