Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Three Things I Really Like About Getting Older

Eubie Blake was not only an American composer, lyricist and one of our greatest jazz musicians, he was also witty and wise who left behind some of my favorite quotes about life and aging. 

“If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.” Eubie Blake (1887-1983)

By and large, we are taking better care of ourselves these days as we age, but there’s no getting around the fact that whether I make peace with it, fight it tooth and nail or do something in between, I am getting older and I haven’t yet decided how I feel about it.  “Well, little girl, what do you want to be when you grow up?”  Wasn’t it just yesterday I was holding Mme Mère’s hand and looking up at some tall adult asking me that question?  I’m still working on that one. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

My Love Affair with Opera – Where It All Began

If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know that I am passionate about opera.  I met my husband in 1976 and took him to his first opera on our second date – a bit of a risk, I know, but he was curious and I was only too happy to satisfy his curiosity.  To my way of thinking, the only thing riskier would be to risk spending the rest of my life with someone who did not share that passion or, worse still, belittled it.  We have been sharing that passion for 41 years. 

Tenors Are Just Such Show-Offs!!

Opera has always been a major part of and influence on my life since my earliest recollections.  But, where did it all begin for me?  I get asked that question a lot, and I usually just say, “It’s in my DNA.”  But the truth is, there is a story behind that casual response, and it’s the story of my family. 

Monday, September 4, 2017

Five Fall Trends to Make Your Own or Leave Alone

And so I leave summer and our Bayreuth adventure behind (see Back from Bayreuth – the Experience of a Lifetime).  Today is Labor Day and while not the official start of fall, which comes on September 22nd, I’m now officially in the mood to look at some of the fall trends and decide what to make my own and what to leave alone. 

Courtesy of Do It in Paris

A good place to start is a French website I like called “Do It in Paris.”  It’s very young and very huppé, but it gives me a good idea of what the fashionable young parisienne is wearing each season.  For me, fashion has always been a place to start, not an end in itself.  You take your cues from it and then develop or enhance your individual sense of style from there.  Here are five fall fashion cues worth looking at. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Back from Bayreuth – The Experience of a Lifetime (Part 3)

So now we come to the final episode of our Bayreuth adventure (see Part 1 and Part 2) – more to share with you and some final thoughts. 

As I’ve already said, it was more of a pilgrimage than a vacation and, like all good pilgrimages, it had its highs and lows.  Artists are not the only ones who suffer for their art.  Wagnerites are sometimes asked to do the same. 

If you’ve been following the last two episodes where I make frequent mention of the heat in the festspielhaus, you’re probably wondering just how hot it was. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Back from Bayreuth – The Experience of a Lifetime (Part 2)

Last time I gave you a little background on how Bayreuth became Wagner’s town (see Part 1)

It is indeed a lovely town and, like Wagner and his wife Cosima, I fell in love with it, too.  It’s not easy to get to Bayreuth.  All roads to Bayreuth seem to go through Nuremberg.  Even the German opera goers who opted for the train instead of driving had to change trains in Nuremberg. 

We flew from Philadelphia to Paris, had a three (plus) hour layover in De Gaulle Airport, flew to Nuremberg and then took the train to Bayreuth.  While I love traveling by train in Europe, hauling heavy luggage (Remember, I needed four complete formal outfits!!) on and off the train was a nightmare. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Back from Bayreuth – The Experience of a Lifetime (Part 1)

We’re back from Bayreuth and the experience of a lifetime.  “How was your vacation?” friends ask, to which I reply, “It was more of a pilgrimage than a vacation.”  And like all good pilgrimages, there were some rough spots along the way.  More about that later. 

For the Wagner fanatic, seeing Der Ring des Nibelungen (“The Ring of the Niebelung”) in the opera house Wagner built for his monumental work is a dream come true.  Wagner’s music does not appeal to all opera lovers, including many of my friends.  It is less accessible than the music of Italian and French operas, which were my first loves.  My opera singer mother hated Wagner’s music so much that she would not allow it in the house.  Listening to the Saturday afternoon opera broadcasts from the Met was a tradition in our home, except on those Saturdays when the opera was by Wagner.  On those Saturdays, the radio was silent.  So, naturally, Wagner became a guilty pleasure for my brother and me, like sneaking cigarettes, which we also did. 

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