Thursday, October 20, 2005

Beautiful diva


So, I wrote a freakishly long and detailed post about "Daphne" at Carnegie Hall for Renee Fleming's "Beautiful Voice" Yahoo Group. I've been a member for years, but became one of the handful of frequent posters only last October or November. I first met a fellow member in January, at the Met, and since then I've met over a dozen, as far away as London, when I was there in June. It's not your typical opera group. You won't find pretentious, bombastic queens in TBV group. Instead, you'll find people who are passionate about Renee, and some who are equally passionate about opera, without the idiosyncracies of the usual opera fanatics. No high culture snobbery, not many words that will have you running for a dictionary. In other words, it's a refreshing group of kind people who love Renee. Her biggest fans are a reflection of the diva herself: the essence of kindness, generosity, and warmth. Her voice is freakishly beautiful, and she's the most skilled exponent of her art, but neither of these is enough to explain our addiction. We worship the diva because she effortlessly walks the line between the sacred and the profane.

Sieglinde, who worships at the same altar--though in her own way--recently singled out my method.

PS, for those who read the post at TBV: Well, I did succeed in taking one picture . . .

Addendum: After reading this post, I winced at some of the statements I made. You probably did as well. Some need to be clarified ("pretentious, bombastic queens"--not all queens are pretentious and bombastic), supported ("the most skilled exponent of her art"--huh?), and so on. But I'm going to keep them up there, because they represent how I felt at the moment (i.e., drugged).

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Things lately, unelaborated

Osvaldo Golijov's"Ayre" with Dawn Upshaw is just stunning. Upshaw played a track at her interview at Harvard last week, and I just had to hear more.

During the summer I didn't read a thing, beyond newspapers and magazines. There was one exception: Annie Proulx's "Brokeback Mountain". Mercilessly painful and equally beautiful in roughly 20 pages, it moved me like nothing I can remember.

"Grizzly Man" was awesome. Treadwell was at home in the ferocious wild and yet he remained absolutely naive, bending nature to his shape rather than keeping a distance and attempting to understand it on its own terms. He never did understand it, and, more importantly, he never understood his own soul, never dealt with his own demons. One man interviewed in the film says that, in being eaten by a bear, Treadwell got what he deserved. I think he got what he wanted.