Monday, November 22, 2004

Recently on the news I heard a man home on furlough from Iraq. He said the trials and pressures of everyday life now seem so trivial, and that he was eager to be back there, fighting with his fellow soldiers. There is nothing new under the sun.

Yea, from the table of my memory
I'll wipe away all trivial, fond records,
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
That youth and observation copied there,
And thy commandment all alone shall live
Within the book and volume of my brain,
Unmixed with baser matter.
Hamlet ACT II, SCENE 5

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Latonia was in town debuting as Micaela in Carmen last week at the Dallas Opera. I think she debuts as Mimi next season at the Met. Her voice is more spectacular than ever - much prettier than I even remembered it,and the crowd cheered more for her than for the other stars. We went to lunch a couple times, and she kept saying that I need to pursue my singing. I admit I feel wistful and heartsick about opera. It generally makes me blue to go see one. She told me something I remember hearing a long time ago, which is that you don't see singers of my voice type really working before they are 40 anyway, because opera companies don't like to hire a Queen of the Night(magic flute) or Constanze(seraglio) with young chops - dense orchestration with tattoo-needle stratospheric vocals - a young voice doesn't have the steel to cut through it all. My coloratura still works well, and obviously I still have a powerful hankering to do it...

Sunday, November 07, 2004

In retrospect, the electronica on the radio in the early 1980s was brilliantly prescient. Gary Numan's "Cars" is simply a great song, its iced-laser symmetry of tones and beats a primer for the dawn of an age of wires and wirelessness. Here in the 21st century, we're not all dressed like Spock or Seven of Nine, but our lifelines are comingled with machinery in ways only Sci-fi ever anticipated. One of the great things about leaving one's home used to be getting away from the telephone. That is now an obsolete mindset with the advent of cellular technology. Caller I.D. is the ultimate in passive agressiveness - we always look before we answer, don't we? We feel we've lost our tether if we drive away from home and leave the cell phone on the desk or in the bathroom. We rushed headlong to meld with our machines. And it's no wonder--people feel alienated from those around them - via the internet, there is some hope of finding one's tribe. Ah, blessed be.

"Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
In cars..."