liv: bacterial conjugation (attached)
[personal profile] liv
A song that makes you sad. It's hard to find anything sadder than one of my friends who posted a video of a scratch orchestra playing the European anthem Ode to Joy the day after the UK voted to leave the EU. But the song most likely to make me cry, personally, is the aria Voi che sapete from Mozart's The marriage of Figaro.

I learned this a little bit when I was having singing lessons, but a horrible translated version because I always get really self-conscious about singing in Italian and not being sure of the pronunciation. It's a tremendously catchy tune which has stuck in my head a lot better than most other things, even with my terrible musical memory.

Anyway, that's not the reason it makes me cry. The reason is that I associate it very much with a lost love. In 1999 I fell instantly and very intensely in love with [livejournal.com profile] darcydodo when I saw her across the room. And I very nearly never saw her again, but a nerdy coincidence involving Unix accounts led to her inviting me to a concert where she was singing. This very aria. I was already in love with her not yet knowing that she's an exceptionally wonderful singer. And she was doing that stagecraft thing of picking someone in the audience to direct a love song to, and happened to pick the person sitting in front of me. I didn't intellectually believe she was singing to me but emotionally being right in the path of a love song beautifully interpreted by someone I'd just fallen for hard was a pretty unforgettable experience.

Plus having studied the song a bit I knew something about the gender-bending context of a soprano playing a boy who dresses up as a girl. And I'd sort of suspected for a while that I was bi but when I fell in love with D it became really glaringly obvious. I later learned that she was in the process of realizing that she was in fact gay and not all interested in men in spite of growing up in a culture which strongly assumed she would be. A year and a great deal of drama later, we started dating.

I haven't really stopped being in love with [livejournal.com profile] darcydodo since the week of that concert. Which is getting on for half my lifetime ago now, and I've pretty much assumed I never will get over her. That means I've never really stopped being sad that we broke up in 2002. Even though I know perfectly well (and I always did) that we weren't really suited as life partners and we are both much better off now than we would have been if we'd tried to stay together any longer. So it's a sort of indulgent, almost desirable sadness that this song provokes. I mean, I am extremely extremely happy and grateful that I got nearly three years with Darcy and that we're still friends, and generally knowing that she exists in the world and sings sometimes. In lots of ways Voi che sapete has loads of positive associations for me, but it still reduces me to tears if I hear it unexpectedly.

So anyway, here's Cecilia Bartoli, who even I am not biased enough to claim is a worse singer than my ex:

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Date: 2017-06-28 12:37 am (UTC)
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)
From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
That's an excellent story to go with an excellent aria!

Soundbite

Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes.

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