This past week has been simply full of great things.
I am practicing like a maniac to get ready for opera camp, and learn and memorize three new arias…waiting on a score for the fourth…*bites nails…* But in the meantime it seems I have a couple of new performances on my schedule for the year, and I am getting very excited about the music—some chamber music and oratorio, and indeed, another new opera. It is hard not to work on it before opera camp even though I want to so much, but I must get my priorities in order. J
After having way too good a time with Mr. S last week, I have learned the old lesson again: It is really best to stop after three vodka sodas. Or else you are cruising for a bruising of epic proportions, resulting in the next day dawning as quite the hairy disaster. The following night I stayed home and made raviolis out of wonton wrappers (so good! Thank you, Pioneer Woman! ) and sauced them with Marcella Hazan’s fantastic tomato sauce recipe, then we waited for a break in the tornado that was happening outside and ran across the neighborhood to hear a performance of new music featuring a former student. I am so proud that she has chosen to follow her heart and do something truly new and different with her life. It takes courage to do what she is doing.
It was great to go to yoga again, and get my practice restarted after lots of time off. I’m back there again tonight—I’ve lost a little ground after all the vacationing and wining and dining with the whole weight loss thing, so I’m back on the wagon. It’s not really that much fun, but I have to do it. It was probably a mistake to weigh myself this morning after some wonderful dinners out and lots of cocktails with great friends, but hey. I have to start again somewhere.
Sunday afternoon, we went to a concert with a couple of Bach cantatas and an African American children’s choir—it was a collection of performances that seem rather unrelated, but the sum of which just one hundred percent melted my heart. First of all, I have always felt like Bach is really best in live performance, because somehow, even on good recordings, it loses some of its sparkle and warmth. In person, in a beautiful church, it is electrifying. With the first strains of the orchestra, I can’t help but smile—it’s just pure joy-- and my heart feels lighter. THEN, then!! the choir of children singing on the second half, perfectly in tune, with such expressiveness-- it made me have to keep myself from downright sobbing, right there in the pew. It was so completely moving—to hear something so real and honest, nothing manufactured, nothing manipulated—it is a rare thing indeed. No one had told them that the way they naturally sing was wrong—they sang with a huge sound, some would call it “at the top of their lungs” for several pieces (appropriate dynamics for tender moments notwithstanding), and yet, at the end, I bet none of them were hoarse or tired. The sound itself was raw, the performance was refined in its quality of musicality. It was the most inspiring experience for me as I continue my quest to get back to my true voice. I won’t forget yesterday afternoon for a long time.