Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Being a Diva

Here is the brilliant beautiful Jessye Norman in a wonderful interview with Morley Safer on "60 Minutes." Much is covered in these mere 6:55.

Morley Safer is great! By the way, where is the sensitivity, spontaneity, curiosity, elegance, poignancy, and brilliance of such these days that allow transcendence in many areas and fields and get to the heart of the interviewee? Now, we have many non-curious brash selfish snarky interviewers with limited knowledge and big egos. Ugh!

Stay tuned. The ending is delightful. In spite of her grandness, it's so playful. It's so Jessye Norman.


Khaled KEM said...

Wow Judith, amazing!

I missed that episode of 60 minutes. She is a true Diva, what a voice? I like opera although I have been in few shows. I always listen to it when I need it. My love to the opera actually started during my high school years when I use to study late at night for final exams. I used to listen to classic music in one channel of the radio and then switch to another one to listen to international opera. It was my treat in the middle of the night while everyone at home is sleeping.

To be honest I enjoyed the voices, the music and the chills I had on my body but I did not pay attention to the names. Thanks for introducing Jessye Norman to me Judith.

I do not know if you had time to watch to the soundtracks I posted on my blog.

judith ellis said...

Ah, what sweet memories, Khaled. Thank you. I, in fact, had a similar experience. I too would also be studying well beyond the midnight hour and would listen to opera and classical music from high school throughout college.

My oldest brother, Haywood, would often comment that he had memorized many piano sonatas as his bedroom was just below mine. Funny, he NEVER complained. He appreciates classical music. But I love it! My mother and father were both lovers of classical music. I inherited my dad’s great collection of music from classical to jazz as well as notes from great opera singers from the likes of American coloratura Beverly Sills and Swedish dramatic soprano Brigit Nilsson written to my dad.

If you have never seen the movie, DIVA with Whilemina Fernandez you must! I believe you will love it! It's a French film inspired by the life of Jessye Norman. It's a great film with a wonderful suspenseful plot—not to mention the music sung by Fernandez. I have met both Norman and Fernandez more than a few times and both are exceptionally bright and beautiful women who could have been quite successful in an array of fields.

Hey, I haven't heard your soundtracks yet. But I shall pop over now. See you over there!

By the way, music is itself international.

CJ said...

Wow, Judith...

Jessye Norman...

Given that she'll be, like 63 this year--I trust that is an older episode of 60 minutes right? If not she looks amazing to be so much older now!

Would you believe that my having heard her on YouTube just now--with that little clip--was the first time I had ever heard her sing for myself!

I remember you were always a big fan of her.

judith ellis said...

Yes, CJ, this clip is from quite a few years ago. I remember watching it when it aired. She would be a bit older, but she still looks great! Do you remember when she came to Michigan? As an alumnus, we were honored that she came to speak with us. A few of us even got to have lunch with her. We were WOWED! I have seen her more than a few times since and I probably have all of her recordings.

judith ellis said...

Thanks, Khaled for the introduction. I love the music of Omar Khatrat.

Khaled KEM said...

Hi Judith,

I am glad that you liked Omar Khayrat music. You can feel what we call back home "occidental music influence" in some of his pieces.

The original Arab music you could listen to it, is in the songs of our Diva " Om Kolthoum". She passed away 35 years ago but she still the number 1 seller of all times. I will try to download some of her songs. They are really very long, like the opera. One song of hers goes between 45 minutes to an hour and half. In her early songs, before 1960, you will find the pure Arabic music. After that her songs held both tunes, oriental and occidental.

I wanted also to thank you for your detailed and thought comment for my last poem (Cut and dry). I was thrilled reading your interpretation and how the poem could be seen. One of the things that really make me happy is reading carefully my work and discussing its meaning. You are a very good writer, a talented journalist and a thoughtful person. It is not a compliment I am giving back but that's what I see and feel from your work and that's what is shinning from your mind over our heads.

Best regards and thank you.

judith ellis said...

Khaled - Your work is thoughtful indeed. I tend to read from a general perspective, even when the specific topic, idea, age or gender is given. We have either been there or heading there; emotions are universal.

Thank you for letting me know about the work of Om Kolthoum. I will check her out for sure. Her pieces sound more like Richard Wagner's operas where a single scene can go on seemingly indefinitely.

Wagner is a great composer, though for some a required taste. Jessye Norman was often at Bayreuth, the famous German opera house built for Wagner's operas.