Lint-Trap 2/18/01: Croak!




Rain rain today and yesterday. A poem from a long-ago French class keeps coming to mind--"It rains in the town/like it rains in my heart." Had a Diana sandwich today--saw her, then went to the opera, then saw her again. We had tickets together, but she is not yet released from the hospital.

She continues to look better. She was making plans to get more help from her boys. The big ticket item for her is getting some of the stuff from her ex that she is due, such as some of the back child support. That would help. But mostly it would help if she would feel comfortable asking him for it, rather than "avoiding an uncomfortable situation", which in fact means creating an uncomfortable situation for her while protecting him. She's not likely to get much from the loser, but she shouldn't be protecting him by not asking. Says me, anyway.

The opera was a delightful experience--Tartuffe, by Kirke Mechem. A wonderful French satire, set to a full-tilt rollicking score. The production was outstanding, costumes ravishing, the orchestra played their hearts out. The company was West Bay Opera, in Palo Alto. Bravo and bravo!

Afterwards, those who wished could stick around for a conversation with the performers. As it turns out, we had not only the performers and conductor but the stage director and, delight of delights, the composer of the opera! Kirke Mechem is a tall, thin man, apparently in his early 70's, and not only has several wonderful operas to his credit but is one of the most respected contemporary choral composers as well. And it was very clear why from this music. The composer began by saying what a difficult opera this is to sing, and he said that he had never seen a better performance. He praised the singers, the sets, the costumes, the lighting, and the direction. For a local company like that, this was heady praise (but, in my opinion, well justified).

The stage director had some interesting comments on making the characters in a farce appear believable, not cartoon-y. The singers added some interesting comments on how they learned such a complicated work. It was a wonderful postscript to a wonderful afternoon.

And then back to my house, where the frogs are croaking. A week ago, it was snowing like no tomorrow, and tonight the alto, tenor, and bass frogs are limbering up for the spring season of performances. It's supposed to rain, on and off, for the next week. I think they'll get some good practice until the next cold snap...

Thank you for reading.

Copyright © 2001 Pete Stevens. All rights reserved.