Spread over 3 mps cd compilations I have Giacomo Puccini’s operas: Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot; plus his Messa di Gloria. Rounding out the cds is Gounod’s Faust & his Messe Solemnelle de St Cecile. As well as Geoffrey Burgon’s Brideshead Revisited soundtrack. Oh yes, not to forget hours of Indian classical music for the sake of variety 🙂
I saved opera for my old age because I am not, nor have I become, a major opera fan, at least not of Puccini. My favourite would be Bizet’s Carmen, & I do have a fondness for Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. I have Puccini out of a sense of duty. I enjoy them when they come up in my listening rotation but I don’t find myself longing to hear them, as do with other pieces. The same holds true for Gounod’s Faust. I seem to prefer the angst of Slavic opera to the emotional turmoil of Italian.
The Masses are a different story. I love them both, the musical striving for spiritual tonalities appeals to something in me. Both are edifying, soothing & satisfying in ways opera isn’t. The Brideshead soundtrack is also soothing & doesn’t need the visuals to make it work, as it were. I loved the series & the music is a nice break from the opera.
A good friend of mine brought his childhood collection Indian classic music back to Toronto after a visit to Mumbai where he had it burned onto several cds. I don’t know what technology was used but those cds were about 12 hours each!! His desktop couldn’t read them but mine could. So I downloaded them, burned fresh copies for him at 7 hr per cd & also made copies of some of it for myself. The music various combinations of sitar, tabala & other instruments & some chanting is sometimes hypnotic, sometimes tedious & sometimes stirring. Trust me an hour at a time is more than enough – just like opera 🙂
I opened the door. My new condo. Empty. Clean. Smell of paint and sunshine, lollipops and roses. Crisp. Fresh. My furniture would be arriving in the afternoon. This time I opted for professionals. No more renting vans and dragging stuff up and down, in and out. I did my own packing, called movers and soon stuff would begin to arrive. Some old. Some new.
I put my coat in the hall closet. There were hangers there already. I had dropped in the night before with a few essentials. Hangers, toilet paper towels that sort of thing, even some juice in the fridge but no cups to drink it out of.
New living-room furniture would arrive the next day.
I went to the window to enjoy the view. A clear day. A sliver of endless blue sky between the two high-rises on either side of me.
A knock at the door. My first visitor. I opened it and a woman stood there. About my age, I guessed.
“Hello.” I reached my hand out.
“Could you please keep the noise down in here. My husband isn’t well, you know. He needs complete quiet.”
“If you keep up this racket I’ll report you to the board. They don’t like noisy people here. No one does.”
She walked away.
“I haven’t even moved in yet.” I said to her back. “I haven’t had time to make noise.”
I shut the door. In the kitchen I took a drink of my juice right from the carton. I needed a drink.
There was a knock at the door. She was back and had the building super with her.
“This is him.” she frowned at me. “Making that damed racket. Kept us up all night with it.”
“I wasn’t here all night.” I explained to the super. “I was here around seven to drop somethings off for moving in today.”
“Listen, asshole,” The super tapped me on the chest. “Don’t fuck around with us here. We won’t put up with it. You understand?”
The woman gave me a ‘I told you so’ look.
As I closed the door I thought ‘Ah, brave new world.’
Richard III – Stratford Festival
June 25-26-27 – Capturing Fire 2020 – Wooly Mammoth Theatre -Washington D.C.
All’s Well That Ends Well – Stratford Festival
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