Musings on m
y life as a busy opera singer, voice teacher, photographer and mom - not necessarily in that order! I consider myself immensely fortunate to have carved out a way of doing all of these things which mean so much to me - it may sometimes get a little crazy, but it's always worth it. Welcome to the madhouse!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A trip to a beach...

... that until this week I didn't even know was there. Ok, so it's not exactly the Pacific (or even the Atlantic coast), but it's got sand, tides and saltwater, and is only about 15 minutes from home! We had a good time.

(click image to see slideshow)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Perfect foods

Currently, I'm prompted to reflect on the two foods which I have long considered perfect.

The first is toast. Is there a more versatile food? Meal, snack, pick-me-up or just because, toast always holds its own. Toast with butter, toast with jam, toast with cheese, toast soldiers under egg, toast with cashew butter... the list goes on. Toast after a long winter's walk, providing the perfect warm pick-me-up after being out in the cold. Toast for breakfast with a cup of tea or coffee. Toast easing us back into health after a bout of illness. Toast as a meal; toast as a snack. What's more perfect than that?

Well, in summer, the answer is this:

In our house, blueberries take over in July. I'm the truly violet one in the family (there are rumours that I turn a delicate shade of purple some time in August), but my husband and daughter also enjoy them, if not with quite as much gluttony as I do. My mom buys them in bulk at Costco and makes care-package deliveries (sometimes even out of season, bless her heart!). We have two small bushes in the backyard, but, unfortunately, the birds get up earlier than I do, so we haven't been able to enjoy what little they produce. No, we are forced to buy them to indulge the passion, which means waiting and watching until the glut begins..... Our supermarket currently had a 4-punnets-for-$5 special (limit 4 per visit) and we made multiple trips each day to ensure an adequate supply. There is seemingly no limit to the quantities of these fruits that we can consume; blueberries on cereal, blueberries with greek yoghurt or blueberries by the handful as a snack - doesn't matter, as long as they're fresh, ripe and plentiful.

The only thing I haven't tried yet is blueberries on toast. Hmm... jam, anyone?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Following the tradition

It's been a fascinating month. My daughter was asked to join the chorus of a local light opera company, and watching her find her way through her first semi-professional appearance has been interesting and enlightening indeed.

One curious thing is that everybody(myself and my husband included, I'm sorry to say!) has made an assumption of prior knowledge simply because she's our daughter: she already osmotically knows all those complicated staging processes, scheduling conventions and company protocols, right? Not necessarily....! For sure, she's had experience onstage in her childrens' groups and a great deal more exposure than many her age, but the specific nuts-and-bolts of mounting a full production in professional adult theatre.... she's never needed to know that before; in many ways, it's been a brand new situation and she has had to learn a lot. We've all had to remind ourselves that, like any other young person, she's needed certain things explicitly spelled out to her so that she could truly understand how it all works and act according with expectations. She's done a wonderful job adapting to this new environment and "flying solo", and we're extremely proud of her!

Additionally, I was beyond proud that she took some suggestions from me after I sat in on one of the dress rehearsals. At age 11, it's getting harder for her to accept that Mom might still know a thing or two (funny how moms go from "knowing everything" to "knowing nothing" in the space of about, oh, 3 months!) and there has sometimes been resistance to any comments I might make. Imagine my delight when the next time I was there I saw that she had incorporated every single thing I'd mentioned and, most importantly, in her own way. No blind "doing as she was told", but a clear indication she'd processed the information given and made it her own. What a wonderful warm-fuzzy for a parent!

It's been a wonderful experience for her, I think - the company also has a mission to nurture young performers and thus has provided a nice, safe environment for a first time out on her own and she's really enjoyed herself. It was a thrill to see her so focused and involved onstage at last night's successful opening performance.


In other news, I'm delighted to share that I've just been cast to perform the Witch in Hansel and Gretel later this year, a plum of a role I've been wanting to do for ages. The production sounds like it will be great fun, and I'm thrilled to start preparing it. Things finally seem to be looking up!