Thursday, May 28, 2009

My teen-age crush

Normally I am not a big classical music birthday observer but I make an exception today because it is Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's birthday. I had a crush on him when I was 15, 16 and he has remained my favorite singer ever since, as anyone can probably guess because I write about him all the time.

Normally I do not say "favorite" anything because that word is overused but I am sorry, I have to make another exception in this case.

I make a lot of exceptions when it comes to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau!

That is a picture of DFD, as he is often abbreviated on the Internet, up above. He is amazingly handsome as is often pointed out by people who comment on the videos of him on YouTube. I always did like the most handsome and greatest musicians which is why I ended up the authorized biographer of Leonard Pennario. I go straight to the top!

I was just going to disclose details of my correspondence with Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau but it is so much fun finding pictures of DFD that here is another.

Looking back on my love for Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, I have to say I knew quality when I heard it. I was up late one night watching Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro" on TV. And the guy singing the part of the baddie, Count Almaviva, he caught my eye. Who is he, I was wondering. It is hard to imagine me being new to opera but I was, then. He's good, I thought.

Then he winds up being one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. If you were going to name one single greatest singer I believe it would be he. Did I call that or what?

Check out that "Figaro" link above. That is the actual production I saw when I was a kid. I just found it. It is funny, I have not seen it in so many years. But I remember that moment where the camera shows Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's eyes from underneath.

He is a riot when he puts on that wig!

Where was I??? Oh, I was going to tell about my correspondence with Fischer-Dieskau.

A while after seeing "The Marriage of Figaro" I wrote to Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau using my high school German and I told him how good I thought he was. Being a teenager was so much fun! You felt licensed to do anything.

To my parents' amazement, DFD wrote me back right away. He sent me a picture of himself which he signed and wrote what opera it was from and what part he was playing.

Then I wrote to him again, suggesting that he give a concert in Buffalo.

Then he wrote back again, explaining politely that he couldn't but sending me another picture of himself from another opera.

Now it is a million years later and Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau is 84. I guess I owe him a letter!

I wonder if he is on Facebook.

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