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!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

June Roundup

To start at the end instead of the beginning...

June 29, 2012 brought some pretty awful storms to the region. Our area was one of the worst-hit, with trees down pretty much on every block; we consider ourselves beyond lucky that neither of the two big elms in the front yard came down on our house and that we suffered no material damage.  Still, no power for 4 days and 16hrs - during a 3-digit heatwave - is a whole lot of not fun (and, at writing, some people are STILL waiting to be restored nearly a week after the event).  Short version: never underestimate a thunderstorm, and if your weather channel ever says the word "derecho", check your insurance policy, hunker down, and make sure you have somewhere to go after the fact.  Every bit as bad - or worse - than a hurricane, and more like tornado damage.

Earlier in the month, our daughter graduated middle school and moves on to high school in September. When did THAT happen?! Last time I looked she was a cute little grade-schooler with gappy teeth, and now there's a beautiful young woman living in our upstairs bedroom. Every parent says it, but it's so true: it goes so fast!

Her June got off to a bang with a production of Les Miserables with a local professional youth theatre company; as a member of JCo (the "junior company") she was invited to join the ensemble of this extraordinary production which was so completely sold out that they had to extend the run! Quite an achievement, and richly deserved. These young people not only sang and performed well but managed to dig into the heart of a huge piece, bringing every emotion to life. A thoroughly enjoyable night in the theatre, a triumph for the kids and a wonderful experience for her.

Not content with letting the 2-foot kid take the limelight, Cooper the Bearded Collie made his first two appearances in the show ring this month. While I've had my reservations about conformation showing, I can't deny that he loves the environment, and the training involved is just what he needs - the focus on stillness and a bit of self-control for the show ring is pretty much exactly what we emphasise in our general work with him anyway, and it's been very beneficial all round.  Even though he's still as green as can be, he won his class at his second show; it seems that we're going to be assimilated into the world of the dog show despite our expectations!

If I can extend June to have begun with the end of May, it included a wonderful production of Puccini's Il Trittico with Baltimore Concert Opera.  I started to blog about the experience at the time but couldn't quite find the words; I was flying for days afterwards and found it difficult to process my thoughts without merely gushing. Oh, I knew it would be fun - these were roles I've been dying to sing for ages, and with as many friends as I had in the cast I knew I'd have a good time - but  it was more than that.  Definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the (already exceptional) parts.  It shouldn't have been a surprise. I've known these people for years as musical colleagues on the stage. I worked with them as their "official photographer" for their first couple of seasons.  They're friends.  But  nothing could have prepared me for the sheer musical and emotional joy of those particular performances and I'm so grateful I had the chance to be part of something really special.

The reason I include this in a post about June is that this month Brendan Cooke announced his appointment as the new General Director of Opera Delaware. All I can say is that Delaware is one lucky company and town to have him, and those of us who have known and worked with him for years are pretty darned proud of his achievement!  (Also congratulations to him and his wife Julia on the birth of their second son, just a few days before the big career news broke - what a month for them!)
And now, July. Frankly, at this point I'm more than ready for a few quiet days at the beach....