|What she wrote about this in her memoir|
|Posted by: AlanScott 02:17 pm EDT 07/27/20|
|In reply to: She also claimed to have added a high note in "Glitter And Be Gay" - GrumpyMorningBoy 06:09 pm EDT 07/26/20|
|It wasn't exactly adding a high note. The high note was there. This is what she wrote in Then and Now: A Memoir:
I sang for Bernstein, and it went well, but passing that preliminary test is not what I remember most clearly from that day. Instead, it’s that I suggested to LEONARD BERNSTEIN what I thought would prove to be a better way to end one of his musical phrases. Amazing! How did I ever have the nerve to say such a thing? Well, it just seemed obvious to me, and, even more surprisingly, Bernstein agreed with me and changed the phrase.
Here’s the phrase in question:
Born to higher things, Here I droop my wings . . . Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah
That “aaaaah” is a high C. Very hard for me to sing and cut off cleanly, as it was written. So—I suggested doing a portamento down from the high C to a lower note at the end of the “aaaaaah.” It made perfect sense to me. Cunegonde was talking about drooping her wings, so why not “droop” the note?
When I think about this scenario now, I shake my head in disbelief at the confidence I had. I suppose a better word to describe my action would be “clueless.” This was only the second time I had been in the same room with the composer, and this was not just any composer. This was Maestro Leonard Bernstein. I’d never sung this kind of song in public. I was a musical-comedy actress with a mere two Broadway shows under my belt, and I was now telling this genius how to improve his aria? It was like rehearsing Flahooley and telling the conductor that I wasn’t going to change my singing—they’d have to change the orchestration. Where the hell I got that chutzpah from I have absolutely no idea.
I suggested the change, and Bernstein smiled and said, “You’re absolutely right. Why didn’t I think of that?” It was a portent of things to come: from the start of rehearsals through to closing night, Lenny made me feel that I could do anything.
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