There is an aria which I love, and desperately wanted to sing my whole performing life, called O Ravishing Delight by Arne. In the last 6 months or so I have both taught it and masterclassed it, having not come across in in my teaching life for about 15 years.
I don't know why it has cropped up so much recently ! Though I am very pleased that it has crossed my vocal path once more.
It is the zenith of joy and happiness and gives me goose pimples when I hear it. The words tell of an excess of joy and rapture in two so clearly defined sections. Rapture in stillness and long hanging summery phrases, and then a sudden snap into a frenzy of joy with stratospheric notes and ecstatically swift coloratura runs, that one feels ones breath taken away.
I taught it earlier in the year to Lorayne, Inner Sound's own coloratura soprano, and then Ana sang it during Song School fortnight. Both young women brought their own self to the different sections, L allowing the slow sections to have such meaning and poetry combined with mature and solid tone, and Ana swept us along with such exuberant joy in the fast section that I could feel her bubble of happiness rising up from her toes!
It is a remarkable piece of vocal music in that no matter how one is feeling, tired, sad, angry or just 'fair to middling' as we say in Yorkshire, it is like therapy, after 10 minutes the spirits of both singer and listener are lifted, and any sorrow or diffidence is gone. Flown away on the breath of Arne's genius.
Thank you Dr Arne. Cheaper than therapy, and much less painful !
O Ravishing Delight
What mortal can support the sight ?
Alas too weak is human brain so much rapture to sustain
I faint, I fall, O take me hence,
E're ecstasy invade my aching sense.
Help me Hermes or I die, I die
Help me Hermes, or I die.
Save me from excess of joy !
Jennifer Vyvyan - 'O Ravishing Delight' at 11mins 20 seconds
( Little sigh.........it was always just too high for me!)