As Lord Randall said, “I’m weary wi’ hunting and fain wald lie down.” In my case, I’m weary of the incessant onslaught of bad news, which is now all over my social media, displacing the kitten photos I need as a palliative. So let’s end the day with a lovely aria from Chinese singer Jane Zhan. As the article in My Modern Met below notes (click on screenshot):
Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element was released more than two decades ago and is still considered one of the most iconic sci-fi films ever made. For fans of the cult film, there’s one scene that’s bound to stick out in your mind—the Diva Dance. Performed by an extravagant alien opera singer called Diva Plavalaguna, the blue-skinned, tentacle-headed character wows an audience with her impressive vocal range and otherworldly dance moves. In homage to the iconic scene, Chinese opera singer Jane Zhang sang her own rendition of the song, complete with a full orchestra.
The original Diva Dance was performed by Albanian opera singer Inva Mula-Tchako. According to movie trivia, the film’s composer Eric Serra designed the futuristic pop-opera to be technically impossible for a human to hit some of the high notes so quickly after another. Therefore, Mula-Tchako had to sing the notes individually so that they could then be arranged digitally. However, this didn’t stop Zhang from taking on the challenge, who hit every note perfectly without the help of any computer editing—mastering the seemingly impossible.
I haven’t seen the film, but here’s Zhang doing her aria in Chengdu, Szechuan. It really is a gorgeous piece of music and an real display of vocal virtuosity. Things get fancy around 3½ minutes in:
and here’s the original from the movie, with Mula-Tchako’s digitally-arranged singing: