June 12, 2010

Viva les Divas

Ok, so I am showing my hand here but I adore the divas that have given us the great songs. I get a lot of flack for the fact that I embrace the stereotype of loving Judy Garland and others, but I really don't care. I am moved greatly by these amazing women who have graced us with such powerful and emotional interpretations of timeless and new songs. Here is a list of some of my favourites:

"Halo" - Beyonce
My goodness, can this woman sing! She is clearly Whitney's heir and she always breaks my heart with this stunning song.

"I Will Always Love You" - Whitney Houston
This earth-shattering version is from the 1999 Divas concert and it is testament to the great power and range  that made Ms. Houston a global sensation. With much respect...

"The Power of Love" - Celine Dion
I tend to ignore all the Celine haters (most of whom our my friends) as I adore her vocal abilities and care for her fans. 

"Happy Days Are Here Again" - Barbra Streisand
From her 1965 show "My Name is Barbra" this is the final song. How sad that there is so little class and elegance in our current world. Ms. Streisand is so gorgeous and classy. 

"I Am What I Am" - Shirley Bassey
Although written for a man to sing at the end of the first act of "La Cage Aux Folles" I have always felt that Ms. Bassey took this tune to an unparalleled level. She devastates me with her interpretation. Wow!

"Ole' Man River" - Judy Garland
I cannot think of any singer which exudes such heartbreaking pathos as Ms. Garland, especially in this powerful interpretation of a song that is certainly about the challenges of the human condition. The last minute always brings me to tears.

"O Mio Babbino Caro" - Maria Callas
Puccini's aria is delivered expertly by the legendary soprano in this later recording.  I know there may be  better versions she had produced earlier in her career, but I am fond of this version for its emotional impact rather than simply the technical aspects of her voice.



1 comment:

  1. Those are some lovely choices although neither Celine nor Opera are my thing. Wizard of Oz is one of my favourite movies of all time and Judy is such a tragic figure. I just read her entry in Wikipedia. I did not realize that the studio was the responsible for starting her on drugs as a teen. That is horrible.