Alexander's Playlist: Queen's A Night at the OperaBy Alexander NeefPosted in Alexander Neef Playlist
General Director Alexander Neef shares his favourite music recordings in this series of album recommendations.
A Night at the Opera
Hollywood Records, 1975
This week, I had the great pleasure of speaking with incoming General Director Perryn Leech on a new episode of Key Change: A COC Podcast. As an avid listener of the show, it was great to be able to sit down – albeit virtually (and across four different time zones!) – with Robyn, Julie and Perryn for a candid chat about opera, its future, and so much more. You can download the episode through your preferred app or listen at coc.ca/KeyChange.
We had lots of fun getting to know each other and – of course – discussing our favourite music. If you’ve listened to the episode already, you know that we both admire the genius of Freddie Mercury and one album in particular holds a special place in my heart. So, for today’s playlist, I’m recommending a different sort of ‘opera’ experience: Queen’s 1975 hit, A Night at the Opera.
As I shared on Key Change, my daughter and I made a habit of listening to this album together on the drive to school. To me, what defines great music – whether it’s rock, or opera or anything in between – is the ability to listen to it hundreds of times and still discover something new. That’s certainly true of A Night at the Opera, which transcends genre and defies categorization, with its rock, pop, jazz, folk music hall and operatic influences.
Freddie Mercury, whose virtuosic vocals anchor the album, was a massive opera fan – one of his last live performances was a duet with the great Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé – and its influences are perhaps heard most on the iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It’s impossible to choose just one favourite song off this album, but if I had to, I’d recommend “Seaside Rendezvous,” “Lazing on a Sunday Afternoon,” and “Love of My Life” to get you started.
Music credit: A Night at the Opera, Queen, Hollywood Records, 1975
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