Radio Derb Transcript For September 15 Up—Dame Kiri's Retirement, Etc.
September 20, 2017, 09:01 AM
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The Radio Derb Transcript for September 15 is up—go here to read or listen.


One small piece of news from this week that I don’t think rises to the level of being sad nor even regrettable, but that twangs a chord of nostalgia in opera fans of my generation: the retirement, announced on Wednesday, of soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. The lady is 73 years old and hasn’t sung in public for a year or so, so the announcement was more in the nature of a punctuation mark than a real surprise, but it’s worth noting anyway.

I saw Dame Kiri at the height of her powers, singing the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier at Covent Garden thirty-two years ago, with the dear old Queen Mother up in her box, well into her eighties at that point but glowing with good cheer, and also no doubt from her daily infusion of martinis and champagne. She lived to be 101 years old, bless her — a model for us all.

May Dame Kiri herself live to be that old, in good health and contentment. Here she is with one of Mozart’s loveliest songs: the Countess, betrayed by her husband. “Dove sono i bei momenti / Di dolcezza e di piacer?”

Where are the lovely moments

Of sweetness and pleasure?

Where have the promises gone

That came from those lying lips?

Do those last two lines have any relevance to our current domestic politics? Discuss among yourselves.

There will be more from Radio Derb next week.

[Music clip: Kiri Te Kanawa, "Dove sono."]


01m57s — Fiat justitia ruat cælum. (Nation of laws or nation of deals?)

12m58s — Futility, resignation, and sounding the alarm. (Enough yin, let’s have some yang.)

18m55s — Down with the Four Olds! (Our Cultural Revolution marches on.)

24m37s — A Governor, his state, and its statues. (Will McAuliffe pull off another Charlottesville?)

30m36s — Smartphones, bah. (Orwell got it slightly wrong.)

37m18s — Liberty and cash. (Go together like eggs and hash.)

43m27s — Ivanka no threat. (The First Shiksa gives an interview.)

46m51s — Well dressing fail. (In Derbyshire.)

49m50s — Goodbye, Cassini. (Honor and glory to the seekers of pure knowledge!)

52m17s — Can U.S.A. crack the Miss Bum Bum pageant? (Let’s get behind our girl.)

53m41s — Signoff. (A star bows out.)