Kathryn Grayson Battles to the Death singing "Bell Song" from Lakme

An opera fan has an excerpt of Kathryn Grayson's performance of Delibes' "Bell Song" from Lakme. The piece is placed among 29 other such presentations performed  by Lily Pons, Natalie Dessay, Mady Mesple and others.
[My favorite is Mesple's since she doesn't seem to be trying so hard to hit those notes.]

Ms. Grayson appears in part 2 at 5:42.

Kathryn Grayson's part was taken from a dream sequence in the movie It Happened In Brooklyn (1947). You can see her rendition in its entirety here: The Bell Song (Où va la jeune Indoue?) - Kathryn Grayson


  1. I see what you mean about Mesple. She has a surety that makes you listen with ease.

  2. Hi Java! You know, except for Show Boat, I have never been a big Kathryn Grayson fan. To me, her voice is much like Jeannette MacDonald's, another actress/singer I never liked. I don't much care for voices that are famous mainly for the high notes they can hit. I prefer sopranos who put a little more richness or soul, or something I find hard to explain, into their singing. However, there is no doubt that Grayson can really hit the high ones! Very interesting clip, allowing us to hear Mesple. That really shows what I'm trying to say. Interesting post, Java.

    1. I think you mean, you like a richer fuller more opulent tone which conveys more emotion! Every voice has their own unique assets. Those voices can't be compaired to each other. Coloraturas have a sparkling magic all their own. Almost otherworldly.

  3. Caftan Woman,
    You describe Mesple exactly how I hear her! "With ease" is definitely it.

    Mses. MacDonald's and Grayson's voices are an acquired taste; I have to be in the mood for them. But I do appreciate their dedication.

    I'm fond of Natalie Dessay's version as well. She mimics the echoing of the bells well into the last few bars.

    Thank you both!

    - Java


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"Java's Journey: A really fun, informative well-written blog that explores all of the things - and I mean all - I love about classic films."-- Flick Chick of A Person In The Dark Email: java-rush@hotmail.com


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