Monday, March 30, 2009

Experiment: Before and After - The Before

After about 20 attempts, I have a video that I'm willing to post as part of an Experiment. This is the Before, as in, before my vocal break. I will make an After video when I return from Florida so we can compare to see if there's a difference.

First off - I hear all the mistakes. I am aware that some notes are off, some are squeaky (aka, passaggio problems) and that the legato, well, sucks. I'm also feel like I move around too much, although I was actually trying not to. You can hear at the end where I run out of breath. So the short list is:

  • Not open wide enough for high notes - I'm working on it!
  • Keep the vowel forward, projecting the sound forward - I'm working on it!
  • Low breath, low in the body - I'm working on it!
  • Breath control - I'm working on it!
  • Keep the arms down to prevent squishing of the rib-cage - I'm working on it!
  • Maintain connection to the character - I'm working on it!
  • Change the vowel sound through the passaggio to keep the vowel forward- Ouch I'm working on it!
  • Legato - The first thing to go when I focus on something else, like all those things listed above. I'm working on it!
All those points to remember! They all overlap in that they affect each other, but for me it's not merely layers, it's more spatial and three-dimensional.

Several months ago I posted something about having a three-dimensional space in my head where all these things floated and I had to hold them all into their own places in order for it all to come together. That is the best way I can describe it, for now. Does that even make sense to anyone? Anyone????

So please comment and please be nice! Advice is welcome, bashing, not so much. I do that to myself enough already. I certainly don't need anyone's help. Anyway, here we go.


Oh, in case you're wondering - I had just washed my hair and I twisted it to help reduce the frizz and keep the curl. As if that helps. Not.

Speaking of experiments, a few weeks ago I posted something about experiment number two. Of course I kept it so secret that I now forget what that was about. Well, sort of. But that post refers to an earlier "experiment" post and reports positive results. I realize now that the earlier experiment had not concluded at the time of that report. It has now, I think, concluded, and the results are... inconclusive. Of course I don't quite remember what that one was either, because in a fit of I-don't-know-what (I'm lying, I know exactly what), I deleted most of it. But based on the comments, lap sitting was involved, so it must have been something good.

That's what's so great about having my memory go, um, pretty much when I got pregnant with Alex in 2003 - old things seem new and more importantly, I can recreate the past to my liking. Wait isn't that what we all do anyway????

Packing Light

Tomorrow I leave for Florida and my next opera adventure: Taking my 81 year old mom to see Florida Grand Opera's Marriage of Figaro. And don't forget that Elizabeth Caballero is singing the role of The Countess! We'll have a quick trip back to say hello afterward.

So yesterday I got this cute little carry-on suitcase and I've managed to pack both Alex's and my clothes for the trip, plus of course a few extra pairs of earrings to hand out here and there like candy. Ooh that reminds me, I should pack the jewelry I plan to wear myself. We'll have access to laundry so I didn't go nuts packing. Usually I like to have a choice about what to wear, but since I'm the one who'll be lugging the suitcase I have suddenly learned to pack light.

I'm sure there's something musical to say but I just awoke from a wonderfully long nap (meaning, I'll be up until 2am) and my brain is still covered with napfuzz.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Hundred Videos in the Inner Sanctum

That's how many videos, give or take 85, that I made of myself singing yesterday, and I'm not going to post any. I'm hoping that my trip to Florida, where as we all know I won't be singing, will rest my voice and allow the music to sink into the inner sanctum of my brain. Hm that sounds good, I wonder if I can do that too.

Three Drinks and You Got a Problem?

Ahhhh girls' night out. Girltini night.

1. Cosmo-Cello --> variation on a cosmo with limoncello.
2. Watermelon Martini ---> Jolly Rancher with a kick.
3. Peach something or other --->Stoli Peach with some kind of peach liquor.

Then, after lots of water and a vitamin B, I decided I should keep with tradition and do a tipsy blog posting. The thing is, I have nothing to say. Therefore, I will talk about the love-hate relationship I have with the blog tracker.

It's no secret I have a tracker (ok more than one) on the blog. The links are right over there ---> . You can click on them and see how people get here. Go ahead, check it out and see your own entry. So yeah you know about the house centipedes, about the searches on "My good opinion once lost is lost forever," people looking for naked pics of Nathan Gunn (why? why????) and occasionally people looking for this blog. Like today. Today someone from my geographical area (as in, someone I probably know In Real Life) did a google search of 'opera keeping me awake gunn susan problems.' Yeah ok so I get the first part... but... problems??? Meh? I admit that one piqued my curiousity. Someone knows me, they know the name of the blog, they know who/what I sometimes write about, but... no, my interest in opera has not adversely affected my marriage. Is that what you wanted to know? Send me an email next time - there's an "email me" link on my profile page.

My newest google search hits have been on "voluptuous women." That's kind of creepy. Which reminds me. From now on, instead of "voluptuous," I will use the term a friend of mine recently coined, "volumptuous." Go ahead, say it out loud.

I'd consider removing the tracker, but it's actually pretty cool and quite fascinating to see where people come from and how they get here. Don't worry, Readers, I'm not stalking any of you. I'm just interested in demographics!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lapsing into Character. And Cats.

After I post about my voice lesson, I always think of things about it that I forgot to write about.

One of the things we went over is where to breathe. Or is that when? I think it's where, because it's where in the song. I make little check marks over the music where I should take a breath. When I first started lessons I had a lot of check marks on my music. Now that I've learned proper breathing techniques I can control my breath a lot better. I still have lots, and I mean LOTS, of room for improvement. Like, I still struggle sometimes to control my breath with the higher notes. I need more energy to reach the notes and sometimes I use too much and the notes are stronger than they need to be. Or louder. Hard to express what I'm trying to convey here. Breath control is something that I really need to practice more than I do. I have to trust that I can let less out and still hit the higher notes, and that even if it sounds screechy to me, I have to believe my teacher when she says it doesn't.

With If Music Be the Food of Love, I have to really relax my lower jaw and make "tall" vowels. It's the only way for me to maintain the legato. And it's interesting - you know you read or hear interviews with singers and actors and they say that you really have to let yourself go and live the part in order for it to be good? You have to give a piece of yourself to it. It's really true. I find that if I pretend I'm singing the song to someone, it sounds ok, but if I lapse into it like it's real, like I'm really singing it and not just pretending, then it sounds so much better. I realize that what I just described sounds like pretending, but it's something different. It's losing myself and being the person who is singing the song. It's hard to describe... but it's like, I'm not just singing the words and being aware of their meaning. I'm singing them and believing them. Does that make sense? Surely there is a better way to describe what I'm talking about. It takes a certain level of relaxation and concentration, of focus, for me to lapse into that mode. But I think that if I practice I'll be able to get there more often and more quickly.

As I was leaving she said she'd like me to try some trouser roles. Cherubino, to be specific. Yes, I know, that's a mezzo part and I'm technically a soprano. But I am comfy down there too, just not as rich-sounding as I'd like. I already know the tune and most of the words to Voi Che Sapete. So will that be a problem or an advantage if we work on that one? Hmm... Maybe we'll do Non so piu cosa son, which I'd love love love to learn.

Ok, cat pic time.

Viola being cute:

I walk away from my beads for 1 minute and Diego moves in as if he's been there all along:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It Happened Again

The YouTube person who alerted me to the Vanishing Video of the previous post just moments ago left this comment on my profile there:

Thank you sooooo much for posting the Magic Flute playlist! I was so enchanted that I bought the dvd from Amazon immediately. Nathan Gunn (whom your videos introduced me to) fans of the world unite!

Edited to add: Got another comment from the same person:

Oh, by the way, I have shared the fact that I bought the dvd with my school's opera club and glee club, so there will be a lot more NG fans soon!

Not sure why I'm sharing this. But there it is. Go see all the videos before they all vanish!

Triplets, Quadruplets, Vanishings and More

Voice lesson tonight. Guess what? Those sets of notes I was calling triplets, and loving, well... ha they're not! Duh. I'm not loving triplets. I'm loving two 16th notes and an 8th note, apparently. Attached. With a bar. And a little curve. Well, whatever you call them, I'm still loving them. Worked on not sneaking that "h" sound in, on caressing the notes, on what (meaning, who) to think about while singing. Choices, choices, so many choices! Hahahaha. Anyway... I wonder how many other errors I'll make in postings about this song?

Next week I'll be in Florida and the week after that is Spring Break for the music school, so no lesson until mid-April!! And we're going to start a Schubert song. Don't ask me which one. It's on page 76 of the book so go look yourself. Heh.

On to the Vanishing - One of the Magic Flute videos!! Vanished!! From YouTube!! With no explanation!! Look!!

What a shame. I liked that one a lot. If I find the clip on my computer I'll alter it a little and try to repost. Otherwise I won't be able to get to it until after I return from Florida. But that green frame is nice, no?

Sequins and Leotards

The director for this summer's opera has requested, via the super-captain (can't stop picturing him in a cape and tights every time I type that), for a facial photo, a full body photo and a one paragraph artistic bio. I have plenty of photos since I always take a pre-opera fashion shot on my way out the door, so that was no big deal. I guess they want to make sure I have the curvy look they're looking for.

Artistic bio - I write for work. I write this blog. So naturally my mind went blank when asked to write an artistic bio. Write? I can't write. All I could think was, Um... I was a baton twirler... (yes that's me at age 5 or 6) and I wore a sequined leotard... (yes, that's me at age 14 or so, sporting the Little Orphan Annie look) I even twirled the fire-baton a few times... (yes that's me with a look of sheer terror on my face) so I have experience wearing less than the audience... But I came up with a few more appropriate lines about my prior supering experience, voice lessons, radio comedy shows and so on. And yes, I did mention the baton twirling. Left out the part about the leotards though. Do you think I should have mentioned it? Maybe I should have sent those photos...

Either way, I have a feeling I'll get the part...

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It's Not the Zic. It's the Myu. And Blue.

In rereading my last post I see I wrote that the triplet was on the "zic" of "music." Nope. It's on the "myu" part. Either way, I'm still doing a bit of that aspiration thing that makes it sound "myu-hu-hu" instead of "myu-u-u" legato.

Funny that I referred to this post yesterday. Remember the giant purple words,

Husband is not allowed to go away for a week ever again.

Well Husband is away again. And the Littlest Opera Singer is, of course, sick. As in, he had a bad night, but seemed ok to go to school... And then this OperaMommy had to pick him up from school, where she found him lying on the floor under a table. Ok too much Facebook - I'm writing about myself in the 3rd person.

Another time Husband went away, the Littlest Opera Singer woke up one night with a tummy bug. Husband was supposed to have come home that evening but his flight was canceled. He spent an "uncomfortable" night in a hotel near the airport. I spent the night on the couch with a sick child, several towels, many changes of clothes and a bucket. Husband came home the next morning tired. Uh huh. Not even. Go do laundry, we're out of clean t-shirts and towels.


Husband is not allowed to go away for a week ever again.

I have engaged a babysitter for tomorrow evening so I can go to my voice lesson. Of course if the Littlest Opera Singer is still sick, there will be no voice lesson for me and I will go even more insane than I already am. Trust me there's not much room to go much farther.

Next week - Florida! Nozze!! Wheee!! I really am excited! And trying, once again, to remind myself of all these adventures to cheer me up. You'd think that seeing JDF and NG on consecutive days would have charged me up with cheer for the rest of the year. I think I have post-adventure, post-JDF, post-NG blues. PAPJDFPNGB - that's the official designation. Maybe without the extra Ps. PAJDFNGB. That's better.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ho Ho Ho Triplets!

Triplets are my new love and my new foe. I love how they sound and I love how they feel. But the feel will have to change because I'm sort of aspirating an "h" on them. How to explain in writing...

Ok so in If Music Be the Food of Love... the word "music." In one part of the song, the "zic" is a triplet going up. Instead of a nice legato line, I'm singing more of a "zi-hi-hic" sound. I keep trying to NOT do it but it's hard. I need an exercise to practice it on different vowels because I'm doing it on some of the others. **note to self... tell this to my voice teacher on Thursday...** I'm also not liking how the "myu" part sounds. Too much y, too nasal. Not enough u. I'm thinking a vowel-only sing-through is in order. Again. I've done it already a few times. So many schwas, so little time.

I still (love-love-love) the song. Note my attempt to write a triplet. Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Fun with the blog-tracker. The house centipedes are coming out, that's all I have to say. One lousy off-topic post about house centipedes and somehow all these searches end up here. And no, not one person has clicked to see any other parts of the blog. Dang do NOT click on the house centipede link unless you are ready to be GROSSED OUT.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Four Voluptuous Women

Well well well. This might be even better than crawling across the stage.

Just got an email from the super-captain... Summer opera season is coming up and the directors have put in their orders!!

I think I fit the suit, so to speak... And no, I don't mean for the watermelon-eater. Or the shirtless servant.

  • Abduction
    • 1 Fat Man
      • This gentle man should be portly with a belly
      • He will be eating throughout the production Specifically Watermelon.
    • 4 Slave Girls
      • Voluptuous women. Not skinny. With womanly curves
      • These women will be in revealing costumes (bra top and sheer pants)
    • 4 Male Servants
      • Should look strong
      • Will most likely be shirtless

Mozart, Mozart I might get to be in a Mozart opera!!!! In a bra and see through pants!!! Ok what is wrong with me??? I am just giggling at the idea of being on stage in my bra. And see-through pants. With my not-skinny voluptuous womanly curves. Wait a sec one of my coworkers is an usher at the theater. Ah well he didn't recognize me in Traviata, he won't recognize me in this. Ha!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Falling in Love

I love love love this new song! This old song... this old song that's new to ME! Many of the others had to grow on me. Apres un Reve... wasn't so sure at first but then I grew to love it as I learned it. Ouvre ton Coeur too. But this one, I loved the first time I heard it. I love how I sound singing it, I love the challenges it poses me, and so on. It's full of triplets and I love love love that!!! I have fallen in love with the music and the lyrics. I keep thinking about the meaning and how to convey that when I sing. But I have to slow myself down and master the technical side of the singing, getting the breathing right, the vowels, the legato, especially the legato, because one thing I know is, if I start thinking about that other stuff the legato will be the first thing to go. Ahh. If music be the food of love, sing on. Yum. All my senses feasted are; tho yet the treat is only sound. Sure I must perish by your charms unless you save me in your arms. Ahh I'm speechless.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Word of the Day: Appoggiatura

Appoggiatura. It's not a type of apology. It's not a twist on an apple pie. No - it's a long word to describe adding a musical embellishment or ornament to lean on another. Luckily you don't have to say the word in order to do it. You can read about it here.

The music I'm learning has a * every so often above the staff. On the bottom of the page we see that the * means, Appoggiatura possible. So we wrote in the ornamental note - just one tone above the note with the star, just before it. A professional opera singer friend described it to me today like this: appoggiare means to lean... which is appropriate, since it means, leaning tone. And that's what it does - it's a tiny-ish note that leans on the main note.

It does make me wonder why sometimes these embellishments are printed there in a smaller note-font, and other times they're there like that. That very song has optional ornamentation written into the music. And I always do it, of course. Possible means probable.

I really like the song. I'm very comfortable with the range. And I don't have to struggle with the pronunciation. I think my teacher was getting a wee bit frustrated with me and the French. Or, frustrated that she had to keep correcting my pronunciation, which took away from the meat of the lesson.

Once I feel super-duper comfy with the music I'll try to make a video, cuz y'all know I live to embarrass myself. I manage to do it quite well without actually singing, but at least with singing I'm in control of said embarrassment. Right. I have earned my ribbon, or medal, or whatever, in embarrassment. Now I'm working on an upgrade to the next level - mortification. Geez I hope not. Well, if it does happen, it'll most likely be on a Thursday, since that seems to be the Weekly Embarrassment Day. Uh oh... Nozze is on a Thursday and I'm going backstage. Luckily Rape of Lucretia is on a Friday. And I'm not going backstage for that one. Unless I'm invited. As if. If I'm on a list, it's not that one. Hahahaha sorry I just burst a gasket laughing. Hey that's better than crying with embarrassment.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Old Oldies for Seduction

Finally finally finally we've stopped the French! Uh, I mean, the French songs, in my voice lesson. Didn't realize how that would sound until I typed it. Finally put Apres Un Reve away and broke out the 17th century stuff - in English!! A language I know how to pronounce!!! I'll still IPA the lyrics of course, or some of it. I had looked through my song book and picked out two or three that I thought looked interesting. My voice teacher had picked one, and it was one of the ones I picked so we started it. It's "If Music Be the Food of Love Play On," by Henry Purcell. Apparently there are two versions. I think this is the first one. I have scoured YouTube and other online sources and cannot seem to find a good rendition. There are a few... Try this. It's a guy, singing it slowly. I'm (obviously) not a guy, and we're doing a faster tempo. And I don't just stand there and sing it. It can be kind of hot, if you think about the words. I want to approach it that way, as a flirtation. As a caress. A vocal caress to seduce someone.

If music be the food of love,

Sing on till I am fill'd with joy;

For then my list'ning soul you move

To pleasures that can never cloy.

Your eyes, your mien, your tongue declare

That you are music ev'rywhere.

Pleasures invade both eye and ear,

So fierce the transports are, they wound,

And all my senses feasted are,

Tho' yet the treat is only sound,

Sure I must perish by your charms,

Unless you save me in your arms.

Another reason I like the song is the title. It's the opening line of Twelfth Night, my favorite Shakspeare play. In fact, Viola is named for Viola in T.N. We got her along with her litter-mate, Sebastian, about 9 years ago. Sadly, we lost Sebastian to feline pancreatitis 5 years ago, and then a year and a half ago Diego joined us.

So there you have it. A new song, a nice tune, a new attitude, some Shakespeare and my cats.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Fluff Numbers

Just went back through the blog and removed some fluff. Then I realized that doing so has changed the number of posts, and therefore the posts that reference the post number in the title are no longer correct.

Why am I even blogging about this? I need to get a life.

Adventures Are Afoot!

Adventures are upcoming!! Let's get excited!

1. April - Nozze di Figaro in Florida with Elizabeth Caballero as the Countess. Taking my mom. My cousin is joining us. Should be a fun evening.

2. May - La Cenerentola in HD. Once again I have to find someone to join me.

3. June - Rape of Lucretia in Philadelphia with Nathan Gunn and William Burden. And OHMYGOD I just found the most horrifying page when I did a search to link to his name. Someone is handy with photoshop, that's all I'll say. And I'm not searching again, thankyouverymuch. I think I'm traumatized, ha ha. Yet another thing to get over. Where was I? Oh yeah - Ann (Banawoman) is coming out and we're going together. I am excited to finally meet Ann in person. She has been very supportive in the situation referenced above. Dang I'm done with that... something more pleasant please ... oh I know ...I'm looking forward to seeing Nathan Gunn perform again even though I just saw him last week. I'm not so sure I'm looking forward to an opera about how a woman's life is ruined. But either way the whole event/adventure will no doubt be fun.

4. June/July - Hopefully my local opera company will need supers for one of the productions. Adult female supers. Otherwise I'll have to *gasp* pay for my tickets, and that would never do.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Insight From the Little Opera Singer

By now you've all seen Alex starring in his various videos, whether he's acting out a Beethoven's Wig song, imitating Papageno or launching himself into our homemade crash-pad.

Lately he has been composing music. I wish there were a way for him to record it, to actually sit down and compose. Sometimes he'll say, "I hear a song in my head right now," to which I reply, "One we know, or one you made up?" "One I made up," he'll say. Sometimes he'll just sing some tune of nonsense words with a real word thrown in every now and then. The tunes aren't bad, he changes tempos and it's hilarious when he uses a real word. The other day he was doing this in the bathtub where he was playing with a toy octopus. Every now and then he'd sing "octopus" in the middle of the nonsense language. It was awesome.

He recently told me that he prefers music that has words to instrumental music, and that's why he likes opera, even though he can't understand what they're saying.

He'll be 5 in June. I know I'm biased, but I think he's amazing.

Beethoven's Wig and Other Video Video

You know, I suddenly wondered today if I've violated any copyright laws by posting our three homemade Beethoven's Wig videos to YouTube. We make the videos because we're such big fans of the group, and it's not like they're, I don't know, pirated recordings of a live concert or anything like that. But however innocent my intentions, I suppose there's always a chance that the videos could make someone involved with Beethoven's Wig uncomfortable. The last thing I want to do is break any laws or cause any discomfort to someone of whom I'm a fan. So with that in mind, I sent a message to their press agent with links to the videos and a very nice note asking about the laws and potential discomfort. So now I'm asking for some support from my readers - if you have time, go to YouTube to watch, rate and comment on the videos. Perhaps even a comment that the videos have inspired you to run out and buy all the CDs ...? And if the press agent replies that it'd be better if I took them down, at least you'll have gotten a chance to see them.

While you're at YouTube, you might as well take a look at all the Gunn videos I've posted, since you never know when I could be asked by his press agent to remove any of those. That would be interesting, seeing as how he mentions them on the press portion of his web page.

I'm pretty confident that there's no problem with the John Osborn or CVH vids seeing as how they both gave me the go-ahead to create and post them.

3/18/09 Edited to add links to all vids:

Beethoven's Wig - Rate, comment and enjoy!

Magic Flute


John Osborn

Christian Van Horn

Other Gunn Vids

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Beethoven's Wig - Beep Beep Beep

I filmed some of the footage a few months ago, and rounded out what I needed today with some toys. See if you can tell which cars are real and which are toy.

Beethoven's Wig - Moonlight Sonata - Beep Beep Beep

From Short Term to Long Term

Now that a few days have passed, I'm starting to remember the silly little things about Sonnambula and Firebrand, all unrelated to the performances themselves.

There's a fun website out there called Opera Tattler. The Tattler gives reviews of performances and then tattles on the audience's bad behavior. So in the spirit of OT, here's what I noticed.

La Sonnambula:
  • When Juan Diego Florez made his appearance, people applauded and then other people shushed them.
  • Every time the action was incomprehensible you could hear people muttering.
  • During intermission and afterward the talk was all about how stupid the production was.
  • I did hear one cellophane candy wrapper being opened and folded during act 2.
  • For the first sleepwalking scene, Natalie Dessay entered the stage from the audience. Up in the Balcony, we couldn't see her but we could hear rustling as everyone who could get a view turned in their seats. It was quite a sound.
  • I could swear I smelled something burning for much of the performance. Got me wondering where the emergency exits were.
That's all I can think of for now. I'll post more if I remember more.

Firebrand of Florence:
  • Each seat had a plaque glued on the back with the name of whoever donated enough money for them to, I suppose, afford the plaque. Before the performance began, two rows in front of me, someone sat in his seat and then there was this loud crashing sound. The entire seat back dedication plaque had fallen off. He picked it up and you could see him thinking, "Ok, now what do I do?"
  • The man next to me on my left kept dozing off.
  • The man next to me on my right hogged the armrest. I finally acknowledged that if I wanted to rest my arm, I'd have to come into contact with him.
  • One of those men smelled like he got dressed from a pile of clothes. You know the smell I mean. I think it was the armrest guy, which made it even more unpleasant for me to actually come into contact with him when cramps I got from holding my arms in finally forced me to spread out and inch or two.
  • Someone nearby must have had lots of beans and broccoli for dinner the night before. I hope I don't need to go into further detail about how I know that.
  • People applauded when Victoria Clark entered.
  • My Backstage Visit was much more intense than I let on in the post I wrote about it.
That's all I can think of right now. As more junk seeps from my short term to my long term memory I'll add to the list.

French Psychotherapy

Since I missed Thursday's voice lesson due to my foray into the city, I had a make-up lesson this afternoon.

We pulled Apres un Reve out from where it had been resting these past few months. Once again, letting it simmer has allowed me to improve a heck of a lot, except when it comes to the pronunciation. Dang French pronunciation. I took all the way through 300 level French in college. None of that matters when it comes to singing. Why is singing French different from spoken French? What is UP with that? And no matter how hard I try, I just keep forgetting to make the kissy lips to get the vowels right. So my homework is to redo the IPA right into my songbook. We'll work on this during one more lesson before moving on.

The plan: One new English song, and then... German. My teacher specializes in German Lieder. I swear it's true. Totally unrelated to, well, you know. So who knows what she'll pick out to work on. I know nothing. I know opera - I know some Mozart. But I doubt we'll jump right in, as much as I'd love to sing me some Pamina.

Of course we spent a minute or two talking about La Sonnambula. She is officially in love with Juan Diego Florez. I have been telling her about him for two years but I guess she just had to see him in the flesh before succumbing.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

This is What I'm Talking About

Free vs Paid:


Free gets you links to reviews and photos. For example, check this out - Looks like just yesterday this interview was published in All those people who wanted the inside scoop, maybe the article will answer some of your questions. Actually there is some interesting stuff there about teaching and performing. Pictures from the soiree are there too.


Two lines. An incomplete sentence. No link. Of course, I'm making a huge assumption that that is paid for rather than run out of a home office.

This is what I'm talking about when I say that fan-to-fan communication is more effective than that other stuff.

I still am all a-giggle that two different people thanked me and told me they get all their Gunnnews from my blog. That's cool. It's all about sharing information. Bloggers are a huge part of that. To ignore that is to ignore a huge source of free publicity.

Some Real Reviews

To balance out my review disclaimer in my previous post, here are links to some real reviews of Firebrand. Everyone loved it. Look!

The Sun News
- Note the use of the word "sizzle." My facebook status update during intermission was, Susan thinks Firebrand is sssss sizzlin'


NY Times
- Photos of the after-party in the Patron's Lounge.

I'm done for the day.

Friday, March 13, 2009

The Official Unofficial Review

Before I begin, I feel the need to mention my disclaimer: I do not do a professional musical review. I write about my experience, my perception, my impressions. If you are looking for a professional review that uses musical terms and so on, you are reading the wrong blog.

Ok, now that I've taken care of business...

Day 1:

I got to Penn Station at about 4:15 and met my friend at 4:30. We walked uptown, took a few photos

and then made our way to the restaurant. She had made a reservation at the same place I went to back in October before Lucia.We went around the corner from the place, found a little courtyard with benches and went in to change into our heels. I'm sure we weren't the first to do that there and we won't be the last. So we walk in and she jokes with the guys there that she was allowed out for the evening... everyone laughs, we sit. A minute later the maitre d' (I looked that up, that's how it's spelled) came over with two glasses of champagne, "To celebrate being let out for the evening." Nice, huh? So we ordered the 4 veggie, 3 seafood plate from the antipasto bar and of course I got those yummy tiny octopuses. Yum!!!! Tentacles, suckers and all. Perhaps this time the champagne affected my gross-food meter? But I'm sober now and salivating at the thought of those yummy tiny things. Ok moving on, I also ordered the special salad of the day which included caramelized pears and candied pecans. Or maybe it was walnuts. I don't even remember. It was like dessert with mixed greens. I also ordered a drink called a Pear Sidecar, your typical girltini drink with a caramelized pear in it and a cinnamon-coated rim. I should have taken a photo of it. Well now I have an excuse to go back and order it again. During the meal the maitre d' came around again with a tray of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies and he was giving a cookie to each diner. When I say tray, I mean, from the oven, and he was using a spatula. It was odd, sort of, but fabulous. The cookie was scrumptious. Then we hobbled our way across the street and into the Met. Up, up, up the stairs, all the way to the top.

I wrote about the show here. There's really not much more to say. The singing was superb. Sound flows out of Juan Diego Florez like shimmering liquid, like honey. It is unbelievable really, that a person can produce the sounds he produces, yet he does it. He sounded better than I have ever heard him before - in any recording, any live performance, anywhere. He was amazing. Natalie Dessay is like a bird. The setting was confusing and stupid. At points the sound was a little muddy - I wonder if the seat location had anything to do with it? Anyway, I should have saved my money and gotten a score desk ticket.

Afterwards we joined the press of bodies jamming down the stairs and out the door. My friend and I parted, I hopped in a taxi and made my way across town to the apartment of another friend.

Next day my other friend and I hung around, wandered around, hung around some more. We popped in and out of shops and I got this adorable hat - I'll have to post a photo. We hadn't seen each other for like 20 years but we fell immediately back into that easy friendship and conversation as if it had merely been a few weeks. You know... the performances, the fashion, the backstage adventures... they were all fun... but hanging with my friend was really the best part of the weekend. I'm just realizing that now and I am such a dork that I'm actually getting weepy as I type this. Damn hormones. She happens to be pregnant so some of those hormones probably wafted over and entered my bloodstream. Not to make me pregnant (that's not how it works kids) but enough to make me weepy.

Ok... so we hit ourselves with pretty sticks and hopped on the bus to go back across town to Lincoln Center. At Alice Tully Hall there's a new little cafe. We met a fellow blogger there and had a nice little dinner before the performance. My friend didn't have a ticket so she went home and my other dinner companion and I went in. It's really pretty in the theater. I wasn't about to whip out my camera and take a photo, so I whipped out my phone instead and did this self-portrait before the performance. Ok, I'll admit, I wanted to see just how frizzy my hair was at this point. It was Frizzy.

You can see the paneling on the walls - it was really pretty. At some point these black curtain things rolled down over the side walls.

Here is a pre-performance shot from my seat. I was in the 4th row, pretty much right in the middle.

It was a concert staging. There were three or four rows of chairs on the stage for the chorus and principals. Everyone had a looseleaf notebook of the music. Whoever was singing would move forward to the music stand and microphone. They were all formally dressed in tuxedos and gowns.

The performance was great. As you can see from the picture, there was a screen behind the singers, but they didn't go nuts with the pictures - it was subtle and often quite funny. It was obvious that the performers didn't know what was on the screen because when the audience laughed they'd peek behind.

The songs were your sort of catchy generic Broadway type songs with silly clever lyrics. The singing was fab. Nathan was great. In my opinion the woman who played Angela was the best. Her voice was angelic (no pun intended), a beautiful high soprano, clear as a bell, just a delight to listen to. Her name is Anna Christy. I do believe I would go out of my way to see a performance she is in. Everyone was great. The roles are all so silly and they all looked like they were having a blast. One singer played several different characters and just changed his hat each time. There was a narrator who didn't sing but had some great descriptive lines along the way. The whole thing was so well done. I'd never seen a performance in that format and I didn't know how I would like it, but it was just delightful.

Ok so the plot... I'll just copy it from here. Benvenuto Cellini, the great Florentine sculptor, is sentenced to hang, but he is pardoned when the duke realizes that he has not completed a previously commissioned sculpture. Freed, he is able to turn his attention to his favorite model (and object of his affections), Angela. The Duke also is interested in Angela. Thus, Cellini does his best to keep the Duke away from Angela. Meanwhile, he finds he has to keep himself away from the Duchess! At the end of the show, Cellini escapes yet another death sentence by fleeing to Paris.

Yes, your typical mayhem and madness, sneaking around and so on, with catchy tunes and silly lyrics.

I already wrote about the pre and post-show adventures here.

I'm still deciding if I should post the picture or not. Ah, what the heck. Half head and frizzy hair, here we go. For anyone who doubted, here's the photographic evidence that I was there. Proof. And poof - my hair, that is. Poof. So much for anti-frizz curl-enhancing products.

A Nice Summary of Day 2

I wanted to check in with a brief synopsis of today before going into the gory musical detail tomorrow.

Nice: Firebrand of Florence was great. SO funny. Almost every line was a pun or a rhyme or something silly. It was almost too much. But goofball that I am, I just loved that. Details tomorrow.

Nice: Before the performance two different people said, "Hi Susan!" and I was like, "Do I know you?" Nope. They read me!!! This blog! That, like, 25 people read! Ok maybe a few more but still... it was so cool! So you both know who you are - thank you!!!! Post comments!! Jump into the fray! They both thanked me for "all the work I do" posting videos and NG news. One told me that she learned about the free concert at Goucher here on the blog, and she went! How cool is that! Seriously. Fan-to-fan communication is as good as, no, better, I think, than any press you actually pay for because it's honest. There's no ass-kissing, no pretensions, just people sharing info. And they were both so nice. It was really nice. Nice nice nice. I have now over-used the word.

I'll post more details about the show and about La Sonnambula tomorrow. But I know from various text-messages and facebook comments that many people are wondering about my Backstage Visit.

So here you go.

After the performance, I followed the signs to the Green Room. That meant going up three flights of stairs and through a set of doors where I was met by two guys with Lists. One List was typewritten, one was handwritten. So the Typewritten Guy checked his Typewritten List... doubled checked... nope. I was like, ok, and was about to leave, when he turned to the Handwritten List guy who looked and said, (nice)"Yep, she's ok, she can go." Great. Nice, even. Go... where? Ha! Back down a flight of stairs and "Make a U-turn at the bottom." What? No. That would have put me on the stage. But there was a set of double doors and I saw a bunch of people in the hallway so I figured I'd give it a try. The hallway was outside the dressing rooms. It was crazy back there. Ca-Ray-Zee. People were milling about, coming in and out of doors, running around, greeting visitors and so on. Soon it sort of cleared out except for a bunch of people along one wall and me on the other wall. Nathan came out of his dressing room and went down the line, greeting people. Ok, awkward. It was like a repeat of the Zankel Hall thing. Hugs and kisses, blah blah blah, and then... me. I just waited until he finished. He was constantly interrupted by people asking for autographs and photos. He was so very nice to everyone. Finally he turned to me and very nicely (and quietly) said, "Hi Susan, thanks for coming." Then we chatted about nothing for approx 20 seconds, I thanked him for putting me on the list, blah blah blah and then someone with a clipboard came by and told him that "his fans were waiting in the green room to meet him," as in, get a move on mister. I asked for a picture, he was rushed but said ok. The person who took the photo cut his head off. Oops. He showed him the pic and the clipboard person was practically tugging at him so there was no re-do. I don't even remember saying goodbye - it was that crazy and rushed back there. So then my next adventure was finding my way OUT of there. Back up the stairs and get this - at the top of the stairs this weird woman asked me for my autograph. I don't know who she thought I was but I was like, "Uh... I'm not who you think I am..." and didn't even stop. I was totally ready to get out of the shoes, into my sneaks and on the road. Some security-guard type led me through a maze that lead into the theater itself and through an unmarked door and suddenly I was in the lobby. I did my Mr. Rogers imitation (that means I changed from heels to sneakers), and since it was a nice night I hoofed it down to Penn Station in time for the next train. One more weird thing to report before I go to bed - my stop and the stop before mine are under construction and only 1 train car meets the platform at those stations. So they make this announcement for anyone wanting those stops to move to the front car on the train. Of course I was in the back. So we all made our way through the train to reach the car that would let us leave. Not sure I like going between train cars on a moving train... eep!

I leave you with this nice thought, as it's my new favorite quote:

It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice.

Words to live by, and I try to. But now I'd rather be sleeping, so off I go.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sonnambula Report!

Look! I have an unexpected opportunity to use a computer so of course I immediately logged on to post about last night.

Ahhhh.... Juan Diego Florez.... Ahhhhh..... Natalie Dessay.... not so ahhh for the staging. Stupid was the word that came to mind.

The music, the singing... ahhh the singing. Perfect. Beyond perfect. Words cannot describe how wonderful they were.

The staging... well... first of all, there everyone was in their street clothes. It was hard to tell what the heck was going on. If I didn't know that it was about an opera company putting on an opera I don't think I would have understood it. And then the words didn't match the action. I mean, they're singing about how Anina is beautiful and innocent and sweet and everyone loves her, but she enters like a snobby diva, handing her stuff off to anyone standing by. I'm sort of pressed for time at the mo and can't give this post the full attention it deserves, but I wanted to touch on that "words not matching the action" thing. A lot of it just didn't make sense. It makes no sense to say that someone shouldn't travel by horse in the dark b/c the way is steep, when the setting is obviously in the middle of a modern city. The main characters were obviously young, like teenagers, yet the "opera singer" characters were adults, so their behavior didn't make sense. More on the Total Day Experience later.

Because... TONIGHT!!!! Tonight. Firebrand of Florence. I can't even even think. My hair is too frizzy. Seriously. It's very frizzy. I'm not pleased about the Frizz. The Firefrizz of Frizzence. I will have to work magic with Product between now and 5.

Ahhhhh brain melting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Adventure today!!!! All packed and ready to go.

And... the final word on "I'll see what I can do" is...

I'm in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Many thanks to my "source" for making this happen.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I knew I'd be able to whip something up. I like these earrings much better than the ones I made yesterday, and they match the necklace I whipped up. It's easy to make pretty jewelry when you start with cool beads. So here we have it, the jewelry that will be going to the opera and the Firebrand thing.

A Change of Fashion

After all those posts about the brown outfit, the brown shoes, the brown jewelry, I suddenly realized that wearing black on Wednesday and brown on Thursday means schlepping not only the clothing but the shoes, purse and jewelry with me to the Met and then schlepping the black outfit, shoes and purse to Alice Tully. My practical brain finally woke up and said, "Duh! Just bring a different shirt and wear the same skirt!" I did allude to this in yesterday's post. So... now I can return the slightly painful shoes and leave the extra purse and brown clothes at home. I'm pretty sure my skirt will survive the day well enough to wear again on Friday, and if not, my friend with whom I am staying has graciously offered to loan me something from her wardrobe. So now I just have to decide on the necklaces. I have a purple thing just like the brown one here. Tonight I can add some baubles, maybe a dangling bead, and also shorten the chain, and voila, instant necklace.

The mere idea of lightening my load has taken a weight off my shoulders. (Sorry, I couldn't resist. Don't tell the pun police.)

And now, a burst of excitement for seeing Juan Diego Florez and Natalie Dessay! TOMORROW!!! At the Met!!! All dressed up, fancy fancy!!! I know it'll be great in spite of the meta-aspect. Perhaps the initial reactions were due to the unexpected nature of the setting? Either way, I always have an enchanting evening when I go to the Met, and I'm sure tomorrow will be no exception.

And then... Nathan Gunn the day AFTER tomorrow!! That still seems like ages from now because of all I'm doing between now and then.

I'll surely post again tonight with photos of the black ensemble and jewelry.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I Haven't Forgotten

All this talk about what to wear on Thursday, what shoes, what earrings, what what what... but I haven't forgotten that my adventure begins on Wednesday with my trip to the Met to see La Sonnambula! I don't have a photo of me in the outfit (yet) but here's the skirt AND the earrings I made tonight to go with it. I was looking at the skirt this afternoon wondering what earrings to wear with it. I went to my jewelry box and saw a pair with these black flowery beads. Black... flowers... exactly the same colors as the skirt! I have a bunch of those beads so I fussed around with them this evening and came up with these sparkly things! Oops they're hanging crooked, oh well. You get the idea. And no, I didn't get the skirt at Old Navy. Even better - I got it at a church rummage sale for like $2. Cost me more to clean it. It's (too) long, it's gauzy, it's flouncy, it's lined. Perfect for a trip to the Met.


With it I'm wearing a cute black shirt - one of the "my eyes are up here" shirts of course - with either a chunky amethyst necklace or one of the many fun purple-themed rhinestone necklaces I got from my grandmother.

So now I have to figure out how to get the Thursday night outfit, Thursday day outfit, plus the Thursday purse, the Thursday shoes, pajamas and other overnight things, my small binocs, the little camera and the gifts all into my little backpack. Gifts? Well, earrings for my friend who graciously offered her couch to me... but I'm bringing her a selection from which to choose. The other gift - well, I broke down and figured, since there's a good chance I'll get some face time with Mr. Gunn, I might as well keep with tradition and bring him some contraband in the form of a CD of a recent recital for him to throw on the pile with the other ones I've given him.

My, "I'll see what I can do" contact requested that I follow up on Wednesday. I will, of course, report back once I have the yay or nay on that. I don't want to get my hopes up but at the same time... I'm hoping... But I have tons of adventure to get through between now and then!! If I can post on Thursday, I will.

But first... Wednesday!! Juan Diego Florez!!! Natalie Dessay!!! Beautiful music with a stupid set! Hooray!

Haha I just had a thought - why not wear the same outfit two days in a row? I did consider it, but then I remembered that after taking the train and walking around the city, the shirt probably wouldn't hold up too well. Plus I'll probably spill something on it. The skirt I could probably get away with... and it's not like I'm seeing the same people... Hm.. do I have another acceptable black shirt? That would lighten my load a great deal... Will ponder this for the next 10 minutes or so.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Does This Make Me Look Fat?

Of course I think it does so I'm not posting the picture. I think I need to invest in some Spanx ASAP. Yes, that link does indeed bring you to a product called Power Panties.

But I will post the picture of the necklace I found and the earrings I made to go with it. If you click on the photos you should get a bigger image. If that's what you want...

So here's the necklace. It's cool but the chain is too long. As soon as I put it on I realized that a long necklace is a no-no for me because of, uh, my body shape.

So I plan to shorten the chain like this, to use that body shape to my advantage:

Damn I think I need a new bra too. See, this is why opera is so expensive - it's not just the ticket. It's the underwear.

Here we have the earrings, and then a shot of the earrings next to the necklace.

And when I was putting all my supplies away, I came upon these fabulous beads!! But I was too tired to try and create another pair so these shiny baubles will have to wait until next time.

Socks, Shoes and Other Opera Accessories

I keep getting this feeling like I want to post but I have nothing to say. Well, nothing new. I could of course go on and on about the meta-opera thing, or any of the other subjects that I've beaten pretty much to death over the past two years.

So let's go back to fashion. I've decided to go with the brown outfit for Thursday. If only I had earrings to go with it... Ha! Tonight I'll make the perfect pair. And then I'll need a necklace... hm... a trusted fashion expert, blogger, opera singer and regular reader recommended a long silver necklace. I can see the appeal. I'll have to paw through my tangled costume jewelry pile. The other option, which she didn't mention but hopefully will comment on now that I'm mentioning it, is a necklace that doesn't reach the shirt at all. It's a pretty scoopy-neck top so there's room for something to cover the freckled paleness of my upper neck. I have a necklace in mind, of many many gold-toned chainy pieces... I'll have to untangle it and post a picture.

I never did comment on the shoes. I thought I was going to like one pair better, the solid brown ones, but it turns out that not only do I like the others better, but they fit better too! The solid pair had a low heel that ended in about a centimeter square. Every step I took I teetered on the brink of a sprained ankle. But even more problematic: Toe cleavage. I do NOT like toe cleavage. The moment I put the shoes on, before I even attempted to hobble across the room, I was like, "Nuh uh."

The other pair has this shiny part but it's much subtler than I thought it would be. It feels ok to stand around in. Sort of. I will, of course, wear my hiking shoes until I arrive at Lincoln Center. And I have a secret... I almost always slip my heels off during the performance. Any performance. In fact, at Die Fledermaus I brought an extra pair of socks because I remembered from the previous year that it was kind of cold in there. So yes, once the house lights went out, off went my shoes and on went the socks. Tres chic, no? Don't tell anyone, ok?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Kitty Distraction

To keep my mind off the adventures of the coming week - you know, the opera with the terrible reviews, the performance that I might or might not be making a backstage visit after - I've decided to go ahead and stop ignoring Cat Pic Friday. Well, at least this week. So here we go with the cats.

Look! Diego had a big blue thought bubble!


So really I'm just trying to not think about my upcoming adventures. Except that I can't. So let's see... I'm meeting my friend and voice teacher (that's one person - not two) at Penn Station on Wednesday afternoon and we'll walk uptown and find somewhere to eat before the travesty oops I mean the opera. Afterwards I'll find a cab to take me across town to a friend's apartment. The other option is a subway and then a crosstown bus... Yeah, I think I'll spring for the cab.

Next day my friend and I will hang out - I'm really looking forward to that!! Then at 5:30 I'm meeting someone (a regular I'd Rather Be Sleeping reader and occasional commenter, fellow Gunnfan and all-around nice guy) for dinner before Firebrand. Then the thing itself. Is it a show? Like a Broadway show? Semi-staged? Concert/recital style? Costumed? No idea. These questions and many more will be answered that very evening. So anyway, after Firebrand, I might zip backstage for a photo op, might not. Once a year I guess I have to have an annual, "Am I on the list" week or two. Another question that has no answer at the moment. And if I'm not on the list there is no way I'm hanging around by the stage door - how pathetic would that be? I do have some shred of dignity. Somewhere. I'll find it by then. Hopefully the "I'll see what I can do-er" will see and do. Anyway... then I'll make my way to Penn Station and catch the next train home, retrieve my car from the parking garage and drive 20 minutes home. Then I drag my sorry a$$ to work the next day and push some papers around for a few hours before coming home to collapse. And THEN, of course, I'll write all about it here. Hm sounds good to me.

Fashion Preview

It's HARD to take pictures of yourself in the mirror. This is the best I could do.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Random Ramblings Ending With Earrings

I came here thinking I should write about my voice lesson. The hope/idea is that once I start typing a wonderfully clever and insightful post will magically appear.

So let's see.

It was a pretty mundane lesson. Not bad, not earth-shattering. Went over a few bits and tricksy parts of Ouvre Ton Coeur. My teacher was once again all gushy about how much I've improved. She even drew BOTH a smiley face AND a star on my music. But grrrr that French. What is UP with that pronunciation? Apparently I'm not making my lips kissy enough. Who knew. Maybe I need some kissing practice. *smooch!* There I just kissed all my readers. I hope no one has a cold.

So we decided to put Ouvre back in the folder and revisit Apres un Reve next week, and then... yes... something new!!! Of course next week I won't have my voice lesson on Thursday evening because I'll be in New York City watching Nathan Gunn in Firebrand of Florence. And, you know, maybe saying hi, getting a new photo. You know, for the blog. We're still at the "I'll see what I can do" phase of the adventure. Who is seeing what who can do? Well that part I'm not at liberty to say. Can't give away all my secrets! But the word is, someone is seeing, uh, what can be done. By that someone. Got it?

Dang so if this pans out and I do end up backstage, I can't go empty handed. Same old dilemma. What to bring? CD of some live performance? Been there, done that. Gift CD from Alex? Done. Ya know, if he wore dangling earrings this would be so much easier. Maybe I'll throw a few gifty pairs in my bag, just in case. You never know who you might need to give a gift to. Oh I should post pictures of some of my recent creations! Let's see...

I made these today:

And here are some others I recently made:

So the plan is to sell enough to finance my opera habit. Of course I don't have a shop, or a craft fair, or any other regular place to sell them. I do, however, have a group on Facebook called "Earrings for Sale." If you're on Facebook and you like what you see, join the group to see the rest! And shop, shop, shop! This operamummy is running out of operamoney!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Far Too Meta For Me

Oh dear. The reviews are coming in for the Met's production of La Sonnambula and it's not good.

During one of the intermissions of the HD broadcast of Lucia, Natalie Dessay, the host, spoke a little bit about the setting of the production of La Sonnambula. Instead of the standard, "this is where it takes place," type of thing, like most operas, the director went all meta on us. Apparently it's now a modern setting of an opera company putting on a production of La Sonnambula. Opera about an opera. The play's the thing... ? Meta-opera. I got this not-quite-sinking feeling about it but more of an, "Oh no, why why why?" and then, "Well at least it's still Juan Diego Florez and Natalie Dessay..."

I've been trying to avoid reading the reviews but I admit I have glanced at them. So far, so bad. So bad that the audience actually booed the director during curtain calls on opening night. So bad that now I'm busy calculating how much this night is going to cost me with ticket, transportation, food and fatigue (for of course I need to be fresh and alert for the following evening).

Call me boring, call me closed-minded... but I like an opera setting or story to be what the composer intended. Now, I'm not opposed to changing the time or location. Magic Flute during World War 1? Go for it. Cosi fan tutti with a bunch of hippies in the 60s? Why not? But don't change it to remove the sense of fantasy, the suspension of belief, that we have when we to go an opera that was originally written as its own story. We all know that we're sitting in an opera house watching performers. Why add that to the story? To prove how clever you are?

And for today's unrelated note, the shoes have not yet arrived. The "free overnight shipping" doesn't apply to clearance items. They should be here Friday so I'll post the fashion potentials for next week over the weekend.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Little... Brown? Outift People

So I have this cute brown-themed skirt and a scoopy-neck "my eyes are up here" shirt to go with it. I was thinking how great it would be if I could be all trendy and wear that to Firebrand of Florence next week, but the problem is, the only matching shoes I have are these totally cool brown things with a strappy thing around the ankle. I tried it on with tights - No. Way. Looks ridiculous. So I just ordered these and these. They're each a shade of brown that I think will go with the clothes. They should get here tomorrow so I'll model the outfit with the shoes to see if either of them work (and fit) or if I need to rework my whole "what to wear to the show" thing.

Still working on the backstage pass. Magic 8 Ball says, Maybe. Signs are Looking Good. People are Seeing What They Can Do. What people? Why, my people, of course. The same "my people" I mentioned here. I will continue to keep you, the reader, updated on my Backstage Adventure progress with as many details as I am willing provide regarding "My People" and what they are Doing. Which isn't many...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Moving On, Moving Back, Working It, What to Wear?

At least it's snowing. And schools are closed tomorrow. I guess I am sort of glad I'm not out driving in this.

But moving on...

Next adventure: March 11. La Sonnambula at the Met. What to wear????? I'll have to try a few things on and post pictures.

Thanks to Facebook, the site with which I have a love-hate relationship, but in this case it's love, I've hooked up with an old friend from the 80s who lived and still lives in NYC, and she graciously offered her couch to me for the night of the 11th! So we'll get to catch up and since she's home with a little one, we'll have all day to hang out and reminisce about the good old days when we walked barefoot through the snow to school, uphill both ways... ok, no. But we did do lots of fun stuff... we went to see INXS in the front row at the Beacon in NYC, and another time we saw them at some small bar in New Jersey when we were 18 and the drinking age was 21. Since we couldn't get in the bar, the guys in the band brought us in the stage door with them and into the bar from there. Another time we saw Siouxsie and the Banshees with free standing room tickets, then went to, was it the Peppermint Lounge to see I think it was The Fleshtones, yeah, so we saw someone somewhere... anyway a fight broke out and the crowd surged and I got stepped on, down the side of my leg, totally tearing my tights and scraping a layer of skin off. Shh don't tell my mother! One year on New Year's Eve we hung out with The Eurogliders, like, in their hotel (no, nothing like that, but don't tell my mom) before they went off to play the MTV New Year's Eve Ball and we went home to watch it on TV. We had many more adventures but you get the idea. Getting backstage is not a new hobby of mine. Ha! That sounds so... I don't know... rude. I don't mean for it to be. It's just fun.

Which ends my aside and leads me to the next evening - Firebrand of Florence. Alice Tully Hall. Nathan Gunn. Backstage? Possibly. You know, just to say hi, get a new picture of course. So anyway, re: the backstage thing, I'm putting my people on it. Love how that sounds. My people. As if. I don't have "people." But I do have friends who have, shall we say connections. And I am, shall we say, working on it, because we all know by know that I know how to work it. Or at least I pretend, which is just as good. So anything think he'll remember me from last year? Nah. Well, maybe. I guess if I do make it backstage I'll find out. Still have to figure out what to wear.

And the post referenced in that particular link up there reminds me -and now I'm not pretending - how freakin' crazy is this - John Osborn is currently performing in Barbiere in Dresden while at the same time rehearsing Lucia in Brussels. Like, every other day, almost. The man must have a TON of frequent flier miles and no blank pages in his passport. So if I had any doubt before, this confirms it: Opera singers are NUTS! Oh and of course he's wowing them everywhere he goes. You go Johnny O!

A Disturbance in the Force - Where I WON'T Be

I don't want to put the National Weather Service out of business so I'll stop pasting the forecast here. Needless to say, the entire area is under a winter storm warning. Here we're getting snow and sleet in the evening, turning to all snow after 10pm, just when I'd be driving home. They're predicting 6-10 inches tonight and an additional 3-7 inches tomorrow!

In Baltimore the snow and sleet is expected to start shortly after noon and continuing. They're under a winter storm warning starting at 2.

Based on all this, which is caused, by the way, by an upper-level disturbance across the deep south, I realize, reluctantly, that I'm not going to Baltimore today.

I know I've been writing about not going for the past few days, however I have secretly been hanging on to a shred of hope that the weather forecasters are all exaggerating because they have nothing better to do. I have lost all hope (cue: dramatic swelling music) and will be stuck at home while Mr. Gunn does this thing 2 hours from here. Unless it's canceled.