Monday, April 23, 2018

Music Monday ~ Composer of Opera & "the Caruso of Rock" - Two Birthdays.

Is there any reason to compare Leoncavallo and Roy Orbison ? It's an unlikely pairing. Both were born today, 23 April, 79 years apart - is that where similarity ends?

Ruggero Leoncavallo 23 April 1857 – 9 August 1919) was an Italian opera composer and librettist. Although he produced numerous operas and other songs throughout his career it is his opera Pagliacci (1892) that remained his lasting contribution, despite attempts to escape the shadow of his greatest success. Pagliacci owes its continuing success in part to the composer’s ability to balance humour, romance, and darkly violent moods. My post on Leoncavallo from 2012 is HERE.

Born 79 years later, in Texas on 23 April 1936:
Roy Orbison
Roy Kelton Orbison (April 23, 1936 – December 6, 1988) was an American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive, impassioned voice, complex song structures, and dark emotional ballads. The combination led many critics to describe his music as operatic, nicknaming him "the Caruso of Rock" and "the Big O". While most male rock-and-roll performers in the 1950s and 1960s projected a defiant masculinity, many of Orbison's songs instead conveyed vulnerability. His voice ranged from baritone to tenor, and music scholars have suggested that he had a three- or four-octave range. During performances, he was known for standing still and solitary, and for wearing black clothes, to match his dyed jet black hair and dark sunglasses, which lent an air of mystery to his persona.

"Caruso of rock" eh? Something there to consider? A quick look at both natal charts.

Leoncavallo born 23 April 1857 in Naples, Italy at 4 PM (Data from Astrodienst)

Orbison born 23 April 1936 in Vernon, Texas, USA, at 3.50 PM (Data from Astrodienst)

The very obvious similarity: lots of emphasis in both charts on Taurus, sign ruled by Venus, planet of the arts. Leoncavallo had Sun conjunct Pluto (darkness and intensity), Venus and Mercury conjunct Uranus (the unexpected and/or modern) along with Mars nearby also, all in Taurus.

Orbison had Sun conjunct Uranus, with Mercury and Mars conjoined, all in Taurus.

What they were thought to share - that gravitaion towards a classic style with operatic tone - where's the astrological signature? I could be wrong on this, but I'd look towards Saturn for this kind of thing. Orbison had Saturn in Watery, emotional Pisces somewhat uncomfortably yet workably semi-sextile Venus in Aries, and helpfully sextile Mercury and Mars in Taurus - so Saturn does link to his personal planets.

Leoncavallo's Saturn was also in a Water sign, Cancer and linked to Mercury and Mars in Taurus by helpful sextile. So both men had a Watery Saturn making aspect to personal planets.

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