Two things about me:
1. Currently the most-played song on my iPod is Natalie Dessay singing "Tornami a vagheggiar," from Handel's Alcina. Her effortlessly tossed-off coloratura pyrotechnics, which perfectly express the aria's theme of being head-over-heels in love, just make me happy whenever I hear them.
2. Other than that, my favorite Handel aria is "V'adoro pupille," written for the role of Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare. I don't have a favorite recorded version of this one--I love it for the delicate, sensual beauty of the music itself. And now I have a personal association with it as well, having incorporated it into my play The Rose of Youth.
I already posted this interview with Ms. Dessay about a week ago--but reading it again, she says that she is planning to star in Giulio Cesare at the end of 2009. In Paris, no less!
My favorite opera singer and my favorite Handel aria. Oh lord, somebody had better stop me before I get so excited that I start singing jubilant coloratura myself.