Damrau canta Bell
Iain Bell es un joven compositor británico, la mayor parte de su obra es para voz. Su obra ha llamado la atención de grandes voces que se han prestado a interpretarla. Entre éstas la de Diana Damrau que interpretó el pasado Noviembre su ciclo de canciones para voz y piano Day turned into Night, dedicacdo a la reina Victoria, en la Alte Oper de Fráncfort acompañada por Helmut Deutsch.
El ciclo sigue la tradición liderísitca británica. Se compone de 5 movientos basadas en varias cartas y entradas del diario personal de la reina relativas a su amor por el príncipe Alberto.
1) Letter from The Princess Victoria to the King of the Belgians.
Upon Meeting Albert: 7th June 1836.
My Dearest Uncle
I must thank you, my beloved Uncle,
For the prospect of great happiness you have contributed to me, in the person of dear Albert.
Allow me, then, my dearest Uncle, to tell you how delighted I am with him,
How much I like him in every way.
He possesses every quality that could be desired to render me perfectly happy.
…so sensible, so kind, and so good.
He has the most pleasing and delightful exterior and appearance you can see.
I have only now to beg you, my dearest Uncle,
To take care of the health of one, now so dear to me…
I hope and trust that all will go on prosperously and well
On this subject of so much importance to me.
Your most affectionate, devoted, grateful Niece,
2) Journal Entry
The Honeymoon evening: 10th February 1840
I never, never spent such an evening!!
…Dear Albert sat on a footstool by my side
And his excessive love and affection gave me feelings of heavenly love and happiness
I never could have hoped to have felt before!
He clasped me in his arms and we kissed each other again and again!
His beauty, his sweetness…gentleness.
Really how can I be thankful enough to have had such a Husband.
…to be called names of tenderness.
Oh! this was the happiest day of my life!
May God help me do my duty as I ought to be worthy of such blessings.
3) Journal Entry
The day of Albert’s death: 14th December, 1861
Never can I forget how beautiful my darling looked,
Lying there with his face lit up by the rising sun.
I bent over him and said to him “It is your little wife” and he bowed his head.
I asked him if he would give me a kiss and he did so.
He seemed half dozing, quite quiet.
I took his dear left hand which was already cold,
Though the breathing was quite gentle and I knelt down by him.
Two or three long, but perfectly gentle breaths were drawn, the hand clasping mine,
And…all, all was over.
4) Letter to her daughter, the Crown Princess of Prussia
Windsor Castle, December 18th, 1861
How am I alive after witnessing what I have done?
Oh! I who prayed daily that we might die together and I never survive him!
I who felt, when in those blessed arms clasped and held tight in the sacred hours of night,
When the world seemed to be only ourselves, that nothing could part us, I felt so very secure.
I always repeated: “…God will protect us!”
Though trembling always for his safety when he was…out of my sight.
I never dreamt…of such a calamity,
What is to become of us all?
How I shall long to ask his advice!
Oh it is too weary!
The day – the night…is too sad and weary.
The days never pass!
Pleasure, joy – all is forever gone.
(Oh!) Think of Osborne…
All belong to a precious past which will for ever and ever be engraven on my dreary heart.
Oh! How I miss all, all!
The bitterness of this – of this woe!
5) Letter to her daughter, the Crown Princess of Prussia
Osborne, December 27th, 1861
I feel his love is ever present,
And that I understand every wish of his …
He sees all now and understands it and will not worry himself as he did – oh, so sorely
En la actualidad Iain Bell está escribiendo una ópera, The Harlot’s Progress, inspirada en la serie de seis grabados de William Hogarth. Se estrenará próximamente en el Theater an der Wien con Diana Damrau en el papel principal.