Opera

It’s just so dramatic… Of course they both died at the end, to be forever in their love through death, as they sacrificed themselves to save her husband, whom she never really liked or loved, but who was going to die rather than reveal her secret to the world.

And of course the show used real fire for the bonfire-beacon on the stage and threw real massive buckets of water onto the stage to show the tide crashing into the cave where the two lovers were now ball-and-chained to die by drowning with the tide rising. Very cool effect from each.

And of course we both snoozed for st least part of the show – how can one not with such lulling music in a dark space with a cozy chair, holding the hand of one one loves?

I just love opera.

Post-a-day 2022

Pretty Woman

We saw, again, La Traviata at the opera tonight. It was done well, of course. The music was spectacular. Supposedly, when it first released, Verdi said, when the opera was rather a flop, ‘It was either my opera or the singers – only time will tell.’ It is now one of the most renowned and loved operas of all time. Time told.

It is also part of Día de Muertos today – today is All Saints’ Day and tomorrow is All Souls’ Day. My mom and I wore our respective Día de Muertos skirts. And, last-minute, she used spare fabric from when she made my skirt a few years ago, and she made a bow tie for my lovely man to wear to the opera with us tonight. He wore blue pants that went quite well with the mixed coloring of the calaveras on the fabric, and he looked stunning.

He also fell asleep off and on for most of the show, but neither of us holds that against him. For one thing, opera music can be so lulling and soothing, relaxing – it’s not that hard to fall asleep in a dark, cool theatre with opera music playing, as she and I have definitely had our fair share of it ourselves. For another, he was exhausted going into it. Even still, he enjoyed it all with us, naps included. (Opera naps really are quite satisfying, somehow. I think it is due to the wonderful music that is still stimulating the ears and brain while the body rests.)

Post-a-day 2022

Bluebell and Ice Cream

Bluebell and Ice Cream (also properly titled, but not necessarily known as “Bluebell and Pizza) for year number eight was a success. My man went with me, and we rushed over after the cool opera showcase – it was very cool, by the way – that ended at 9pm. We arrived around 9:30, but the party was still in swing, so we had some somewhat melty but cold Bluebell ice cream sandwiches and ice cream, talked with people, and let the dog a bunch. As we were leaving, we ended up with the host, checking out all the furniture she had made in her recent woodworking endeavors, and also playing on and checking the tuning of the piano she recently inherited (though doesn’t yet know how to play). My man, of course, spent the piano time roughhousing with the dog, having a grand ole time that contrasted to the previous ‘people time’ of the party itself. I could totally relate.

Anyway, it was a great evening, and I enjoyed that I enjoyed being social like that.

Thank you, God, for such a blessing as ease in such a setting, and especially for the joy of it all and the extra blessing of balance as we got the two-on-two time with the host and her dog afterward. Thank you. Amen.

P.S. I ran into a buddy from high school at the opera thing – had given him some extra tickets we’d had – and another buddy from high school and college who is an awesome musician, though on the spectrum, so is often a tad over the top or odd in social settings. However, the irony was that the former was a touch awkward and the latter was quite comfortable and fun tonight! It was silly, yet good. I was glad to see and be with them both. And it was especially lovely to have the extra-long hug the musician gave me – he always hugs me when he sees me, though he doesn’t seem to touch most people. He still talked to me while facing a slightly other direction, as though looking for someone ‘somewhere over there’, and he talked in the same upper class British cadence without the accent, as he always does, but it was surprisingly comforting to be in such an unchanged and familiar situation that brought up so many positive memories and feelings. And he told me how I can now watch the opera that he wrote and had performed! Looking forward to watching it on a television soon!

Post-a-day 2022

Puccini

Turandot is a spectacular spectacle – Puccini certainly got it right and did it well with this one, y’all. I almost cried twice, and then did cry near the end, all because of the music – it was so amazing. Robert Wilson’s visionary directing was spectacular in and of itself, yes. It was so fun and cool and amazing. But the music itself held its own… it was satisfying and utterly fulfilling… and, boy darn, was it good… Just wow…

Thank you, Houston Grand Opera, for this spectacular performance. And thank you, God, for allowing me to witness it… in gratitude, I pray. Amen!

P.S. One of the main characters suddenly had to step out (I believe it was today), and so another member of the cast played her physical role, while Juliet from the current production of Romeo and Juliet stood on the side of the stage with a music stand and in a black dress and sang the part. “Like no other,” the creative director said in his pre-show announcement, and it truly was. It was amazing on all accounts. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Amen!

Post-a-day 2022

Opera

Tonight, we saw a very unique production of The Magic Flute. It was awesome, but also rather bizarre. Rather than being a typical opera production, this one was done with inspiration from 1920s silent films. So, a massive white screen was the stage backdrop, and a projector created every scene, props and all, and a good chunk of characters, too. Pieces of the white screen would flip around like trap doors, revealing a person halfway up it or at the bottom or near the top, depending on the situation, and the projector would make their appearances and locations all make sense. They interacted with parts moving around in the projections all throughout, and it was really well done. Also, instead of spoken dialogue, they projected large words onto the screen itself, like in silent films, and had Mozart harpsichord pieces playing as the music, really making it feel like a silent film. And the actors as did a wonderful job of being believable in their roles in the film – it was stellar. And the Queen of the Night was the best singing performance I have ever attended for that role. Just wow

Go check it out this week at Houston Grand Opera, if you’re in Houston!

Post-a-day 2022

Opera and drama

Opera always has great costuming. The show we saw tonight, however, was a rather bland costuming story, so far as opera goes. However, the program cover reminded me of a Halloween filter I had come across on a Japanese photo app…

And so, we, naturally, had to take a photo together to be in theme for the night…

Gotta love being ridiculous, and opera is certainly ridiculous. Absolutely wonderful, yes, but also ridiculous.

Post-a-day 2022

(Still had to think about it…)

Opera

I have done a decent job lately of pursuing my goal of having opera music playing in the evenings at home. I started it with packing the other week, as I found that the constancy of the music helped me feel supported and keep me calm and focused as I went through all the packing and emotional releasing involved with moving. Only one day, for a couple hours or so, did I have one single separate song on loop, a song an acquaintance wrote and played and recorded. It was about goodbyes and ending a long-time relationship, and it felt quite appropriate… until it was not anymore. Then, I moved on to opera and church chant music and the likes.

Anyway, now that I have a temporary home, as i have been doing various tasks yesterday and today, I went ahead and set up the computer and external hard drive, and turned on the music. I have a playlist of it all that is roughly four and a half days long. Currently, I am just playing everything in order, and starting each time wherever I left off the previous time (using play counts as the guide). I have very much enjoyed it. And I have gotten much done today and yesterday. (Thank you, God and Universe, for the support with all of that!) Speaking of which, I’ll go mark them off on my checklist. I somehow only two days ago committed to having my daily task list as its own Note in my phone, using the checkmark feature. It has gone really well so far, and I intend to continue with it. It is extremely helpful for me to have things written down, and I believe it affects my productivity and encouragement immensely. Thus my having accomplished so much yesterday and today, including things I tend to avoid(!). Anyway, I’m off to do that, to read, and to get to sleep. I’m tired and sleepy this evening, and it’s already just after 8:30pm. I have the morning workout tomorrow at 7:30, then work until 3pm. So, I want to be very well rested and up early to prepare what all food I’ll need to bring with me. (That reminds me: I need to ask about the freezer, so I can see about having the Magic Bullet here for smoothies. They work wonders after a morning workout. And for slimming down… which would be helpful right about now… Hmm… Anyway, adding it to the list for tomorrow!)

Goodnight!

Post-a-day 2022

(Barely got it…. haha)

Ce soir…

L’opéra, l’opéra, l’opéra at last. After nearly a two-year delay, Houston Grand Opera has returned to the stage officially, and we attended our first show tonight. It was lovely. Also, it was Carmen, and I love the music from Carmen. Sure, the story and lyrics are still totally typical dramatic and repetitive opera, but, goodness, that music is especially spectacular. I’m a big fan. (And I had a fan that I used during the performance, when it was a tad too warm early on. Then Carmen kept pulling out fans and using them herself. However, hers were used very much in a sultry, seductive way, and mine was merely used to cool my face and neck.)

Thank you, Georges Bizet, for this wonderful opera whose success you never got to see or know (He died only three months after its debut, and the reviews were not so great at the time.).

And thank you, God, for this opportunity in my life, and this gift to the world.

Post-a-day 2021

¿Por qué no los dos?

We met a lovely and true-to-form German man at the opera the other night.  He was so practical, 6’7″, very kind, and totally straightforward.  He was very docile and calm, but he was definitely German to the core, and in the most delightful of ways for us – it felt like interacting with family, despite the obvious distance between us.

He asked me at one point what I had studied while in Europe – my mom had mentioned my having studied in Wien and Germany.  I replied, “Language and Culture.”

He considered it, gave a small smile, and replied, “Language and culture… It sounds like everything and nothing.”

I considered his words, and chuckled heartily.  It was, indeed, true.

Conversation went to a bit of something else, and then returned to my studies and what “language and culture” meant.  “Grammar, history, arts, religion, social change, music, poetry, writing, dialects, politics…,” I listed easily, trailing off slightly by the end, all of us understanding that there obviously were many more I could list.

“So, it sounds like you are qualified for just about everything, then,” declared honestly the German.

I smiled.  “Everything and nothing…”  And we all smiled, gave a bit of a chuckle, and felt the irony of it together, to varying degrees.

I understood the turn of phrase best of all, having experienced most acutely the struggles of the truth of this joint statement of ours… I am qualified for just about everything, then,… everything and nothing…

Thus, the question remains: What, of all of that everything and nothing, do I choose to pursue right now, for now?

I think my recent thoughts have been accurate: I need some more art in my life – self-made art.  🙂

So, let’s art… for now… and let’s be comfortable and secure in the fact that it is okay to have this be for now, and to have something else, something presently unknown, be the what’s next…  Yes, indeed.

Everything and nothing, my dear… you can do it, Banana.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020