Monday, November 26, 2007

angst and a poem

really the title sums it up, I feel that writing poetry is probably the culmination of teenage angst. I will admit that I did it, more as a younger child though.
I was reading through a journal that I kept from fifth grade through the end of high school, now don't get me wrong I was never a prolific writer, in fact only 28 of the pages have been written on...that's for eight years. I wrote in only to spew angst apparently, because I read it and am ashamed of my past self. However I know for a fact that I was not that angsty of a kid ever, so I must have just written about it in the limited occasions that it was prevalent.
Anyhow I bring this up because I was going to throw it away so that I would not have the shame of anyone ever reading it and making judgements about me as a result, but I really can't bring myself to, as there are gems such as these:

Pain, that turns sleep into vexation,
creeping towards us during relaxation.
What would cause you so much pain?
The orthodontist has been at it again.
Poking, prodding, tightening wires,
in and out with little pliers.
I will toss and turn with my night brace;
so soon my teeth are in the very right place.

not angsty at all! actually sort of clever.
Anyhow Duff thought that I ought to share this with you all (he got to hear some of the terrible stuff too, sorry kiddo!)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Die Frau ohne Schatten

I just got back from watching the Lyric's production of Richard Strauss' Die Frau Ohne Schatten. For a comprehensive synopsis which I will surely fail at read here.
The low down. before the opera an emperor was out hunting and shot a beautiful gazelle that turned into a beautiful woman in his arms...immediate ecstasy (Lyric's translation not mine). It is now a year later and his falcon that helped him find his love is still missing, so he goes off to find it. The falcon comes to visit the empress and her nurse and warns them that if the empress does not have a shadow in three days the emperor will turn to stone. They go about trying to trick the dyer's wife (the man dyes cloth k) into selling them her shadow...which is a heftier thing than we think because she has to renounce her desire to ever have children. She does it, but regrets it, and the Empress realizes she can't take the shadow because it will break the dyer's and his wife's heart. She goes to face her father (from whence the whole no shadow stone husband curse arose) and he was all like...drink the water of life and you can have the dyer's wife's shadow...and the empress is all like no I won't do it and this breaks the spell because she has become capable of human compassion (or something) and the emperor is saved and everyone is free to have lots and lots of babies.....

wait what? lots and lots of babies? where did that come in?

What I fail to mention is the huge role that unborn children play into this story. also how ridiculously Freudian it all is. Oh man my poor brain. So the shadow is a euphemism for the ability to have babies...yup. What's interesting about all this is that Strauss or Hofmannsthal (the librettist) put all of the power in the woman's hands. They have the ultimate "no" and therefore they control society.

oh the very end when you're reaching the four hour mark and the Freudian nature of the whole thing is smacking you ungracefully like a ton of phallic bricks they bring out all of the unborn children wearing white carrying globes of light. It was too much...not that the piece didn't call for it...not blaming the lyric per-say.

So yes...have lots of babies, because it is not for your sake alone that you love one another, rather for the next generation.

Musically I vacillate on Strauss, I really like Der Rosenkavalier, and I was less keen on Salome. He's writing in the early 20th century, this particular opera is with a huge orchestra and written for Wagnerian voices. Deborah Voight played the Empress, and was quite impressive. All the voices were impressive, though the Emperor seemed at the end of his rope at brief moments. I think my favorite character was the orchestra. It was just full and lush, and because there is no recit and the whole thing just flows it is even more important that usual in setting the tone. According to the program notes the orchestra has upwards of 32 motives during the piece...I believe it. They were excellent and the brass section was phenomenal. My only complaint is that there was weird clicking starting part way through the third act.

The voices were good, I tend to have a harder time enjoying that type of voice, but I can definitely say they were all very good.

So in conclusion; I intellectually really appreciate Strauss, but I'm not sure this opera was especially my cup of tea. Neither was Salome...but that was a one acter...this one was four hours long...twas tough. (also I sat next to a strange smelling old's that old lady I'm covering up alcohol or cigarette smell with something not quite as foul but certainly not pleasant smell)

a month?

dear miss Emblies....
you haven't posted in nearly a month! Surely something of note must have happened in this time!
the peoples who read this...(namely my brother)

Well I suppose there has, but I guess I haven't felt clever enough to expound upon life.

I guess the big news this month (that I'm willing to share on a blog that is) is that I decided that it was in my best interest to wait another year to apply to grad school. That way I can have another year to build up a resume with roles on it and have more solo work on it as well.
When push came to shove, I didn't feel like I had anything new or better to offer this year. Of course the suggestion is to then apply to different places where I would be more likely to get it. Certainly that would be fine, but I want to go to a place that will really be right for me, not simply a place that I would get in. Taking another year allows me to research such that I actually know the place that is right for me.
Also it allows me to try to put together some really sweet recital ideas.

Are there things that I'm really dubious about in not applying? well certainly, but as long as I work to make this next year a good and worth while time spent making myself a better artist, I think that it might even be advantageous for me.

In something completely different, someone said to me recently, that the kindest thing you can say to a person is their name. I can understand this comment as I am always really touched when someone says my name in conversation, probably because I never use peoples names when I talk to them...don't know if I could tell you why. Anyhow I think that I'm going to make a concerted effort to try to use people's names.