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Diva / Mensch pair for Jan 13, 2021

We're at X this week. A tricky letter, you have to admit. I was going to do this:

Diva: Extort.

Mensch: Export.

But that seemed too cheeky. Thankfully I thought of Handel's *Xerxes* - - yes, I know it's an Italian opera and it's really *Serse,* but Kathy the Mezzo and I saw it at Lyric Opera of Chicago in 1995, the English National Opera production in English, and it really was *Xerxes.* It was relentlessly delightful!

The star of the show was Irish mezzo Ann Murray. Not to be confused with Canadian mezzo Anne Murray.

Diva: "Rise, ye furies" (aka "Crude furie") - - her final aria

Mensch: "Under thy shade" (aka "Ombra mai fu") - - her entrance aria

Bonus track: Anne Murray singing "Snowbird" on *Midnight Special.* I love how poor the sound quality is on this clip, I feel like I'm back in my parents' basement watching it on a TV encased in a large wooden box. I wonder if the Murrays ever met each other...?

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