Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sandra Warfield, RIP

Farewell to another hinge of my childhood, since I grew up with the Metropolitan Opera Record Club Record series in which Sandra was frequently found in important secondary roles.

Perhaps her voice was not big or durable enough for a star career, but it was a smooth and attractive upper-contralto sound -- as attractive, in a maternal sort of way, as the famous photo of her that MORC and RCA always used, the one where she's looking back over her shoulder....

When I was in my senior year at Yale (and a classmate of Jimmy's and Sandra's daughter Ahna, class of 1980 -- like you, Richard Slade!), they both came to campus. Jimmy gave a master class, and Sandra gave a song recital at Sprage Hall. She still sounded lovely, and I got a chance to talk to her backstage and tell her how much she -- and that photograph! -- had meant to me as I learned about opera. That generation is dying out....

Sandra… bontà! Sandra… dolcezza!
Ah, camminiamo insieme un'altra volta
così, con la tua mano nella mia mano.
Dove vai ben so.
Ed io ti seguirò per posare a te vicino
nella notte che non ha mattino.