Monday, 20 April 2015

Don't cry for me, Argentina

Eva Peron

Madonna

Don't cry for me, Argentina
 We all know the background story of the rise to fame of the late Eva Duarte Peron. The girl who went to Buenos Aries to try to be a film starlet, and ended up marrying the most powerful man in Argentina.

Cover versions
 Usually, I am not in favour of cover versions of songs; so many people try to do the song right, and fail, sadly in my mind this classic song falls into that category.

Julie Covington
 Ms. Covington did the original version, and although good it was open to improvement.

Elaine Page
Ms. Page's version is the most recognisable version, and as a stage production it cannot be faulted. However, it does has a big flaw as a song in a biopic it is too showy for me. There is none of the Girl lost in a world she doesn't belong in. That is the ethos of Evita for me. Like many of the other cover versions I heard last night; too much emphasis was laid on diction, and breathing. That is fine if you're doing Gilbert & Sullivan,  or operetta, but not here.

Madonna
 For me, this is the best version of the song. Madonna never loses that I didn't want this, I am afraid element, which to me is the essence of her life as Argentina's first lady. Madonna also looks like Eva Peron,which adds to the ethos of the story. The quiver in her voice is so vital to the story; especially when she cries I kept my promise,keep your promise.

Karen Carpenter
 Strange as it may be, Ms. Carpenter did a very good cover version too, probably because she was in pain too.

In my opinion - that is all it is - too much emphasis has been laid in getting the diction, and breathing correct, and in doing that the song has been killed. There are some good stage versions of the song, but too many lack the feeling of a lady lost in a world beyond her dreams to be liked. In my opinion,one of the worst is the Olivia Newton-John version. As a country/pop singer ONJ is great, but as a dramatic singer, she lacks too much. You wouldn't ask a lady who made her name singing Handel, to sing the Brunnhilde's immolation scene at the end of Gotterdamerung by Wagner would you. Some sopranos do Wagner, Cheryl Studer better known for her Strauss roles is one, but they are the lighter, lyrical roles.

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