Tuesday, May 15, 2018
A Grand Performance
Wow, it seems as if we’ve barely gotten over winter and last week I filled out the forms to enter my needlepoint Christmas stocking in the State Fair. It hasn’t come back from the finisher yet, but she’s very experienced and should do a great job. I’m going to enter it in the Senior arena – I’m more than eligible – and hope to do well competing with fewer entries.
Meanwhile, I’m working on a witch riding her broom across a full moon, and no surprise, it’s taking longer than I thought. Next, I’ll finally begin that magnificent but complex big Christmas stocking for Ellen.
Work on Tying the Knot has stalled again. I wonder if kick starting it might not include an actual kick, as in the pants!
Sunday evening I went with my sister-in-law and a new friend from Aquila Commons to a special event at my church. It was called “Opera Familiare,” and it presented famous arias from operas. Ten professional singers took part, accompanied by a baby grand. No mikes. I’m not a grand opera fan; in fact, I’ve never been to an actual grand opera. But almost every aria was familiar to me. The performers were all young, though I think their voices could be called “mature.” They sang arias from Magic Flute, Carmen, Marriage of Figaro, Madame Butterfly, and others. None of the sopranos had that painfully piercing voice that is one reason I don’t go to the opera. All were trimly built except one man, who was enormous. He also had the chest development you sometimes see in male opera singers, so his clothing fit him oddly. Then he started to sing, and you could feel the heart of everyone in the audience warming. His first number was “la donna Mobile” from Rigoletto, and it was gorgeous. Carmelita sang a brilliant version of "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess; Don sang "Ol Man River" from Showboat; we were assured they were American operas, which I had never thought of before. Just before intermission all of the singers came out to sing “va pensiero” (Chorus of the Slaves) from Nabucco by Verdi. Members of the audience were invited to join them in front of the altar; more than twenty people came up. We were told that when Verdi died, and his coffin was paraded through the streets of Milan, 300,000 citizens followed it, singing this aria, which had become practically Italy’s national anthem. What a touching story!