Forays into opera by avant drama queen Wilhelmina Baker aren't meant for the libretto-conning cognoscenti. Instead, using electronic effects and a good measure of cabaret siren-style chutzpah, Baker (a.k.a. High Noon bartender and artist about town Nicole Gruter) gambols through well known arias with a wry smile plastered on her generously rouged lips.
On her 73-second reworking of Monteverdi's hyper dramatic "Lasciatemi Morire!" on her new album Pregnant, Baker dips, glides and gabs with somber grace. She even pauses just long enough to let the listener shed a tear over Ariadne's pitiable abandonment by Theseus.
The warbling, sci-fi vocal processing she employs here makes the performance sound a little like it was recorded just as Captain Kirk's was kicking the Enterprise into warp drive, but that's half the fun. Unsurprisingly, Stephanie Rearick's accompaniment on piano is appropriately stately and restrained.
An MP3 of the track is available in the related downloads at right. She is performing at the Khala Ghali art convergence at the top of State Street on Friday, September 7, and will be celebrating the release of Pregnant with a show at the King Club on Saturday, September 8. She will be joined by Screamin' Cyn Cyn & the Pons, Captain Ahab, Loop Retard, and Realicide, with everything slated to start at 9 p.m.
MadTracks highlights and provides MP3s of songs performed by local musicians. All tracks here are provided with permission of the artist. If you are a musician based in the Madison metro area and are interested in sharing your work as a MadTrack, please send a message.