I realize I am inundating you with these Italian ad calendars, but I don’t know what to tell you — Italians just do it best! These are gorgeous, hi-res pics, so be sure to click to see them full-sized.
Luigi Lavazza S.p.A. is a 115-year-old, Turin-based coffee company. Since the early 90′s, Lavazza has put out a yearly artistic promotional calendar somewhat akin to Pirelli and Campari, full of beautiful women, although usually with less trumpet-blasting and more clothes on. This year’s campaign appears to be centered around music, chiefly opera. It was shot by no less than Miles Aldridge (past photographic artists have been Annie Leibovitz, Helmut Newton, and patron saint David LaChapelle) and features models Georgia Frost, Bianca Balti, Lydia Hearst, Daisy Lowe, Alek Alexeyeva, and Alexandra Tomlinson. (To the opera end, click below to hear while you’re browsing the pics, which will open in their own windows, my favorite recording of “Nessun Dorma (None shall sleep)” from Puccini’s Turandot, performed by Katherine Jenkins, who I normally don’t tremedously like, but this is a great arrangement, almost as good as Pavarotti’s, without treading on it. It really takes off at the :43 mark for me.)
Katherine Jenkins – Nessun Dorma
Alek Alexeyeva: “Va’ Pensiero (“Thought Goes,” aka “Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves,” Verdi, Nabucco).”
On various occasions, it has been suggested that “Va’ pensiero” replace the Inno di Mameli as the Italian National Anthem, and more recently has been appropriated by the Italian Northern Separatist movement, the Lega Nord, as the National Anthem of the unrecognized state of Padania. (the wiki)
Cool, huh? But the rest is going to focus on “Nessun Dorma.”
Georgia Frost: “Nessun Dorma (“None Shall Sleep,” Turandot, Puccini).”
It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded.
In the act before this aria, Calaf has correctly answered the three riddles put to all of Princess Turandot’s prospective suitors.
Daisy Lowe: “Con Te Partirò (With You I Will Leave/Time To Say Goodbye).”
Nevertheless, she recoils at the thought of marriage to him. Calaf offers her another chance by challenging her to guess his name by dawn. (As he kneels before her, the Nessun dorma theme makes a first appearance, to his words, “Il mio nome non sai!”) If she does so, she can execute him; but if she does not, she must marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decrees that none of her subjects are to sleep that night until his name is discovered. If they fail, all will be killed.
Alexandra Tomlinson: “Guarda Che Luna (Look, What a Beautiful Moon).”
In 2009, singer Antony Hegarty, lead singer of Antony and the Johnsons recorded the aria with the Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra, which was released for free by the Italian coffee company, Lavazza. While the orchestration of the recording is Puccini’s original, Hegarty performs the song with his famous, quavering delivery. (the wiki)
Oh, my sun, like, did you want to hear that version of “Nessun Dorma” where hipster darling Antony Hegarty jacks Pavarotti’s signature piece for profit and makes it all about himself? Go find it yourself; until he proves to me he has a shred of redeeming value as a person that isn’t dripping with deliberate ironic self-references, art school bullshit, and materialistic perpetual adolescence, I do not care for that pretentious twat and I won’t be part of his making money.
Don’t get me wrong, here. I don’t mind a dork even at all but I prefer if they are not hipstery, cynical, judgmentally snobby deliberate nerds. I like that kind of un-self-aware, loveably sweet, dorky-in-spite-of-themselves type of dork and I always go much more for a geek of any stripe (computer, academic, video game, sci-fi television, music, biting-the-heads-off-chickens, etc) that has got a little bit of heart and soul. ie: Kindness, faith, charity, optimism, forgiveness, non-materialism, and no jeans in the closet that could be mistaken for mine. Super-sorry!
Tags: a confession, Alek Alexeyeva, Alexandra Tomlinson, Antony and the Johnsons, Antony Hegarty, Bianca Balti, boobs, breasts, Calendar Girls Day, Daisy Lowe, Georgia Frost, images, Katherine Jenkins, Lavazza, Liberating Negative Space, love, Lydia Hearst, lyrics, Miles Aldridge, models, Music --- Too many notes., Music Moment, Nessun Dorma, normal, opera, photography, Pictures, Puccini, quotes, Self-audit, stills, television will rot your brain, Turandot