She's all grown up

>> Monday, April 28, 2008

Just had to share some photos of Heather with her friends at her senior prom this last Saturday night. She looked so beautiful...


The World's most beautiful music: Bachiana no. 5

>> Saturday, April 26, 2008

Steph and I were discussing the beauty of the Portuguese language when I remembered this beautiful aria from Villa-Lobos' Bachianas Brasileiras. I first discovered this incredible piece of music when I was a young college music major, and I fell in love with its haunting beauty. Sung here by the famous Brazilian soprano, Bidu Sayão, (Rio de Janeiro, May 11, 1902 - March 12, 1999), this is probably one of the most passionate recordings of this piece, ever.


In the company of greatness

>> Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can be great.

~ Mark Twain


We've got tickets to see "The Magic Flute"!

>> Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I did it! I ordered our tickets today, and next Friday night Steph and I are taking Heather to see the Tulsa Opera production of Mozart's Die Zauberflöte, (yes, it will be sung in German with English subtitles scrolling above the stage)! I've seen two different productions of "Flute"--one in Tampa, Florida with the New York City Opera touring company and the second, years later, a student production at Oklahoma Baptist University, which was quite good. And I have sung the role of the Third Lady in the OSU Opera production of Flute, when I was in graduate school. I'm looking forward to this particular production for several reasons: 1) It's the first time I will see "Flute" with Steph, 2) It's the first time that Heather will have ever seen it, 3) It's the Tulsa Opera, and the last Mozart opera we saw there, ("Figaro"), we absolutely loved. The Tulsa opera is rated one of the top regional operas and is kind of a "farm team" for new, up-and-coming opera stars. They get the most talented young people right out of school, when they're just starting their careers. It's really exciting and always high quality. I took Heather to see Madama Butterfly three years ago and she loved it. I know she'll love this production as well!

I'm SO excited!!


The World's most beautiful music: Trio "Soave sia il vento"

>> Monday, April 21, 2008

The last of the three Mozart/Da Ponte collaborations is Cosi fan Tutte, ("Thus do they all"), commissioned in 1789 by Emperor Joseph II, who died shortly before it's premiere in the Emperor's theater, (the Burgtheater), in Vienna on 26 January 1790. Mozart had only a little under two years to live after its premiere.

Mozart and Da Ponte took as a theme "fiancée swapping" which dates back to the 13th century, with notable earlier versions being those of Boccaccio's Decameron and Shakespeare's play Cymbeline. Elements from Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew are also present. Furthermore, it incorporates elements of the myth of Procris as found in Ovid's Metamorphoses.

This trio is from the first Act and features Don Alfonso, (bass), Fiordiligi, (mezzo soprano), and Dorabella, (soprano). In a coffee shop, Ferrando and Guglielmo (two officers) claim that their fiancées (Dorabella and Fiordiligi, respectively) will be eternally faithful. Don Alfonso joins the discussion and lays a wager with the two officers, claiming he can prove in a day's time that these two women (like all women) are fickle. The wager is accepted: the two officers will pretend to have been called off to war; soon thereafter they shall return in disguise and attempt to seduce each other's lover. The scene shifts to the two women (they are sisters) who are praising their men. Alfonso arrives to announce the bad news: the officers have been called off to war. Ferrando and Guglielmo arrive, brokenhearted, and bid farewell (quintet: Sento, o Dio, che questo piedo è restio—"I feel, oh God, that my foot is reluctant"). As the boat with the men sails off to sea, Alfonso and the sisters wish them safe travel (trio: Soave sia il vento—"May the wind be gentle").

This particular trio is one of the finest examples of Mozart's incredible vocal ensemble work and is one of my very favorites.


Taking a vacation day for music

>> Friday, April 18, 2008

I'm not going to work today because I took a vacation day to go and hear my daughter, Heather, sing her solo at state solo and ensemble music contest in Shawnee. This is her senior year and her last year to get to sing at state contest and so I wanted to be there. As an added plus, I'll get to hear her sing Voi che sapete from my very favorite opera of all, Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and one that she sings so well!

UPDATE: Heather sang beautifully and received a Superior rating (I) on her solo, Friday! Way to go, Heather!


It's the little things that count

>> Thursday, April 17, 2008

There is nothing that does not matter. The faintest breeze changes the course of the world. The softest cry is heard by all. The greatest love is you and it is me.

~ Carson's commentary



>> Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Every time you praise something, every time you appreciate something, every time you feel good about something, you are telling the Universe, More of this, please! More of this, please!



Reversal of fortune!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post about how everything seemed to be going to hell in a hand basket, how life had just taken a proverbial dump on us, all at one time and left us reeling. Well, now we've experienced a complete reversal of fortune! It's totally amazing!

1. I got the first of several IRS refund installments on Monday, (it's too complicated to explain here), which has given us the financial boost we needed to get us out of the pit and put us on solid financial ground.

2. My ex called and said that he had just bought a new car and said that he had been planning on giving the car he was driving to Lauren. Since Lauren doesn't return from France until June, he said that if I would continue to pay the insurance on it that I could drive it until I can get my van fixed and Lauren gets back! (Thank-you Dan!!)

3. We found out today that Steph got the job as a web developer that she applied for and she starts tomorrow! Not only that, they offered her the position at 50 cents higher an hour than what they had originally quoted. In addition to that, she contracted with another huge client to create two new web sites for him!

4. I recovered from the bronchitis/pneumonia and am back teaching and back at Chamber Singers rehearsals!

Now I'm doing the GRATITUDE DANCE!


The World's most beautiful music: The Albinoni Adagio in G minor

>> Saturday, April 5, 2008

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (June 8, 1671, Venice, Republic of Venice – January 17, 1751, Venice, Republic of Venice) was a Venetian Baroque composer. While famous in his day as an opera composer, he is mainly remembered today for his instrumental music, some of which is regularly recorded. The "Adagio in G minor" attributed to him (actually a later reconstruction) is one of the most frequently recorded pieces of Baroque music.

(source Wikipedia)

Featured here is the Berlin Philharmonic. This one is lengthy, but oh so worth it!


Darkness & Light

>> Friday, April 4, 2008

Never fear shadows. They simply mean there's a light shining somewhere nearby.

~ Ruth Rendell, English writer, born 1930


Aint she sweet?

>> Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My daughter, Heather, just had her senior portraits taken this last weekend by photographer Averi Blackmon. We just got the proofs back yesterday and I couldn't resist showing a couple of them off! Averi did a great job, but I have to admit that her subject didn't stink!


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