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Swoon Song

Nov 6, 1995
Kimmy Sophia Brown
Did you ever hear Luciano Pavarotti sing? I have never been an opera buff, but sometimes I listen to it deliberately to broaden my horizons. Most of my exposure has come from things like Bugs Bunny wearing a viking helmet and blond pigtails, clasping his paws singing, "Figaro, Figaro Figaro."

However, one day while driving I heard an ad for an opera scheduled for broadcast on the radio. They played a five second phrase of an aria and said, "Hear Luciano Pavarotti in the role of Calaf in Puccini's Turandot." Pavarotti's voice made me tremble in the moment.

That's all I heard. What impact from such a brief musical phrase! It was like a lightning bolt shot through the middle of my being. I was desperate to find out more. I learned that the aria was on a recording called Carreras, Domingo, Pavarotti in Concert, Terme di Caracalla, Roma, conducted by Zubin Mehta. Disc jockeys call it The Three Tenors for short. Out of curiosity I bought the CD. I recognized stuff I had always associated with opera. O Sole Mio, and other shower songs. Then came cut number twelve, Nessun Dorma, the aria from Turandot, sung by Pavarotti.

Women, I warn you. Sit down for this one. Put your head back against the couch and crank up the volume. I was not prepared for the physical effect of this when heard full throttle.

The piece scales the height of human emotion. The combined intensity of the orchestra and Pavarotti's soaring voice gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. The final words of the aria, "Vincero! Vincero!" (which translates "I shall win! I shall win!") suggests the incarnate voice of God. ("I have purposed and I will do it.")

Husbands struggling to awaken a romantic response in their wives should buy this CD. It's a real swoon-a-matic. It can create the same symptoms in women that Rudolph Valentino caused when he was first seen on the silent screen: Quickened heart rates, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness and drool. It does it to me every time.

It takes creativity to be romantic when you're exhausted. At the end of the day, I barely have a pulse. My husband says, "I love you, Kimmy." "I love you too, Petey," I reply, as my eyes roll back in my head.

Everybody wants to find ways to keep the fire burning in their marriage. I'm trying to get out of the habit of greeting my husband every day wearing a sweatsuit. (At least it's not a housedress and curlers, ala Carol Burnett's cleaning lady.) He brings me little gifts. We try to ascend beyond the desks and diapers. Most folks I know want to find ways to enhance their romance. I figure if all else fails, couples could put on viking helmets and listen to an aria. Who knows? The worst that could happen is that they get an urge to eat spaghetti.

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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