"It was a rare, exquisite moment when a gifted man shared his passion…speaking in a voice that transcended uncommon language, a
voice that speaks with the heart and the soul, a voice I wish I
recognized more often."
After listening to the CD a few times, I decided to google the lyrics of several songs. What I discovered was Paul communicated musically what I felt instinctively, later to be confirmed lyrically. There is a richness, a depth, something soul-satisfying in his voice. Even without ever having heard the majority of songs on his album, I k n e w they were about the things that resonate most with the human spirit–love, longing, desire, hope (If you’re interested, skim some of the excerpts below from some of my favorites).
Isn’t it amazing that a stranger, a former cell phone salesman for goodness sakes, has reached into my life, touched my heart and acted as an agent of change?! It blows my mind!
I suppose opera
snobs purists might turn up their noses and raise their highbrows at Paul’s song selection; only a few are from actual operas (i.e., "Everybody Hurts" was written and recorded by R.E.M.!). The rest are popera (operatic pop), where an artist sings pop songs in an operatic style. Think Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban (at times), Sarah Brightman, Charlotte Church…. Interesting, none of these talented performers ever received more than a passing glimpse, a fleeting listen, from me.
But Paul Potts unassumingly, unknowingly and unforgettably barreled me over! Why him and none of the others?
I’ll tell you what I think.
It wasn’t only the music, his unexpected Cinderella tale drew me in. Oh, how I love the story of "Underdog Wins"…it just feels good, just, applaudable. Perhaps greatest testimony to his personal triumph, he’s (probably) won legions of fans just like me; those who’ve never given opera a chance are now listening. Hopefully, it won’t just end with him. I’d like to venture into true opera, a genre that has otherwise proved intimidating and out of reach.
Which leads me to end with a few questions: If you’re a fan of the opera, what is your favorite opera? Why? Who are your favorite performers?
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"Let no one sleep! Let no one sleep!/Yes, even you, my Princess/Alone in your lonely bedroom/Beneath the starlight/That fills your heart with hope and…/And dreams of passion/My burning secret lies within me/Known but to me and me alone/No, no, only the dawn will break this spell/When with my kiss I give my name/Only my lips can end this deadly silence/That lies between us…" (Nessun Dorma)
"When I’m alone/I dream on the horizon/And words fail;/Yes, I know there is no light/In a room/Where the sun is not there/If you are not with me./At the windows/Show everyone my heart/Which you set alight;/Enclose within me/The light you/Encountered on the street./Time to say goodbye…" (Con Te Partiro)
"A man embraces a girl/after the tears,/then clears his throat/and continues the song:/I love you very much,/very, very much, you know;/it is a chain by now that heats the blood inside the veins, you know…" (Caruso)
"When the day is long and the night, the night is yours alone,/When you’re sure you’ve had enough of this life, well hang on/Don’t let yourself go, ’cause everybody cries and everybody hurts sometimes/"Sometimes everything is wrong. Now it’s time to sing along/When your day is night alone, (hold on, hold on)/If you feel like letting go, (hold on)/When you think you’ve had too much of this life, well hang on/’Cause everybody hurts. Take comfort in your friends/Everybody hurts…" ("Everybody Hurts"–"Ognuno Soffre")
"He was beautiful,/Beautiful to my eyes./From the moment I saw him,/The sun filled the sky./He was so so beautiful,/Beautiful just to hold./In my dreams he was spring time/Winter was cold./How could I tell him/What I so clearly could see/Though I longed for him/I never trusted me completely/So I never could be free./Oh, but it was beautiful/Knowing now that he cared/I will always remember/Moments that we shared/Now it’s all over/Still the feelings linger on/For my dream keeps returning/Now that he’s gone./For it was beautiful, beautiful,/Beautiful to be loved." ("Cavatina")
"In my fantasy I see a just world,/Where everyone lives in peace and in honesty./I dream of spirits that are always free,/Like the clouds that fly,/Full of humanity in the depths of the spirit….." (Nella Fantasia)