Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Do you believe in magic?

Recently I wrote a blog article about things I have experienced as an opera lover. People I have met, performances I have witnessed.

Today, largely because US Thanksgiving is this week, and I will host a YouTube live stream today with the theme of Thanksgiving, I started thinking of magic. Some people don't like the word magic, associating it with whatever is the opposite of God in their minds. I myself only associate magic with God, or the Divinity, or whatever name you have for what is beyond our own human comprehension. We don't need labels or definitions, but we do need to know those things for which we are thankful. Those things that cause wonder in the moment and in memory.

Here is partial list of those moments of magic I have seen. Not surprisingly, many of them center around vocal music:

  • I was once brought to tears when interviewing an opera company creator upon hearing his vision of fostering complete understanding in young singers, in the way that young singers in the age of Rossini or Verdi would have known the language and the cultural references intimately.
  • I have seen magic in the acts of love from family and friends that I could not begin to number.
  • I was present for Angela Meade's first Norma and for Jennifer Rowley's explosion into the opera world as Maria di Rohan. I later saw Angela Meade perform Norma in another production that brought me to tears.
  • Years ago, just before I was to undergo surgery, I was sitting alone in a wheelchair in a hospital corridor, without my glasses even, and a wonderful woman came along and offered so much reassurance that I think she surely must have been an angel.
  • I saw Talise Trevigne as Bess in Porgy and Bess, one of three productions of Porgy and Bess I have seen.
  • I can not witness the opening of Oklahoma! without crying. (There was a time in my life when I could not cry.)
  • At a retreat talent show, I saw a very lovely and gentle man who must have been 80 if he was a day transform as he performed a speech from The Glass Menagerie on stage.
  • I have a dog, so I know about love. 'Nuff said.
  • I can not count how many performances I have seen of the Verdi Requiem. I don't need to, and there will never be too many.
  • I saw a performance of La Boheme that had me sobbing when Mimi died (sorry if that's a spoiler), and had me sobbing even more when the soprano who sang Mimi appeared in a curtain call, not dead after all! This was a mid-level semi-professional production, with young and passionate singers.
  • I have seen amazing beauty in the yarn work of people I have met and want to meet.
  • I have seen art work that took my breath away in museums and public works around the world.

I could go on and on, but I hope you get the idea. There is magic in the world. There is wonder. There beauty.   

Please remind me of this when I forget it. I have in the past, and I know I will in the future.

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