Looking for opera piece & Premium Blend comedienne
October 6, 2008 2:35 PM   Subscribe

Prior to '05, I saw a repeat of Premium Blend which featured a performance by a comedian with a joke about playing opera in her car; she illustrated the hilarity vis-a-vis prejudice by singing a bit of it. Picking up most culture by osmosis, I've long loved whatever the piece was from, but have no idea what it is. Also, she was hilarious and I'd like to find more by her.

The music had some of the rise and fall character of elements from this part of Carmen, only more...percussive, without being staccato. Sort of...AH-Ah-AH-Ah-AH in structure, kind of? It seemed to be from an aria, but, again, that's my osmosis talking, so it could be anything. It may even be precisely from that piece (although I doubt it, as no version gets me the way that other piece does). I just want to confirm one way or another. I know this vague; rest assured I'm down with simply discovering new operatic music, so feel free to throw things out there.

The episode was anywhere from the first year through 2004, but I believe it was between '00 & '03. I wish I could remember which host, because that would help. If you guys don't know off the top of your heads, my next step is to search on each woman on the cast list. The good news is, I found her once before on an agent's site. I know she prides herself on being a clean comic and was being promoted for non-blue African-American comedy line-ups, corporate entertainment, and family shows, but I don't know what happened to her and can't find her via the search strings I used last time. She was a plush lady and I seem to remember she had long hair, although I can't remember the style she had it in, so could be crazy on that, too.
posted by batmonkey to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Retta

This is the Premium Blend set - Season 3 Episode 12. The footage isn't great, but the bit you're looking for is near the end.
posted by Someone has just shot your horse! at 2:57 PM on October 6, 2008


(It starts at ~ 11:20 on the on-screen counter.)
posted by Someone has just shot your horse! at 2:58 PM on October 6, 2008


Well, it's definitely not Carmen. Doesn't sound French or German. Maybe vaguely Italian, but I can't place it. Lucia di Lammermoor is immediately what I thought of, but for no particular reason. And I only have the French version, so not much help there.
posted by sbutler at 3:17 PM on October 6, 2008


Assuming Someone has just shot your horse! has the right clip, I believe the song is Laudamus Te, from Vivaldi's Gloria.

(Hilarious clip - I'd never seen that comedienne before.)
posted by Meghamora at 3:48 PM on October 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, Shjsyh!, you came through on the comedian part big time - thank you x1000! I'm so happy that I can watch that whenever I want, now :D

sbutler & Meghamora - I'm digging through those pieces now...Laudamus te does have some elements, but now I'm hunting for a different version. Not sure on Lucia di Lammermoor, yet.

More suggestions on the music are eminently welcome and appreciated - even if you're just wanting to provide something with a similar "feel".
posted by batmonkey at 4:04 PM on October 6, 2008


She is definitely singing Laudamus te. I'm not sure that you're going to find a version of it sung like Retta did, however. WRT suggestions for music with a similar "feel", are you looking for opera, or opera with a hip hop spin?
posted by mewithoutyou at 5:59 PM on October 6, 2008


Thanks, mewithoutyou!

The fella and I were just coming to that conclusion, ourselves, so it's good to have yet another opinion weigh in to get us off the fence.

Good question on what I'm looking for...

While you'd better believe I'm interested in any hip-hop flavoured opera you know of, the original intent was more to find stuff in the vein of how she's performing Laudamus te, or that bit of Carmen I posted above, or Flower Duet, or Ode to Joy...hm...

The qualities I'm looking for would be something that has strong syncopation, warm timbre, and I like that lead-up/build/fall/build structure (although that's not required). It doesn't have to be opera, apparently, so it can extend out to choral music in general.

I likely developed what ear I have for it listening to liturgical music while growing up, but I prefer things with more passion, more verve. Not just "big diva" pieces, though, because those are often just all power/all emotion and not as much of the technical playfulness and acumen I most enjoy. The thrill of a trill or a well-played vibrato or soaring and swooping without sounding like they're chasing runs or killing the piece with showiness...those are all things that hit me in just the right spot in my brain and heart. Songs sung with a clear love of musical structure and vocal potential.
posted by batmonkey at 6:24 PM on October 6, 2008


Ooh! And it definitely doesn't have to be soloists. BIG voices and multitudes are what do it for me.
posted by batmonkey at 6:27 PM on October 6, 2008


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