"Ah! Fuggi il traditor" from Don Giovanni:
"Die Wetterfahne," second song in Schubert's Winterreise:
Scène du Pèlerin from L'amour de loin:
"The Sweetest Gift" sung by Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt:
On my playlist this beautiful Monday...
"Ah! Fuggi il traditor" from Don Giovanni:
What are you listening today? Share your favorites in the comments.
Yesterday an aggrieved audience member tossed a handful of his deceased friend's ashes into the orchestra pit at the Metropolitan Opera during the second intermission of William Tell. Of course, no one knew at the time what this white powdery substance was, so the final act of the opera was canceled, as was the evening performance of L'italiana in Algeri. Refunds were issued all around. Police are looking for a way to charge the patron in question (apparently there's no law against throwing ashes on tympani).
There is no doubt that this person is terribly grief-stricken by the loss of his friend. But the best case scenario for these ashes was that they get vacuumed up and thrown in a landfill with the rest of New York's trash. As it was, some of the ashes ended up in a crime lab. I'm not sure that's what would have been desired by the deceased, but who am I to say?
I have a rule that I've adopted for myself: never make any kind of important decision while in emotional distress. I've made note to include the scattering of anyone's ashes in the "important decision" category. Also in that category: quitting jobs, relocating, starting or ending significant relationships, and making large purchases.
UPDATE: It was an opera fan's dying wish to have his ashes scattered at opera houses across the world.
This week saw me at TWO Rossini operas I'd never seen before, both of which I enjoyed more than I'd expected to. Apparently the lesson there is that I need to revisit Rossini's seria operas. If you are not familiar, I recommend both William Tell and Tancredi. The scores are surprisingly beautiful.
And in other news...
I am increasingly convinced that being a professional, in any field, is keeping a sense of humor when things do not turn out as planned. Sometimes weather interrupts your travel. Sometimes you get a cold and can't perform at or attend an event. Sometimes you have a family emergency. If you can roll with it, and make the best of the situation whatever it may be, you'll look mature and professional to those around you, and, for your own sake, you'll save yourself some stress and anxiety.
I'd like to thank my yoga instructor for the innovative mantra "let go" which has guided me through all sorts of surprises as late.
I started co-hosting the Indie Opera Podcast in 2011 amidst tremendous upheaval in my personal life. It was fun and comforting to engage in witty banter and intellectual discussion.
We've just released our 30th episode. I hope you'll listen and enjoy.
O Divine Mucinex,
Product of Reckitt Benckiser
Sustain for me
Vocal cords free of phlegm
Which, after they have sung the many notes
Of Handel and Rossini and Bach,
Were made to endure tirelessly
About the tyranny of Rhinovirus,
The sport of whose whims, all malevolent,
While their desire,
Through all of the mucous
Ached, in agony, to vibrate cleanly
And produce beautiful tone.
Vain hope - for them!
For the head cold strove against them,
Its untimely and unwanted visit;
To inflame for no reason at all,
The mucous-membranes of my nose and throat!
Where the audition god failed to stop
The virus in its tracks.
Make my throat free of goo,
In all its delicate tissues,
I've never had a blog before. I've never wanted a blog before.
And then I heard Seth Godin in an interview extolling the virtues of sitting down to write for the public every day, which made me reconsider both having and wanting.
Most of this blog will be about opera and opera-related things because opera pretty much consumes my life. But I won't make any promises about content. What I will promise is that I will strive to write something every day. Hopefully something worth reading, but that is for you, dear reader, to decide.
Today, I will leave you with a clip from Guillaume Tell, which I saw at the Met last night. This clip is not from the Met production, but it is of Brian Hymel, who IS in the Met production. Enjoy.
Opera singer, opera producer, podcast co-host, lover of music, travel, food, and all things mind-bending.
I acknowledge the land politically designated as New York City to be the homeland of the Lenape people who were violently displaced as a result of European settler colonialism over the course of 400 years. The Lenape diaspora remains closely connected with this land.