The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: Let’s celebrate Australian bicyclist Cadel Evans’ victory in the 2011 Tour de France with world-class Australian musicians soprano Joan Sutherland and conductor Richard Bonynge

July 25, 2011
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By Jacob Stockinger

I’m not going to stretch too far today. Just enough to be newsy and sporty — which itself in unusual for The Ear.

On Sunday, Cadel Evans became the first Australian ever to win the grueling three-week Tour de France bicycle race. (At 34, he was also the oldest winner of the Tour since World War II.)

I confess: I am a Tour fan. After all, how many other people do you know who ride their stationary exercise bikes while watching the Tour de France racers cross the finish line in Paris? But even when I’m not riding along, I like to look at the landscape and the buildings the riders pass. I also like some of the commentators. I don’t Ask Bobke, but I do like listening to Phil Liggett.

Cadel Evans’ victory is yet another sign that Australia, which once seemed, justly or unjustly, far off the main stage, is squarely at stage center these days.

So here are other famed Aussies I offer to celebrate the occasion of Cadell’s victory: Australian coloratura soprano Joan Sutherland and Australian conductor Richard Bonynge (who was also her husband) performing the virtuosic “Bell Song” from Delibes‘ opera “Lakme”  at the Sydney Opera House.

Maybe you can think of other performers and other pieces — perhaps even some Australian classical music — that are more fitting choices.

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music

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