Anna Russell Takes on Nabucco & The Magic Flute – VAI Audio

by | Nov 21, 2006 | Classical CD Reviews | 0 comments

Anna Russell Takes on Nabucco & The Magic Flute – VAI Audio VAIA 1253, 68:45 ***:

Australian musical parodist Anna Russell was sort of like a female Victor Borge, with an accent on vocal music.  She had a wide knowledge and love of music, which is obvious from her good-natured ribbing of such subjects at Wagner’s Ring Cycle and Gilbert and Sullivan. She appeared in concert halls thruout the world as well as having many best-selling recordings.  This one will be interesting to her fans but it not one of her best sellers.

The venue was the Sydney  Opera House in 1973, so there is some Sydney-centered humor that many not mean much to non-Australians.  I never did really understand the plot of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, so I appreciated Russell’s  hilarious explanation of what was really going on.  Verdi’s Nabucco doesn’t provide her nearly the satiric opportunities which came naturally with her bit hit about The Ring Cycle, and Russell’s trying to sing the basso’s part didn’t help much.  Probably a must-have only for Aussie Russell fans.

 – John Sunier

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