Monday, April 07, 2014

Music Monday ~ EVA, EVITA

Had I been left to my own devices, without taste development via input of friends and loved ones over the years, my first choice of music would have remained as it was right at the start, in early teenage: stage musicals and light opera. Though long overlaid, first by Sinatra, then by traditional-style country music, then by Beatles and some kinds of jazz, that love of music from the stage (and screen) has remained strong. Intending to check musical birthdays for today, 7 April, absent-minded I hit the page for 7 May, where I saw the name Eva Perón. She was born on that day in 1919, in the Los Toldos province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I'm a month early for the anniversary but never mind! It's still an opportunity to post some music from Evita , musical version of the story of Eva's tragically short, eventful life. She died in 1952.

High Flying Adored - I chose this the video for the several photographs of Eva Peron used as background. It's from the 1979 Broadway version of Evita with Che sung by Mandy Pakinkin and Patti LuPone as Eva.

In the 1970s Evita, written and composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, first hit the airwaves and record stores. I bought a recording of the original concept album of 1976, the London studio version with Eva Peron's part sung by Julie Covington. For me, this version has never been bettered. I was entranced by it, played it over and over.....and over! We saw the show on stage when a version of it arrived in Yorkshire, years later. I felt let down though, it didn't have the magic I had in my mind. More years later I saw the movie version, starring Madonna, and again felt let down. It simply didn't do it for me. I'd been spoiled by the version I'd first fallen in love with, all those years ago.

As for Eva herself, I think the "nutshell" astrological key to her undoubtedly powerful personality, and perhaps her early and eventual misfortunes, is Sun conjunct Mars; Jupiter conjuct Pluto; and Moon (possibly) conjunct Saturn. Moon's position cannot be established without a reliable time of birth which Astrodatabank doesn't have, so I've used 12 noon for the chart shown. Eva's very essence is heavily influenced by conjunctions involving planets which astrologers have, in the past, considered to be "malefic". I don't see that these planets, Mars, Saturn, Pluto, are merely bad influences though. Mars and Saturn especially have positive sides: energy, dynamism, necessary law and authority for instance. These two powerful planets are reflected in the story of Eva Perón's life, her rise from poverty to power through nothing but her own determined efforts.

Eva's husband Juan Perón (his chart HERE) has Sun conjunct Mars too, also Moon conjunct Neptune and Pluto; and Mercury/Saturn/Uranus conjoined! Powerful!

Rainbow High sung here by Julie Covington from my favourite 1976 recording, the original concept album:

Lament, sung by Julie Covington


mike said...

The background story of Rice and Weber's collaborations and eventual production of "Evita" is a story in itself, but particularly Rice's push to materialize the project. Perhaps I'm fortunate to have only seen the Madonna film version, as I have nothing to compare! I've often thought that it's an odd musical production...the political turbulence of Argentina contrasted with the human turbulence of Eva, as if the two are analogous. The music is superb.

Twilight said...

mike ~ Rice seems to be the "ideas man", of the pair, Webber the consummate composer. They're the
Rodgers and Hammerstein of our time.

I suspect that before the original recording of "Evita" emerged, hardly anybody of the general public - in the UK anyway - had heard of Eva Peron. We all got a wee history lesson. The show may not be 100% accurate in its depiction of events and attitudes, but what the heck.... dramatic licence and all that!

Yes, the music is great! The lyrics are clever, witty, satirical, and memorable. Love it!