Friday, September 16, 2016

The Space Alien's Voice is Lifted in Song

This summer the Space Alien decided to resume a beloved pastime of years past: choral singing.
The Space Alien's Anatomy
Built for Vocal Perfection!
Blessed with an unusually capacious oral capacity to enhance vocal resonance, and demonstrating exquisite musicianship, the Space Alien has long been in demand as a singer.   But this year, the Space Alien's sights were set on an especially high goal: singing with the famed Encore Illinois Chorale, an outstanding group limited to those having achieved advanced years - for which the Space Alien was surely qualified.
"The Space Alien is a
Conductor's Dream Come True!"
Jonathan Miller, Director
Encore, Illinois

World famous conductor Jonathan Miller was thrilled  when the Space Alien expressed this interest, as the Space Alien's voice is not only exceptionally rich and sonorous but exhibits an enormous vocal and dynamic range.

The Space Alien's years of study with noted singers included lessons with Yma Sumac, the South American singer whose range exceeded five octaves. To read about her,  click here.  

The Space Alien also studied the art of  "overtone singers" (also known as "throat singers") the world over. To read about these singers click here.  This contributed to the production of a vocal instrument capable of exceeding the highest soprano notes and the lowest bass notes, all with bell-like clarity and perfect intonation.

In addition, the Space Alien's total command of many languages, enhanced by the concentration which the Space Alien brings to each rehearsal and the tenacity with which the Space Alien maintains a daily practice schedule, is any choral director's dream come true!

Arturo Toscanini denied
Space Alien the role of

Mimi in La Boheme 
The Space Alien had previously auditioned for leading roles with major opera companies.  Unfortunately, for reasons the Space Alien never understood, singers such as Caruso, Tebaldi, Callas and Pavarotti always seemed to land the roles the Space Alien so badly desired.

Conductor Arturo Toscanini had offered the Space Alien the title role for the premiere of Pagliacci in 1892 at Covent Garden in London,  but the Space Alien declined, not wishing to be typecast as a clown.  The Space Alien now bitterly regrets that decision.

Four years later Maestro Toscanini turned down the Space Alien for the role of Mimi in the premiere of La Boheme in Turin.  The Space Alien had hoped to win this role to show how Mimi could be restored to radiant health before the final curtain with plenty of rest, fresh air, and a more nutritious diet, a finale sure to please critics and aficionados alike.

But alas this was not to be.  The role went to another singer not nearly as talented as the Space Alien and having no notion of how poor Mimi's life might have been spared.  Did Maestro Toscanini's decision here have anything to do with the Space Alien's previous rejection of the Pagliacci role?  The Space Alien ruminates on that to this day.

But the Space Alien's love for great music has overcome this heartbreak and when your editor proposed adding her own admittedly small and inconsequential voice to the Encore Illinois Chorale, the Space Alien enthusiastically agreed to join her as fellow chorister and coach.

As noted before on these pages, the Space Alien regularly moves about at tachyonic velocities exceeding the speed of light.  For this reason, it is sometimes hard to catch a glimpse of this talented performer moving amongst the choristers to fill in where a section needs additional volume or where individual singers may be experiencing difficulties with voice, breath, or music.    

Choristers momentarily distracted by wondering if they left a pot burning on the stove, or mentally straying into pleasant remembrances of things past, appreciate the friendly buzz in their ears with the correct notes, or the mysterious beam of light pointing to exactly the right place in their music.  The Space Alien is truly the chorister's friend!

To hear the Space Alien's magnificent voice lifted in song along with the voices of dozens of other choristers, or perhaps even to catch a glimpse of the Space Alien performing Va Pensiero, from Giuseppe Verdi's opera Nabucco with the Encore Illinois Chorale at their concert August 11, 2016, please click here.   If you would like to sing along with the Space Alien right now, please see the words printed below.
The Space Alien Sings Va Pensiero
And if you are over 55, live in or near Chicago, and would like to lift your voice in song with the  Encore Illinois Chorale, please visit

Italian Lyrics:

Va', pensiero, sull'ali dorate;
Va, ti posa sui clivi, sui colli,
ove olezzano tepide e molli
l'aure dolci del suolo natal!
Del Giordano le rive saluta,
di Sionne le torri atterrate…
Oh mia Patria sì bella e perduta!
O membranza sì cara e fatal!
Arpa d'or dei fatidici vati,
perché muta dal salice pendi?
Le memorie nel petto raccendi,
ci favella del tempo che fu!
O simile di Solima ai fati,
traggi un suono di crudo lamento;
o t'ispiri il Signore un concento
che ne infonda al patire virtù!

English Translation from the Schiller Institute: 

Go, thought, on golden wings 
Go, alight on the cliffs, on the hills,
Where there are wafting the warm and gentle 
Sweet breezes of our native land.
Greet the Jordan's banks  m
The fallen towers of Zion.... 
Oh, my fatherland—so beautiful and so lost! 
Oh, remembrance so dear, and fatal.
Harp of gold of the prophet bards, 
Why do you hang silent, from the willow?
Rekindle the memories in our breast 
That speak to us of the time that was.
O [harp], like Jerusalem to the fates, 
Draw a sound of harsh lamentation 
May the Lord inspire in thee an accord 
Which might infuse our suffering with virtù.