Tag Archives: Verdi

how that opera was / poem 88

‘Don Carlo’ was excellent as I expected. I find Verdi to be passionate and the tempos in his music exciting. The plot, hey, it’s a bit weird to have the dead Emperor appear at the end. What did it mean? That he took Don Carlo back to the afterlife with him? Or just have a heart to heart talk with him in the shadows of the cloister? The treatment of women is annoying — a view you might expect from a feminist like me. I usually enjoy the mezzo sopranos in their bad girl roles. The one in this opera, Princess Eboli, was good, as usual. I love that lower voice range and the energetic rebellion of a mezzo.


mezzo means middle
yes, it means your voice but it often
shows a woman either rebel or bad


opera: catharsis in the dark? / poem 87

I began my day with no food or even decaf since I was due into my doctor’s office for a fasting blood test. I told him next lifetime I will not have dinky veins. Finding a vein and the first stab is the worst part. His scale, of course, showed me a few pounds heavier than mine at home. Other than these, the visit went well.

I am checking in on a friend’s dog and cat while she and her partner are gone for the weekend. Besides the fact that I had the time and adore animals, I had a nice perk — a pool! So I took an issue of the Advocate, and caught up on some gay news. Lots of hot boy ads but I did learn a thing or two. I hopped in the pool a few times. In, adjusted to the water, splashed around, then out to read and dry until I got hot, then the cycle began anew. How relaxing to have a deck and pool to myself! I’ll do this anytime.

Since I had my aunt’s memorial Thursday, I had to switch my opera ticket to the grand — and more expensive — Saturday night spectacle. Call me grumpy but I hate waiting what seems like forever to get out of the parking lot afterward. I’m going to go early and hunt for some free parking on the street. I love Verdi — he is so dramatic and passionate even if the plots don’t always make much sense. I have long gotten over this part of opera. It’s about the music and the grandiosity and fickleness of human nature. Sort of like watching karma on stage. I am going by myself and that’s okay. When I had to switch nights, I also had to trade up to a better seat. Still, I’m in the gallery so I’ll bring those opera glasses I bought at the Chicago Lyric Opera years ago when I realized how much trouble I’d gone to drive there, get expensive tickets yet still not be able to see Renee Fleming very well. Tonight these glasses will pay off here at Music Hall.


what is it about the drama and pathos?
am I witnessing a microcosm of life
and getting catharsis in the dark?

gratitude on a Saturday morning

All week I’d been quite busy. So when I went to bed last night, I looked forward to an extended sleep. I had nothing I had to do until Saturday night.

My bedroom window faces east so I usually can’t sleep in much when the brightness of the sun shines in on me. I awoke at 7:00 a.m. and let the dogs out in the back yard. There was a young deer in the woods across from the creek. Not a doe, but young. It was so quiet and camouflaged, I didn’t realize it was there. Only Mia’s frozen stance and upturned tail called my attention to it. It slowly climbed the steep tree-filled hill. Feeling groggy, I decided it was not really going to be the start of my day yet. I lay on the couch for a morning nap.

It felt great! So when I awoke (again) two hours later, I was refreshed. I fed the animals, made my organic decaf, and shuffled out to the garden bench. This was not an ‘official’ meditation although I could call it a ‘nature meditation.’ I spent time listening. How often do we just sit and listen? It was early enough that the mowers and weed whackers were not yet in action. All I heard were birds and an occasional car. This is one of those retirement moments I had waited for. I am very active with organizations and friends but have learned to make sure I ‘schedule’ days off. It seems ironic but it’s true: I must consciously choose to spend time alone.

I know how fortunate I am. For this day, I am grateful.

Tonight I am taking myself on an artist’s date to the May Festival. I want to hear the Verdi opera the Festival is doing. They will perform “Luisa Miller” in concert. Verdi has always been one of my favorites. So I expect that tonight’s poem will be my response to a wonderful musical evening.