Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Kids Don't Stand a Chance


Last night I had the honor of getting to sing in a master class for world renowned bass Samuel Ramey.  A master class, for those of you who don't know, is an opportunity for a guest artist to come in and coach students in a performance setting.  (In a nutshell it is basically a one-on-one lesson but done in front of an audience). 

While Professor Katz was giving an introduction to the audience-- "Mr. Ramey is the most recorded bass ever in history" "he is known for his portrayal of the devil in many different operas" "he has sung roles by composers from Mozart to Mussorgsky, from Bellini to Bartok"-- Sam leans over to me and says: "He left out the most important role I've ever done: I've sung on Sesame Street!"

So here you are folks... a collection of all the opera stars that have sung on Sesame Street!!! Oh, and by the way... I've met every single one of them! Now that my Opera/Sesamie Street collection is complete, I can now move on to the cast of Designing Women.  One down (Delta Burke), four more to go!


Samuel Ramey:


L is for Low (to the music of  the Toreador from Bizet's Carmen) Look at those cape twirling skills! Btw I don't think his hair has moved an inch since this video.

Renee Fleming*:

Counting is so much fun! (to the tune of Caro nome from Verdi's Rigoletto) Oh, Renee... there are so many amazing moments in this clip.    I'd like to note that Texas gets a shout out in reference to the pigs from Galveston and, though the way she pronounces "fun" ("fine") doesn't really rhyme with our island city, I'll give her the benefit of the doubt because she pulls off that amazing plaid sheet wrapped around her shoulders.  Honestly, I want one seven. [*Technically from The Muppet Show and not Sesame Street, but whatevs!]
Marilyn Horne:

This isn't so much a picture of me with Marilyn Horne as it is a picture of me with a record of Marilyn Horne and one signed by Marilyn Horne and Martin Katz
What I love most about this video, aside from the obvious inclusion of a cookie literally springing forth from Marilyn's head, is that I can just picture Professor Katz coaching her on this.  "How much do you love this cookie, Marilyn?" "Pretend your coloratura is a landscape of chocolate chip mountains on a soft, chewy landscape!" "I can't tell what's hotter: these snickerdoodles or those slavepuppets?"
Denyce Graves:
The Michelle Obama of the opera world... you should see her arms!
Because what doesn't a seduction aria have to do with getting your kids to sleep? I also appreciate that the dancing sheep are all representatives of different operas.  I think I count Aida, Madama Butterfly, La traviata, Turandot, I Pagliacci, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Walkure and Salome.  I'll be honest...chickens one and three have kinda thrown me for a loop.  On the plus side, though, I would absolutely love to see a chicken do the dance of the seven veils.
UPDATE: Well unfortunately I am going to have to put my stalking of Dixie Carter on the back-burner, because I have been rightly informed that there is another opera singer who has been on Sesame Street!! Janai, when you work with him next year at L.A. Opera, could you introduce us, please?  I have a collection to complete.


Artist: Vampire Weekend / Album: Vampire Weekend


  1. A. You look great in your latest picture!
    B. Obviously you opera singers are Divas cause y'all all have gotten full on costuming and sets. I believe the threw Julia Roberts up behind a fake brick wall and a blue background.
    C. I'm in love with Renee's gold scarf in the picture with you.
    D. And again, if you do The Street, I am going to freak out and go with you. And if you don't take me, our friendship is over!

  2. Nice list (and ditto on the chickens in Salome!)

    I did an Opera Sesame a while back, and you missed one--Placido Domingo meets Placido Flamingo! (Or maybe you omitted it on purpose because the video quality is terrible.)

    I also included Andrea Boccelli singing a Con te partiro to Elmo, since--all debates aside--he is technically an opera singer.

    Bravo! And I hope you learned oodles from the great Mr. Ramey!

  3. OK, chicken one LOOKS to be wearing one of those Spanish hats with the dangly balls and seems to have a thick black maybe Barber of Seville? Stylized?

    I don't see a "chicken three" but I see a duck in the background there with some French Pompadour-style hair, wearing (pure conjecture) a Watteau, so it could be Rosenkavalier?

    Sesame Street ROCKS. YOU ROCK.


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