This week, as a little tribute to Dame Joan Sutherland, I pulled out this CD from my opera collection and played Les oiseaux dans la charmille (Olympia's aria) for Troy. He loved it and sang right along.
Then, pleasantly surprised, but picky as ever, I played Amis! Anour tendre et reveur,
Belle nuit, o nuit d'amour,
Jour et nuit (oh, he loved! loved! LOVED this one!!! Hey, who can resist singing that trala-lalala-lalalalalalalala line?)
C'est une chanson d'amour, and finally,
Adieu! Je ne veux pas te suivre.
In my own words (I do keep it simple and short) I tell Troy what those pieces are about and sometimes I make up and sing my own lyrics to make it easier for him to understand.
Yes, at this point Troy is probably taking in just the upper, illustrative layer of Offenbach's music. Apparently, this is what he is ready for and he loves it.
However, just like any great masterpiece, Les Contes d'Hoffmann can and should be re-visited and re-discovered over and over again.
As he gets older and more mature, he will dive into its depths and discover a serious, philosophical, complex and never outdated Offenbach.
What made him prepared at the age of 20 months to experience this musical adventure?
Their music (that he has heard so far) still stands quite far apart from the all-embracing, epic and endless ocean of Offenbach.
What made Troy truly prepared was Gluck and his incredible Orphee!
Once he got into the musical dramatism, the dynamic arias and choral scenes of Orphee - he was prepared. The step that he had to make from Gluck to Offenbach turned out to be relatively small and therefore, easy.
To tell you the truth, Orphee et Eurydice still remains my son's favorite opera. Anyone who saw him listening to it, would tell it touches him most deeply. Ah, that music... that story...
On another note, when asked to show how he plays the piano, he moves his hands as if playing the piano. It makes me very happy that at this age he knows the difference between the piano and the violin and between the ways to play them.
Happy Friday, everyone!