Handel at the Gershwin, Day 33
Almost feeling the need to laugh out loud after yesterday’s post about enjoying a disciplined life, I write tonight entirely too late after having consumed entirely too much fried food and alcohol. Although I regret underestimating the power of Dallas BBQ’s giant “half” vegetable tempura and their strawberry long island iced tea (as a vegetarian, I don’t tend to frequent their establishment), I gratefully also underestimated the power of Handel and Operamission‘s ability to move me musically and keep my focus for a rather long but incredible concert at The Gershwin.
Many thanks to David Salsbery Fry, a good friend and tonight’s amazing bass in the concert, who invited me to attend with Claudia and Ariana, who just arrived back in town from Toronto. Beginning with Caroline Worra‘s first note, the singers sang with a musical fervor that kept me on my toes. Although all of the singers and chamber musicians contributed to a surprising and enlightening evening of Handel, including David Fry, who amazes me even more every time I hear him sing, countertenor Daniel Bubeck dumbfounded my expectations. Because countertenors sing with a completely different mechanism and sound in my range, I tend to listen more critically to them (especially after singing in Westminster Choir next to Corey-James Crawford, a stunningly lovely and musical countertenor with whom I could so easily sing anything). Flawlessly, Daniel navigated Handel’s phrases and runs, making me such a believer that I could have easily listened to him for another hour.
Also adept at traversing the nuances of Handelian repertoire, Amy van Roekel‘s gorgeous tone and fluid lines made me want to run and pick up some Handel to learn immediately. The fantastic cellist, Ezra Seltzer, led the chamber orchestra with Jennifer Peterson, the skilled harpsichordist, director of operamission, and writer of some of the most deliciously entertaining program notes I’ve ever read. Seriously, I think she has quite the niche for herself in writing program notes – perhaps Gary Vaynerchuk would have some ideas to implement that idea into a business plan.
Business as usual since I started writing, my day turned out very different than planned. I woke up this morning to two new gigs, one for April and one to add to my week in Richland, Washington in May. I later attended this amazing concert of which I hadn’t even heard before today, enjoyed some beautiful music, met wonderful people, ran into my old friend Lucas Tannous who I wouldn’t have seen otherwise, had a chance to then chat about agents and get some great ideas for my own career while catching up, and heard some phenomenal stories while out with friends, including all of the details of Ariana’s adventure with the Olympics closing ceremonies. Still, after quite the happy time, I now realize how quickly that time has indeed passed and must tuck myself into bed before the next day begins. I love that the moment I step aside from opera for a little while, it again envelops me in a way I couldn’t have expected. Hopefully my literal dreams will do the same.