Monday, April 30, 2007

Tenors Make More Money!

Yes, yes, two posts in one day.

Saturday we went to a street fair in Princeton. All sorts of organizations were there, including the New Jersey Opera Theater. They had a trunk full of costumes for the kids to try on and get photographed. We were talking to one of the women and of course Alex clammed up and would talk, so I told her that he wants to be an opera singer and how he's drawn to the baritone parts. She leaned in and said in a conspiratorial stage-whisper, "Be a tenor- tenors make more money!"

A Burning Desire

Have I mentioned that Alex's music teacher is a former professional opera singer? That's not exactly relevant except that this is a blog about opera... of course she's thrilled by Alex's career aspirations. Anyway last week I wasn't feeling well so Jim brought Alex to music class. It's the first time I've missed a class since he started, except for when we went to Florida. She informed Jim that she'll be giving private singing lessons at Westminster next semester and she thinks I should sign up because she can tell that I've got "the desire to sing burning inside me," or something like that. She said it again to me this past week. So is she a mind reader or what? I asked her how she could tell and she said she just can. Hm. I've wanted to take singing lessons all my life. I know full well that I have no opera potential, no matter what fantasies I might harbor... I have a decent voice and can carry a tune, but I want to improve my range, ie, become more of a soprano. I even mentioned my (burning) desire to Denise a few weeks ago and she gave me some advice about finding a teacher. It was just funny that Alex's teacher said that, because she's right! So now I have to decide... a trip to the Met to see Romeo and Juliet, or a semester or two of voice lessons? Or... do both, and then have rice and beans, no new clothes and no eating out for, well, the rest of my life? That sounds OK to me!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Recitals, Barbers and Romeo

So it's been a while but I'm back. We did attend the recital on the 15th. It was good! And amazingly, Alex sat and watched for the entire first half. He had great fun applauding after each singer too.

The Met is having an encore broadcast of Barber of Seville. I posted to the mom's group to see if anyone would like to have a "Mom's Night Out" and got one taker- Shannon. So in May we'll be off to the movies!

Denise will be teaching an opera class about Romeo and Juliet this fall at the Princeton Adult School. To culminate the class they go see the opera at the Met. She's going to include me in the emails so I can join them if I want. I'll start saving my pennies now! Finally a chance not only to go to the Met with friends, but also to see Nathan Gunn live! Oh yeah and Anna Netrebko (probably spelled wrong...). Then two days later I'll see it again in the movie broadcast.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Post Office Recital

Yesterday as we went into the post office Alex began to sing Papageno's Birdcatcher Aria. There were a few people inside but of course no one was talking. His voice echoed throughout the room. One woman who had been preparing something to mail got in line behind us. She recognized what he was singing and asked him if he could do "Queen of the Night." He just launched right into it! It was pretty cool. So of course I asked him what he wants to be when he grows up (see video in prior post). She asked him what other operas he likes. I had to prompt him but he said he likes Figaro in Barber of Seville because "...he's a baritone." Too bad he can't decide now what voice he'll have later. Not that I expect him to become an opera singer, but I'll certainly encourage whatever interest he shows!

Sunday we're going to this:

Come see NJ Opera's Young Artists perform in a free concert this Sunday, April 15 at 3pmVoorhees Zimmerli Art Museum in New Brunswick. These young singers will perform beloved opera favorites such as "Una Voce poco fa" from The Barber of SevilleDon Giovanni (Mozart) and the "Card Trio" from Carmen (Bizet). They will also perform opera rarities such as "O Lisbonoa, alfin ti moro" from Don Sebastiano (Donizetti) and "Sibilar gli angui d'Aletto" from Rinaldo (Handel).

The concert is free with $3 admission to the Zimmerli Museum (waived for Rutgers students and staff and for museum members).

Or as Alex calls it, People Singing in the Museum.

Now if only they would contact me to be a super in one of their upcoming shows!

Friday, April 6, 2007


So cool... Alex has really begun to imitate the opera we listen to. Of course Magic Flute... of course Papageno... I have to get a video up here somehow of him totally imitating Papageno's countdown when he's hoping Papagena will show up. "How 'bout I count from one to three..."
He imitates Nathan Gunn's intonation perfectly, the way he's all hopeful on "one," singsong on "two" and sad and downtrodden on "three." He imitates the sound but does his own "acting" or whatever you'd call it- he looks around like he's looking for her in between "two" and "three." It's great! He's learning more and more of the words in both English and German.

We've been watching the Barber DVD a little. He likes the scene where the musicians are asking to get paid and thanking the Count and saying what a great guy he is, getting louder and louder, while the Count keeps saying, "Basta, basta!" Enough, enough! Be quiet! I quite like it too!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

More Barber

Not yet... but Denise has a DVD from I-don't-know-when and she loaned it to Jean. Jean finished watching it and loaned it to me yesterday. I forgot I had it until today, then Alex kept getting out of bed after we put him to bed for the night, so long story short I haven't watched it yet. Now I'm shooting for tomorrow.

And while I'm on the subject, I still need to get my hair trimmed.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

An Interesting Observation ("ear"servation?)

Sometimes I ask Alex, "Can you do that?" when we're listening to music, to see if he can hit the notes or add vibrato or whatever. He usually ignores me. The other day he was singing the Pa-Pa-Pa duet. He always sings both parts. So anyway he was playing and singing and he sounded exactly like Jennifer Aylmer when he sang, "...the greatest happiness is many." I mean EXACTLY! He imitated her voice and intonation. The line goes across her break, or whatever you call it, between high and middle range, and he repeated it perfectly. It was so cool!