La Divina…

Maria Callas – Casta Diva (from V. Bellini’s Norma)

Casta Diva, che inargenti — O pure Goddess, who silver
queste sacre antiche piante, — These sacred ancient plants,
a noi volgi il bel sembiante — Turn thy beautiful semblance on us
senza nube e senza vel… — Unclouded and unveiled…
Tempra, o Diva, — Temper, o Goddess,
tempra tu de’ cori ardenti — The brave zeal
tempra ancora lo zelo audace,— Of the ardent spirits,
spargi in terra quella pace — Scatter on the earth the peace
che regnar tu fai nel ciel… — Thou make reign in the sky…

Words seem to abandon me each time I listen to this… actually, they happen to be absolutely pitiful… Remember my first time – I was a step from ceasing all my artistic activity (mainly painting) being struck by a bolt of shame – even my wildest dreams couldn’t have reached even the shadow of the level presented and performed by that unearthly creature. An overwhelming wave of an absolute fascination had protected me from the fire of jealously – that it’s the music that divine forces have seemed to choose for their voice, that painting would never ‘sign’ this way…

Today, I’m a little bit more optimistic that one can actually make colours, shapes, portrayed worlds to ‘resonate’ with hauntingly beautiful and close to perfection ‘sounds’. Yet, instead of devouring fine pictures or sculptures I do listen to this (and to other similar classical wonders) at least few times each day – just to experience, again and again the sheer genius of Art par excellence…

In my studio journal I had noted:

‘Have you ever heard Maria Callas signing her Norma’s Casta Diva ? You would know, straight away, what do I mean by feeling the real presence of an authentic piece of Art. It’s like finding yourself in a mighty company of a spine-chilling being – a Goddess, La Divina, whatever name you can think of…’

To create that sort of a presence is an artist’s blasphemous goal, his/hers sweet-sour duty, an undeserved privilege and never-ending journey forward.

P.S. Thank you, ‘flyfra 89’ for uploading this rare treat to Youtube.

About kasia

Born in Poland. Lives in Ireland, Cork. Visual artist. View all posts by kasia

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