Monday, February 10, 2014

Disney Goes to the Opera

Saturday afternoon I attended a talk at the Walt Disney Family Museum about Disney cartoon shorts that feature operatic music. The event was held in the museum's theater, a comfy screening room that seats perhaps 200. Film music historian Ross Care showed film excerpts & talked about the animation. Between clips, tenor Casey Candebat, from the Merola Opera Program, sang a selection of songs & opera arias, accompanied by Jean Kellogg, Merola's Executive Director, playing an electric keyboard. The singing wasn't really integrated with Mr. Care's talk, but it was a great treat to hear Mr. Candebat's cushy, substantial & well-bolstered sound in an intimate space. At full volume, he probably changed the air pressure in the room. I enjoyed hearing him sing the American popular songs as much as the opera arias. Mr. Candebat was an entertaining talker as well, & he was delighted by the singing chicken in Mickey's Grand Opera, since he already refers to coloratura sopranos as "cluck-aturas." He also attempted the Habanera from Carmen, using a surprisingly weighty falsetto voice. I was glad we got to see all of The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met, a completely surreal parody of opera & opera singers. Its version of Tristan & Isolde is devastatingly silly & accurate.

When I arrived at the museum, I was informed that the talk was sold out. Fortunately there were a few open seats just before it started, & I was able to get in. The audience clearly enjoyed the cartoons & the singing, except for 4 fidgety children in the 2nd row who were too young for the presentation.

§ Talk | Disney Goes to the Opera
Ross Care, Disney historian
Jean Kellogg, Merola Opera Program Executive Director
Casey Candebat, tenor

Sat, Feb 8, 2014, 3pm
Walt Disney Family Museum

§ Playlist
Cartoon Shorts
The Merry Dwarfs (1929)
The Goddess of Spring (1934)
Music Land (1935)
Mickey's Grand Opera (1936)
The Whale Who Wanted to Sing at the Met (1946)

"If I Could Tell You" by Idabelle Firestone
"Dein ist mein ganzes Herz" from The Land of Smiles by Franz Lehár
"Una furtiva lagrima" from  L'Elisir d'Amore by Gaetano Donizetti
"Vesti la giubba" from Pagliacci by Ruggero Leoncavallo
"L'amour est un oiseau rebelle" from Carmen by Georges Bizet
"Be My Love"from The Toast Of New Orleans by Sammy Cahn & Nicholas Brodzsky

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