June 9th, 2014 · 1 Comment · By

 Diva / Original Soundtrack (1981)


Any vinyl enthusiast can tell you how exciting it is to pause in front of a stack of used vinyl, methodically flipping through it to absorb the contents (for better or for worse), and that occasion when you rediscover a long-forgotten favorite melody. I recently found such an ‘old acquaintance’ in this manner, the soundtrack to DIVADiva as a film was stereotypically 80s, almost a cliché, with bright primary colors and a style that generally echoed 80s advertising style. But never mind all that, we’re in Paris; Julien a young mailman loves opera and in particular Cynthia Hawkins, a famous diva who has systematically refused to allow her voice to be recorded. So Julien sets out to record her voice in secret. From that point, the plot takes various twists, including a platonic friendship with the diva.

In addition to Vladimir Cosma, whose contributions include the sentimental ballad in the hazy blue of an early Paris morning, there’s the interpretation of ‘Aria’ from ‘La Wally’ (Alfredo Catalani) by Wilhemenia Wiggins Fernandez. We are immersed here in absolute romanticism, like that of a German opera from the 19th century, emotion in its purest form. Be as young as you can be, I say, but do remember that just because you listen to post punk, you aren’t immune to this sort of (beautiful) deviation.


Ed. Note: Melody Supreme, located at 115 4th St. SE off the Downtown Mall, is Charlottesville’s best record store. The owner Gwen Berthy has impeccable taste and a curatorial hunger matched by few. One of my favorite parts of the store is Gwen’s handwritten notes on records. Le DISQUE DU LUNDI is Gwen’s online version of those recommendation gems–posted on Nailgun and available for purchase at Melody Supreme.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 james // Jun 9, 2014 at 11:16 am

    “I’m Really Here”