Stephanie Blythe regularly fills 3,000-seat opera houses with her voluptuous mezzo-soprano voice, singing roles like Bizet's Carmen, Saint-Saëns's Dalila and Azucena in Verdi's Il Trovatore. (Chicago Classical Review calls her voice "vast.")
What a wonderful surprise, then, to view her charming backyard rendition of "The Rainbow Connection," accompanying herself on the ukulele. She posted the video on her Facebook page on Sept. 25 as a birthday tribute to the late Jim Henson who used the song by Paul Williams and Kenneth Ascher in 1979's The Muppet Movie. Her artistry and communicative powers are undeniable, whether she's interpreting opera at the Met with an 80-piece orchestra, or just singing a simple song while seated on a lawn chair.
"This is my first big public outing with my ukulele, and I hope you can forgive my clumsy rendition, complete with a wrong lyric and accompanied by barking dogs," she wrote. "My neighbor is out playing with his kids, and the dog wants to join in. Happy Birthday, Mr. Henson. Thank you for bringing such wonder and music into our lives."