Yesterday was a whirlwind of class and birthday celebration, with the added excitement/terror of the fundraiser on top of it, and it wasn’t until fairly late in the evening that I turned to my husband and said, “Oh, I just realized that I’m forty-nine.” So that happened.
So hey, I’m forty-nine, and though I’m sorry (relieved?) to report that I did not raise enough money to be forced to prepare a full recital for you all, I did raise $3,700.00 for my teen opera workshop‘s summer production. This means that I am on the hook to record FIVE (count ’em, FIVE) French art songs for public consumption, and and so that process begins! I’ve already started practicing, and I’ll be spending the time it takes to resurrect my rusty voice from retirement, improve my highly questionable French, and rehearse and record five songs for you. You can expect these to appear over the next year. Endless thanks to everyone who chipped in to make this happen and to support my teen opera program! I can’t possibly express the depth of my gratitude. I can make sure to let you know when recordings are available, and I pledge to do so. If you wanted to make a donation but lost track of time, it isn’t too late! We gratefully accept donations anytime!
Meanwhile, preparations continue for Dido and Aeneas! Because I can never leave well enough alone, our production will be original in its own way, with an expanded libretto intended to incorporate more of its source material, Book IV of Virgil’s The Aeneid, by putting the gods back into the story—Juno, Venus, and Mercury, specifically—and fleshing out the relationship between the title characters. To that end, we’re interpolating pieces of Purcell’s other work, adapted as necessary (though you’d be surprised how little adaptation is required in some cases). As you can see, we’re continuing to embody our unofficial workshop motto, “If they didn’t want us to mess with it, they shouldn’t have died.”
At my teens’ behest, we’re also working on ways to honor our other, perhaps slightly more official motto, “Make it as gay as possible,” by queering up the content as much as we can, so don’t count on us to be too faithful to Virgil. After all, If he didn’t want us to mess with it… well, you can see where this is going.
I suppose it’s time to wrap this up and get to work! Again, never-ending thanks to everyone who donated their hard-earned cash to help make my birthday fundraiser a success. I’d also like to thank everyone who shared my posts and cheered me on this past week. It means a lot to me that you’re out there listening and engaging with my ridiculous ideas. Thanks to my parents, who also happen to be my business partners, for working and worrying and coddling me through the day. Thanks to my husband, Paul, who kept me going through the evening by feeding me the most delicious food, filling our apartment with purple, and entertaining me as I waited anxiously for the results of my fundraiser.
And lastly, to my amazing teens: I know I said this yesterday in class, but I need to to know how lucky I feel that I get to work with you and be in some way adjacent to your brilliance and the amazing journey each of you is taking, day by day. You are incredible young people and you inspire me every day. Thanks for being present in my life and in my work. Now let’s get crackin’!