current state of mind: hesitant
I've been getting' used to liars
They sing me love songs; store-bought words
They make promises; like politicians
So we stumble and we disconnect
Over and over again
~ “Modern Love” by Matt Nathanson
Greetings and saluations!
At least once a week, I am asked about my love for opera. I have never studied music and my singing voice leaves much to be desired. My parents did not bring me to the opera when I was a child. In fact, my first exposure was courtesy of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd on a Saturday morning. While Wagner could not have possibly foreseen music being performed by animated characters, I don’t think his artistic integrity would be offended. It is entirely possible that he’d enjoy Fudd’s rendition of “Kill Tha Wabbit”.
Opera is for everyone, regardless of preconceptions. This past weekend I spoke to several groups of 6th graders and their parents. Most of those present had never been to an opera. I think I shocked the kids when I made fun of the concept that opera was just for old people with stodgy ideals. I told the story of bringing my 7 year old daughter to ‘La Boheme’. Most adults thought I was crazy for thinking that a young child would appreciate a century-old opera she “wouldn’t possibly understand”. I had faith in the transcendental power of art. Of course, Puccini didn’t let me down. Girl Twin was fascinated by the performance. For almost three full acts she sat up in her seat, alert and mesmerized. As the third act closed, however, she drifted to sleep. I did not wake her for the tragic fourth act, as it was already well past her regular bedtime. When the audience broke into applause at the end of the performance, my daughter opened her eyes and began to clap as well.
As we were walking to the car, she looked up at me and took notice that my eyes were red and swollen from crying. Very concerned, she asked why I was crying. I explained that during the last act, Mimi had died. She looked thoughtful for a moment before responding with candor, “Well, you had to know she was going to die. I mean, she was really sick throughout the whole show.” I smiled, gripped her hand a little tighter, and enjoyed a mother-daughter moment that would not have been possible without opera.
Thank you, Puccini!
PERSONAL NOTE: Welcome home, little man!
CONFIDENTIAL NOTE: I suppose that time will tell. Until then, let it ride.