Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cattle Call!

Well, it happened. I sang for People yesterday. Luckily it was totally unplanned and a friendly crowd so there were no pre-singing nerves or jitters.

What happened was, the mother of one of our friends is getting surgery this coming week to get a mass removed. She is freaking out, naturally, that it might be malignant. She thinks of all of her son's friends as her "children," so she decided to have all of us over. She's your typical overly-dramatic Italian mother so, although we were all happy to go, there was this sense of, "You all have to come see me b/c it could be the last time..." Catholic/mother/Jewish (for some of us) guilt surrounding the invitation. However, it was a nice evening. At one point one of our friends pulled out his very beautiful tenor ukulele and started singing Eddie Arnold songs, which our friend's mother happens to love. I can't explain how surreal it was as we sat there singing Cattle Call, complete with the yodeling. (Go ahead, click on the link!!) And were weren't even drinking that much. Certainly not enough to break into yodeling. I joked that I could sing in Italian for her but it would have to be opera, and she was totally into it. Said she loved that scene in Moonstruck when they played that song from "that opera where the girl dies of TB," that it always makes her cry. So since she was already weepy from the Eddie Arnold, we started with sad and I sang, a capella, Lasciatemi Morire. Then I did Una Donna a quindicci anni, again with no music. I have the instrumentals on my iPod so I gave a listen to get the right starting note. I had been practicing Una Donna over the past few weeks and I really got into the character, without (I hope) compromising my singing technique. I mean, I'm sure my teacher or any other professional singer could have pointed out ways to improve... but I digress... So I explained each piece beforehand, including the opera, the context and the gist of the song. And of course I know I can sing better than I did - it was so on the spot - but I only got nervous a little partway through Lasciatemi, for some reason. Everyone applauded and hooted and were all excited - it was weird. All I could think was, "If you think I'm so good, then you obviously haven't heard real opera singers..." I mean, I was ok, like, I'm not embarrassed, which is something, but I know I can do better. Having the music would have helped. I think much of their reaction was due to the surprise factor - I've known this group of friends for like 15 years and none of them knew I had it in me. Plus the Italian - the guy who sang with the uke told me that he doesn't believe he could ever learn "all those words" in another language. My friend's mom is Italian and told me she could understand all the lyrics, which was cool. In true dramatic Italian mother style, she was just gushing about "a gift, a beautiful gift," but then she said I had to hear this singer, Paul Potts, he won a competition and he's the best opera singer ever. Amazing how hearing that can change your view of someone's praise. I mean he's not bad, but... it's obvious to me at least that he's not a professional. He must have a great deal of charisma as he has somehow charmed so many people. So then of course I played some Juan Diego for her. At first she said, "Oh, Paul Potts is as good as this guy..." but as she listened more it was obvious that she changed her mind. Nothing against Paul Potts - but he's no Juan Diego Florez.

Friday, August 29, 2008


So one of those social networking sites I'm on has this application called "Pieces of Flair," hoisted from that ever-so-popular movie, Office Space. Who doesn't love when he knocks down his cubicle walls and cleans a fish on his desk? But I digress... so after ignoring all these flair requests from my friends on the particular networking site, I finally broke down and added the app. Then I wasted many hours and brain cells trolling through the thousands of flair buttons. Eventually I got smart and went into their search feature. Was looking for obnoxious saying about needing sleep and look what I found!
Here are a few more of the many I've added to my Flair Board. Just the opera-ish ones of course. Won't bore you, dear reader, with the chocolate cake and breastfeeding advocacy flair. If you want to see those, find me on that social networking site, add me as a friend and you can see my board. Until I put you on limited profile of course. Noooo I wouldn't do that! (Ok I might, but you won't know unless you find me there.) Or until I get into a housecleaning kick and delete all my friends who I don't actually know... but until then...

And then I made one of my own. Couldn't resist. There are other homemade GunnFlairs out there. It's comforting, in a way. What way? Well... guess to know that I'm not the only one out there who needs to get a life.

Oh I know what I need to do. Going to work on that right now.

Cat Pic Friday

Look at this great parking spot I found!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Stuck in an Expensive Rut?

I love surprises. I guess that's why I love the "all songs - random shuffle" feature of the iPod. However since some of the songs I have on there are entire acts (or more) of operas, it can be kind of dare I say, annoying, when, say, the next song is Acts 3&4 of Romeo et Juliette. On the other hand, it sort of forces you (unless you advance to the next track) to listen to something you might not ordinarily just listen to part of. Like for me, Romeo is such an emotional roller-coaster that I can't always just jump right into the middle. But today, no doubt due to my hormonal makeup, I immediately fell into the bittersweet tragic mood appropriate for the piece. Then later I watched some of the HD/PBS broadcast. Amazing how the music and the singing is so evocative.

On a related note, Johnny O, also known as John Osborn, recently sang Romeo at the Salzburg Festival in Austria and got rave reviews. I'd link to the review but I don't subscribe to the Opera Critic website. However, someone else does so I can paste the review here:

"On this evening, Roméo was sung by the American tenor John Osborn (Rolando Villazon otherwise scheduled for the remaining eight performances). Not only did the newcomer seem completely at ease with the production, but gave a performance which spontaneously brought him ovations from all parts of the house, including the orchestra. Osborn's background in Mozart and the bel canto repertoire form an ideal foundation for his undertaking in roles such as Roméo. His tone is full and appealing, his phrasing generous, and his attack immaculate - with a style and technique most reminiscent of Nicolai Gedda. Latin looks and a good stage presence complete the picture." The Opera critic, Aug 19, 2008

Yay Johnny, way to go!

Rumor has it that Mr. Osborn is back in Europe somewhere recording Clari for a DVD. Rumor also has it that he has not one but two CDs coming out very soon. I will, of course, post more rumors as they wend their way to me.

So to get back to Romeo, am I stuck in a rut of listening to the same operas over and over? Romeo, Barber, Marriage, Cosi, Carmen, Magic Flute, Traviata... I need to expand my opera horizons.

This season I'm going to two I've never seen before. Can't decide if I should read up and learn as much as I can about them beforehand or go in cold. Any thoughts or advice, Dear Readers?

Another thought was that I'd go see The Italian Girl in Algiers at Opera Philly. But tickets are so darn expensive. On the other hand, Lawrence Brownlee is in it and I'd love to see him perform live. But I'd also like to go with Husband which means doubling the price of the ticket since they probably wouldn't look favorably on me sitting on his lap. Plus a babysitter, and the prices have gone way up since I had my regular babysitting gigs in the early 80s.

I guess I just have to face it: I cannot afford to be an opera lover.

Hmm, maybe I can go alone to a matinee. Oh Husband...

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Now *This* Was a Surprise

It's not everyday that Husband sends me an email with the subject line, Nathan Gunn Topless.

Turns out someone on Metafilter's "Ask Mefi" section wanted to know what a fit 40ish male looked like with his shirt off, and they wanted pictures. Strange that no one asked why... But anyway for some reason Husband thought I would have something to contribute. His reply to the query:

Well, a particular opera singer my wife finds to be compelling looks like this, this, and this. He's not quite 40, but will be in two years. I'm not feeling quite intimidated, yet, but I've got a couple of years until 40 as well.

That's right, I robbed the cradle. Just call me Mrs. Robinson.

Another Interpretation of Barbiere

And you get a quick Italian preposition lesson too!

Monday, August 25, 2008

All The Numbers

So now I have a vague idea of how many people read La Cieca. Here are the YouTube stats on that video:

Clicks URL

Let's see, that's uh... 501? Just from his page, just in one day. Even if everyone watched it twice (which I doubt) that's still over 250. The video itself has 645 views.

Thanks, La Cieca!

Hmm that means that hundreds of people have seen my messy living room. Ok so... that's a New York Yankees blanket on the floor. I put it there because I was attempting to do pilates (that didn't last) and figured it'd be more pleasant to lie on a fleecy surface. So pleasant that I almost fell asleep... The big cardboard box in the middle of the floor I brought home from work last week so we could make it into a car. We never did put the paper-plate wheels on but it had a radio and a cup-holder. There are big plastic bins around where we attempt to contain things but unless he's asleep or not home the containment fields are continuously breached. Umm... couldn't find Mr Potato Head's nose (even though we have 2) so that upper mouth is actually a nose. A mouth nose. He doesn't have two mouths - that would be silly. Oh and that looks like a giant "husband" pillow hanging off the couch, and the futon is practically sliding off the frame because a certain someone in the house likes to jump on it even though it's against the rules. So his love of opera does not prevent him from dumping his toys all over the room and jumping on the couch. Just like the rest of us opera-lovers, right?

So now would be a good time to report Alex's latest musical comment. We were listening to Barbiere in the car - La Calumnia. It's a bass part. Alex said, "This music is far down inside him." I asked him to clarify - did he mean, far down, like, a low note, or far down in his body?
"I mean in his pipes, where they connect. They must connect far down in his body."
Meaning, his throat. I thought that was interesting. Then we played "find the coloratura" and identified when the singers were singing "jumpy" coloratura and when it was regular operatic singing. Easy peasy. Then we got to Target, where I ran in to get 1 thing and spent $98. There's a reason we call it the hundred dollar store...

Today Alex started singing this. The reason I mention it is because about 2 weeks ago he asked to see that video about 20 times in a row, no kidding. Then that was it... until today when he started singing it. All afternoon. And now it's stuck in my head. A catchy little ditty but still...

And speaking of still -

I'm still debating on the Lucretia tickets. I just went here and typed in,

Should I pay the extra $75 and get the opera ticket now?

And the answer: My sources say no.

Humph. What do its sources know anyway.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Round Round Get Around

Parsifal alerted me to La Cieca's latest blog entry. Look who it is! He's like, an icon for the future of opera.

Now I'll just keep checking back obsessively to see the comments.

Ok, gotta run and see if there are more than 6, where the comment count was the last time I checked.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Juan Diego's New CD and the $75

I'm falling asleep here but wanted to mention that Juan Diego Florez has a new CD coming out this week called Bel Canto Spectacular. Learn all about it here.

Decided that I will, after all, shell out the extra $75 to guarantee my ticket for Rape of Lucretia next June. There's some mental block to the amount of extra I'm willing to pay. Like, $40 extra would have been fine.

Ah well. More money, more money. Let's see, what else can I unload on ebay...

Friday, August 22, 2008


The tickets for the live HD transmissions from the Met went on sale today. I bought a pair of tickets for two performances - Lucia with Anna Netrebko in Feb and La Cenerentola in May. That spreads my opera out quite nicely:

Oct 22- Lucia at the Met - Diana Damrau!!!
Feb 2 (I think)- Lucia in the movies - Anna Netrebko!!!
Feb - Die Fledermaus, either as a super or else as a paying customer
March 24 - La Sonnambula at the Met - Juan Diego Florez!!! Natalie Dessay!!!(AAAHHHH!!!!!!! Can't wait!!!)
May 9 - La Cenerentola in the movies - Larry Brownlee - Sorry, I mean, Lawrence. I don't know him so I can't call him Larry. (well not yet, ha ha)

Now... what to do... what to do... The Gunnster is starring in The Rape of Lucretia with the Opera Company of Philadelphia. It's in a tiny theater. Tickets are available now for subscribers. So I could pay $75 to subscribe and then $95 for a ticket... or... I could wait until December when they go on sale for the Rest of Us. The theater is so small that all the seats are probably pretty good, but... 3rd or 4th row sure would be nice. On the other hand, do I want to see an opera that involves a rape and the ensuing emotional breakdown of the victim? And do I want to pay an extra $75 to guarantee that discomfort? Yeap. I think I'll wait until December, when I will then kick myself for not shelling out the extra money to get a ticket now.

Dayum, why is opera so friggin' expensive?

Ok. It's Friday. Cat pic time.

OHMYGOD what happened to the cat????
Ok that is so not a cat. It's my friend's dog Bear!! Bear-Bear, what are you doing in my house????

Let's try again:

Nope. They're not allowed on the table. Right.

Finally, I will end the post by embedding the video to which the comments here refer. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sparking a Memory

I do still love YouTube, even if some of my videos ended up in the YouTomb.

The following set of videos are set to not allow embedding, so here are the links. Aren't they nice?

To clarify and to avoid confusion, the videos listed are NOT from the production I was in. They just remind me of it, more than any of the others on YouTube, and trust me, there are tons.

Ok, so, first watch this one.
Then follow with this one.
Finally, number 3.

I'm glad to see the beginning part of #3 because when I was in it this summer, I always missed it as I traveled down through the tunnels and passageways from the stage to the green room. By the time I got there, Violetta was just about where the video is at 2 1/2 minutes. I wish I could have seen it from the house instead of on the tiny tv monitor. Maybe some more videos of this summer's production will make their way onto the internet. (Yes, that's a hint to anyone who has them, reads this and is holding out!)

I'll Have a Testserone With a Dash of Adrenaline, Please

Oh wait are we ordering drinks yet? Cuz if we are...

Now I don't want to make it a habit of continually commenting on other people's blog entries, so I won't.

That said, it shouldn't be too hard for anyone to figure out to what and to whom the title of this post refers.

Anyway, I'm still waiting for that drink. But hold the testosterone - I'd like to avoid growing facial hair.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It'll Be Grand

My view, that is. Of Diana Damrau in Lucia. From the Grand Tier! My friend was on the phone with some dude in the ticket office, and contrary to what the chick on the phone told me, he was able to fiddle about and find 10, yes, 10 tickets relatively close to one another. I'm in the Grand Tier, Row F, seat 113.

No Jimmy, I'm not bringing a loaf of bread.

Private joke, sorry faithful readers ... I'm so rude, ha ha.

Homonym Trouble

My my. Looks like the Grammar Police have instilled a fear of editing into Mr. Gunn. It's ok Nathan, we don't like you for your spelling skills. Keep your mind on the music and don't waist OOPS I mean, waste time with spelling and grammar. Great story though. Next time my backyard is filled with deer (like, tonight) maybe I'll ... no, I don't think so. I may have long hair but I lack the testosterone to chase the herd. I'll stick to gathering berries and peaches in the yard. If the deer have left me any, that is. Maybe I can hire the Gunnster to chase the deer out of the yard so I can keep a garden. There's a thought.

I still find it mind-boggling that anyone can write anything and not proof it, since I write, rewrite, spell-check, edit and revise everything about 500 times, and I still make mistakes that I later go back and fix. Of course, I'm a bit nuts about that. Well, I suppose there are worse problems to have.

A Powerful Problem

Eek. My Lucia friend didn't get the tickets last night because for some reason the power went out in her house for over two hours. I've been urging her to call this morning, reminding her of how she had to canoodle and finagle to get 5 seats together for Romeo last year. This post is a project-in-progress - the project being, I'll nag my friend until she orders the tickets. She has an unnatural aversion to ordering online, otherwise we'd already have them. Phones open in 30 minutes...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Child Enthralled by Opera !

Check out the new video I put on the video bar over on the right ----->>>>

I think I can embed it here too:

That's my boy. No, not the Mr. Potato Head with two mouths! And not the other weird Mr. Potato Head. The boy!! That's who my boy is. Yeesh.

Stuff and Other Stuff

A "this and that" post.

My friend with whom I went to see Romeo and Fille this past season at the Met plans on seeing Lucia in October with an opera class she teaches. She's supposedly purchasing the tickets this very evening and of course I told her to add me to the list for tickets. So hopefully she remembered to call and was able to get through and was able to get good seats for the night she wants. If yes to all that, then I'll be seeing Diana Damrau in Lucia! Sorry to all the Anna lovers out there, but my choice is based on the timing and company, not the cast, this time around. I hardly think I'll be disappointed. My friend and I talked about the casting - it's like saying, do you want to stay at a 6 star hotel or a 5 star hotel? Umm does it really make a difference? I've already seen Anna live. I have another friend whose opinion I respect highly and he is a Diana freak, like the way I'm a JDF and NG freak OOPS I MEAN, fan, yes, we are both fans, and anyway bottom line is, I'm glad that if my (first mentioned) friend gets the tickets, I'll be seeing Diana D.

That was the "this," now here's a "that," as in, look at that!

Found some more photos online from Love and Other Demons.

Priest seducing a 12 year old redhead.
Yeah, I wouldn't want my mother to see me doing that either.

Do you perform with clothes on?

And so as not to leave you with these possibly unnerving images (for whatever personal unnerving reason you may have) I will end this on a light note with more Muppets. I can sing higher. I can sing higher. Yo ho.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Waiting 2 Hours to Spend $200

Something's not right if I have to wait almost two hours to give $200 to a theater in exchange for two, yes two, tickets to a performance. Yet that's exactly what happened to me today. Husband joked that I was trying to get tickets to a rock concert.

Single tickets for the Met's 2008-2009 season went on sale today at noon. I was poised at the computer at 11:59, ready to click through and be done by 12:10. HA! I clicked through right away and decided to try for a few different days just to see what seats I'd get. Well the only way to do that is to put the tickets in your online shopping cart. Suddenly I had tickets for 6 different performances of the same opera, totaling over $1000, in my cart. So then I had to remove the ones I didn't want. But do they have boxes where you can check off several lines and take care of this in one click? Oh no. Each ticket has to be removed individually. So here's the catch:

The tickets are held for about 12 minutes.

The server was so busy that it was taking about 10 minutes to click through one link.

So by the time I got rid of the tickets I didn't want, the tickets I did want had been released from the cart. So I did it again, but this time I chose only 1 night. Great, got the seats I was going for. Got through to the transaction page. Clicked. Waited... waited... finally ... OOPS I had forgotten to check off "mail them to me" so I had to do that and then click again. Finally got to the next page... so far so good. Entered my credit card info. Hit submit. Oops! Sorry! Too much time had elapsed, the tickets had been released.

Meanwhile, in between opening a multitude of browser windows and PDF documents of the various seating levels, I'd also been trying to call. And trying. And getting a busy signal, or even more disappointing, a recording: "This party is not accepting additional calls at this time." How many incoming calls have to get busy signals before the phone company refuses to send your call that far? I couldn't even get to the place where the busy signals live! After getting and losing the online tickets two more times due to the slowness of the server, I gave up and went outside. Ok that's not entirely true. I mean, I did go outside, but I brought the phone with me. And suddenly... I got through! The recording said there was a 10-20 minute wait. Well I was waiting. No way was I going to keep losing my online tickets because their server couldn't keep up with the demand now that I had a chance to talk to a human. Of course I went back to the computer to try again while I was on hold, and I did manage to once again get the very same tickets I had tried to purchase several times already. Then a real live person came on the line!! She said that they have the exact same ticket finding program as what we have online, and that calling can't get me better tickets (which we know isn't true, see here for details) but I wasn't going to argue - I just wanted the two tickets I'd been trying repeatedly to buy. Of course, she couldn't get them for me because... they were in my shopping cart online! So she told me to click "remove" and at that moment she'd try again to see if she could get those seats. It worked! We chatted a little (no wonder I had trouble getting through, if the phone people were chatting with all the callers) and she said that she also has the time limit on the tickets, so we did the transaction. Hooray!

So... my voice teacher and I are going to see La Sonnambula on Tuesday, March 24 at 8pm, Dress Circle, Row C, seats... um... I think 24 and 26 or else 26 and 28. There's no email transaction and I was so excited to finally be getting the tickets that I didn't write it down. The tickets were $100 each plus the various fees and taxes.

Whoo hoo! I'm seeing Juan Diego Florez and Natalie Dessay again!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Almost Forgot About the Cats

Good thing Husband showed me a cat pic from one of the blogs he reads or I would have forgotten to post today's cat pics here. Well the pictures aren't from today, but you know what I mean. So here they are:

Dear, departed Sebastian during one of his baseball games

Diego during his kitten days.

Going Forward With a Short Inspirational Rewind

Remember all summer I kept talking about how wonderful a performer Elizabeth Caballero is? Here's one of her recent YouTube uploads:

Too bad there's no video. As awesome as she sounds, watching her is even more ... what's the word... emotional? Enjoyable? Inspiring? Quick, someone break out a thesaurus!

And speaking of inspiring, I haven't forgotten about my own singing aspirations. This week I had some sort of vocal breakthrough - I was doing a warm-up along with a taped lesson and suddenly I was able to sing higher than I ever had - beyond where I went in the recording of the lesson. (I believe the high note of the lesson was a C or C#, not sure because I don't let myself look at the piano) I felt the change in my throat, in my abs, in my insides, in my head. It was mental and physical. I've been able to repeat it a couple times. Now that I know it's in there, in me, I just have to figure out how to get to that place again. And I think that part of my ability to even get there at all, besides having a break from lessons and the pressure I put on myself with them, was from paying attention this summer, watching Liz do her thing, watching her not only throw herself into the character, but also watching her physicality - the shape of her mouth as she sang different notes and different vowels, how she held her shoulders, her posture, and so on. I paid attention to all of it. So she doesn't even know it, but she helped me increase my range. Thanks for the inspiration!

Now the question is, how do I reproduce what I've done? It's a zone and I have to enter it. This is so frustrating because I can't adequately express how I got there, and that's part of the problem of trying to do it again. Maybe that's it - I have to not try and express it, and instead, just, I don't know, experience it.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Something Else Boys Like

Here's another review of Love and Other Demons. Note that the reviewer mentions Nathan's impressive chest. Now, I read somewhere else, don't remember where, that the soprano is topless at some point, yet her chest isn't mentioned. Not impressive perhaps?

And for myself, well, I still have that post-baby, post-nursing, the-kid-is-too-old-to-blame-the-extra-ten-pounds-on-pregnancy-
and-nursing-anymore thing going on. And even I am impressed.

Yep, boys like that too.

Lady Godiva

Nathan Gunn and Allison Bell in Love and Other Demons

In my last post, I mentioned that I know what boys like.
And I do - it's the hair. It's all about the hair. It's always been about the hair.

Me, age 7.

Me, age 25ish? at a "Come as the Devil" Halloween party.

So anyway, who's gonna tell the writer that Mr. Gunn has had previous "major UK opera house" appearances???

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

POWER Walk Leads to Revelation re: Men in Eyeliner

Went for a walk all by myself today. On my way out the door Alex said he wanted to come because... "I follow you everywhere." That's right. That's why I'm going ALONE!!!

Set the iPhone iPod to shuffle and off I went.

Very first song is some Mozart thing. Oh yeah, it was Nathan Gunn singing something from Cosi. Don't remember what cuz the truth is (Major Confession Coming) I'm not that familiar with it. So here I go on my Power Walk and there's like 5 minutes of recit. Yep. And I resolved before I started to accept whatever the shuffle gave me. Never thought I'd go out for a brisk walk to the sound of men sing-speaking to each other in Italian. So glad I can check that off my list. So eventually the singing part came along, Mozart, wonderful, blah blah, Nathan Gunn, great voice, blah blah blah... It doesn't need to be said, right?

Next up: Some sort of funky electronic thing. "What is this?" I asked myself, wondering how I could have something on my iPod and not know what it is. It was Duran Duran, "Electric Barbarella." Only some sort of extended dance mix. Now that was more like it.

Then... Adam and the Ants. Antmusic. Sigh. I still remember how crushed I was when I learned that they had broken up before I got to see them. Of course to make up for it I saw Adam solo 6 times and met him once. AND I got snarky with him, after he insulted me. He started it! I'll write about it if anyone asks. I'm still bitter, ha ha. Actually, that's not true. I'm not bitter. I'm proud. I'm proud that I've been snarky with Adam Ant. Yeah, I know I have a problem.

Ok Beatles after that... I honestly don't remember what song because I've been listening to them pretty much non-stop the past few days. Then Queen - Bicycle Race. **link leads to YouTube video that has glimpses and peeks of naked women on bikes, don't click if you're under 18 (You know who you are) or are somewhere that you don't want that showing up on your screen. Click to see this instead. ** When I was a kid and my brothers were teenagers, they saw Queen in concert and I remember them telling me about the topless women riding bikes back and forth across the stage. One brother had a poster too...

At this point I was really wishing I could sing out loud. It was hard not to. How weird would I have seemed - I mean, I had just passed by two women who were out walking with ski-poles. It's 80 degrees Fahrenheit, they were not on their way to the slopes. Seriously, after that I could have done anything, right?

Next was what we here in the I'd Rather Be Sleeping household call The Umbrella Song.

Then, Juan Diego Florez, something from Arias from Rubini. Something I sing along to in the car even though I don't know the words. C'mon, admit it, you do it too.

Still with me? Two more songs.

The Waitresses!!! I Know What Boys Like. I might have started sashaying at this point. Uphill. Cuz I do know what boys like. Is there a special name for an uphill sashay?

And finally, for the final stretch and approach to the front door, good old Harry! Harry Belafonte - Jump in the Line! Couldn't find a real video of it, so I'm linking to the bit at the end of Beetlejuice, even though it's not the "real" version of the song. But it's one of my favorite movies, so deal with it.

Just watched that JDF Rubini video - He still does it for me. Just like Adam Ant did in the 80s. Ok I don't really mean that.

So in the 80s for me it was lots of men in eyeliner. Then I reverted back to opera, which has... lots of men in eyeliner. What was it I just said? Oh I remember -Yeah, I know I have a problem.

My other problem: grammar extremist. "Reverted back." Is that redundant?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Revideoing the Internet

Yesterday I realized that I have the technology and the knowledge to upload videos to MySpace.

That's all I'll say on the matter. I trust my readers will know what do to if they want to see if I've uploaded any there. Oooh lookie, I can embed here. Experiment time:

Nathan Gunn as Papageno- Magic Flute, Temple, Tamino, 3 Ladies

Monday, August 11, 2008

Heck Yeah, Papageno is an Animal

Fellow blogger Parsifal had a job interview last week. To help him compete with the thousands of other qualified candidates, I gave him a mock online interview. Read all about it here.

And of course, after my fine coaching, he got the job! Hooray, Parsi! We hope this doesn't take away from your blogging time.


Argh! All the Magic Flute and Romeo videos have been removed from my YouTube account. The opera house finally caught up with me. Here's hoping YouTube doesn't delete my account all together...

Hmm. Nathan Gunn refers to the Magic Flute videos on his website. Maybe I should let him know... Hmm... Love and Other Demons opens tonight... not the best timing...

*thinking, thinking*

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Alphabetical Order

Uh, could you make that higher, please?

Nope, He's Still Not Naked. At Least Not Here.

Love the blog tracker. Well, except when I hate it. But in this instance, I think I love it, or at least, I like it. I something it.

Here's a recent entry in the tracker that brought someone here. Note the search words.

Continent : North America
Country : United States (Facts)
State : New Mexico
City : Albuquerque
Referring URL Search
Search Engine
Search Words
" nathan gunn naked"
Visit Entry Page
Visit Exit Page
Out Click

C'mon people. I mean, come ON. What is the big deal about seeing someone naked? I don't know about you, Dear Reader, but I have no desire to see people naked other than those with whom I am intimately acquainted. Does that make me unusual? Or just... female? In underwear, on the other hand... hahahaha I am JUST KIDDING! Well sort of.

And now, some musical entertainment.

Recently got this video up on YouTube:

I get the feeling she doesn't speak English... it's IPA all the way.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Put It in Your Snout and Shout!

It's Cat Pic Friday! But that's not why I have the word snout in the title.

This is why. Go ahead, put it in your snout and shout.

Back to the serious business. Here are today's cat pics.

Ok one is not a cat, but the term Kool Kat comes to mind - check out the goatee. So see if you can tell which picture is of a cat and which is of a KoolKat.

So first here's Diego in one of his favorite poses. Or should I say, reposes.

And this... This has got to be the best picture of Viola EVER, taken just this afternoon with Husband's iPhone.

Finally, here's the Kool Kat in his porn-star goatee. Do you recognize this guy?

Comments about this picture are welcome, no, encouraged.


Ok, I'll go first. Does anyone else notice that his waist seems to vanish into the ground while at the same time his fingers look about a foot long? Fish-eye lens? Or... too much self-flagellation?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

More Sad

Weird stuff's been happening lately. Most of it is so unrelated to opera that it doesn't appear here in the blog.

But now, something that I suspected might happen has happened, and I'm not surprised, as I would have reacted exactly the same way.

One of my opera friends, a regular reader of this blog, is several months shy of his 18th birthday. His mother found out we were friends and told him no, no, no. Now, this is a perfectly normal friendship, an innocent friendship, nothing smarmy or funky or whatever. The point is, we became friends over opera, before we knew each other's ages, because it just didn't matter. We became friends because of the music.

However, when Alex is 17, I'd be pretty freaked out if he were friends with a 41 year old woman. This friend's mother and I come from a generation of not having had internet as children and young adults. Not knowing how internet-savvy she is, she may not understand the types of innocent friendships that can form between unlikely people, such a teenage guy and an adult woman, over a common interest. All we hear about are the creepy relationships where minors are lured to hotels to be molested by creepy ... well by creeps. So I can totally understand where she's coming from, and although it makes me sad to put a friendship "on hold," I absolutely must respect her wishes. Like, as soon as I found out, I immediately terminated the conversation.

It's possible that this friend and I will continue to communicate publicly about music via comments on blogs, youtube videos and so on, however, I will not allow any direct interaction via chat or email.

So, to the mom of my opera friend, I hear ya, I understand, I respect your wishes. I'm a mom too. Your son is a kid I'm friends with. There's nothing inappropriate. So no worries, ok?

Shameless Begging

Not opera-related, unless the effort to get into shape allows me to fit back into some of my cute opera-going outfits...

I signed up for the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure. I have my own special beg-for-money page there. And look! Two people have donated already! Both are readers of the blog. Thanks, you two!

We will return to our regularly scheduled I'd Rather Be Sleeping blog tomorrow, including our new popular feature, cat-pic Friday.

Until then, go to the website, read the info, donate a dollar or two.


Dang I hope this doesn't mean I actually have to run 5 kilometers.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Musical Advice

Musical Advice from popular film, via, according to Wikipedia, music written by Carl Sigman and lyrics by Herb Magdison. The song starts about halfway through.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pa Pa... Pa?

Recently came across this silly gem on YouTube. According to the viewer comments, and we all know how accurate they always are, this guy is a tv talk show host type person. Looks to me like he's familiar with the duet but is seeing and singing the music for the first time. Not a bad effort!

So get ready for the silly with a healthy heaping side of Cecilia's amazing voice!

Monday, August 4, 2008

What Were They Thinking???? (WARNING: NOT SAFE FOR WORK!)

Ok. So Juan Diego Florez decided to try out some Verdi. Everyone else knows his voice is not meant for Verdi, but perhaps he just needed to find out on his own. So he did that one-time Rigoletto in a small theater in Peru, no problem. Then he went ahead and did one in Dresden. All I can figure is that he had no idea what the director had in mind until he was too far committed to drop out without looking like a fool. So instead he stayed in to look like one. Hindsight is 20/20... so we can only hope he doesn't sign up for another.

Don't click here at work or anywhere else where bare boobs on your screen might be a problem. Oh and don't click if you're not yet 18. Jimmy that means you.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

That Giant Carrot

Ok, need to post another entry so that horrible spider picture isn't the first thing I see.

A few posts ago I mentioned the Muppet Show episode with Gilda Radner and the 7 foot tall talking carrot. I made a request to someone on YouTube who has other parts of that episode up, and they put it up today! So here for your listening and viewing enjoyment, Gilda Radner and the 7 foot tall talking carrot sing a medley from Pirates of Penzance:

What Not To Do

Imagine you're driving along in your car when you notice something out of the corner of your eye. You glance out the window and there it is, inches from your face:

A giant ugly hairy orb spider with horrible striped legs. Apparently it has taken up residence in your side-view mirror and has built a web between the mirror and the driver-side door. Your rational side keeps saying, "There is a closed window between you and this spider. It cannot get into the car." Your insane side, meanwhile, is freaking out, and it's clearly shoving your rational side to a remote corner of your mind. It's forcing you to keep an eye on the spider, even though it's early morning and you're driving through a very deer-ridden area. As you turn onto a road where the speed limit is 50 miles per hour, you figure that at that speed, the spider will surely fly off. But no. You watch while it flails around wildly, failing to fall off. Why isn't it falling off? And you really should be paying more attention to the road, as you are now driving between 50 and 60 miles per hour and there are many, many deer in the area. Suddenly you see the spider gather itself, and you actually see it shoot out a new thread of silk and sort of suck itself over the mirror right next to the window. At that point your rational side has left the building and you let out a throat-scraping shriek. Then, slightly embarrassed, you laugh at your silliness. By the time you get to your destination, the spider is nowhere to be seen, however, your throat feels like someone ran a nail file over it. Not really the best thing for your voice...

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Birth of a Picture

Well, it took 9 months, but I finally got a copy of that picture that was taken in December at the Met after seeing Romeo. The person whose camera it was on cropped the pic to just show me. Not sure why.... But here I am, glowing with the post-opera happiness. Of course this was before I got car sick in the limo on the way home... good thing I shopped, that bag came in handy...

That picture looks disturbingly like this one of me from last Halloween, minus the blackened nose and whiskers...

And that very nicely leads us to

Here are Viola and Dear Departed Sebastian, when they were kittens. Viola has the white paws and her eyes are open.

And here's Diego when HE was a kitten: