Learning how to be smart, COFFEE MUSING 1 1/2, and friends!

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know.  I started my blog as a New Year’s resolution and here we are, middle of March and I haven’t written anything for 6 weeks.  Hey, I been busy!  Well, I suppose I haven’t written anything because, well, actually yeah, I HAVE been busy.  My new job is a bit involved, mentally speaking.  So, for those that are unaware, I am working with New York State Society of CPAs as the editorial assistant for their monthly magazine, the CPA Journal.  Now, how I ended up in publishing, I have no idea.  But truth is, I am enjoying it!  It’s quite rewarding to see the process of how a manuscript goes into publication and to see that I was a part of that process.  The job has caused me to start using a part of my brain I am not used to.  I was told for this job, one needs to be quantitative (I had to look the definition up).  Basically, knowing the status of well over 100 manuscripts by name and record number, authors names, reviewers names, who has signed copyrights and who’s are we waiting for, in a subject I am not acquainted with, the meticulous computer process and system to operate on.  Yeah, my brain has really had to change gears and BE QUANTITATIVE.  But as fate and hard work would have it, I am really picking it up quite well.

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See that!!  My name is in a magazine!!

Interesting thing with how my brain has been working is that I have desired to start reading more.  I haven’t been any kind of a reader for much of my life.  I’ve always been very slow at reading and could never seem to develop my comprehension skills.  Well, regardless of my shortcomings in reading, something just kind of snapped in me and I started reading again.  And I must say, I am doing alright.  I have finished two books and over half way with the third.  In trying to be a good, smart singer, I am reading literary works operas are based on.  I started with the Pushkin verse novel of Eugene Onegin and am currently on Lady of the Camellias by Dumas Fil (what La Traviata is based on).  I also decided to read other books for my own desire.  I just finished (today, actually) a biography of Anne Frank by Melissa Muller. I was inspired to read this because I have watched the miniseries based on the biography which I found amazing.  So, I wanted to read her interpretation and research of Anne Frank, the Secret Annex, and the lives of everyone involved.  I got more on the stack.  Sticking with the demi-monde theme, I got Manon Lescaux and then I got Atonement by Ian McEwan, as well as several others in mind.  I was told of this book called Butterfly’s Child by Davis-Gardner, kind of a sequel to Madame Butterfly, which makes me also want to read Madame Butterfly by Long as well as Madame Chrysanthème by Loti.  I’m also thinking about Aeschylus’ Oresteia and possibly Lolita by Nabakov. I know, I’m getting ambitious.

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Eugene Onegin. Sarah Bernhardt as Marguerite Gautier in Lady of the Camellias. Anne Frank.

 

And I would say this literary surge in my brain is definitely timely as my big performance news is I will be returning to Apotheosis Opera this summer singing The Count in Capriccio by Richard Strauss.  Oh my God, oh my God, a Strauss role, I have to learn a Strauss role!!!!  In two months!!!!!  I already have a series of coachings lined up to learn this but oh man, this is very complex music with harmonies that can really throw a singer off when you are unfamiliar with them.  It is often called a conversation piece and the lyricism definitely reflects that.  So, learning the lines and the melody become much more challenging.  I’m grateful to have a coach that is so willing to help me as well as a stage partner who is so eager to work together, the lovely Bonnie Frauenthal who will be playing The Countess.  Seriously, her and I playing bantering brother and sister, it’s gonna be a sight to see!!  Oh, and follow the link below for tickets. Scott Kipnis would throw something at me if I didn’t make the plug, haha.

http://www.apotheosisopera.org/tickets/

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Bonnie and I have done La Traviata and Sir John in Love together, but were always in the opposite casts.  THIS TIME, we’re gonna own it!!

And yeah, I suppose during all this time, I have been having a good social life.  Had a wonderful birthday with friends, saw a lot of movies and watched my superbowl, the Oscars (I still am not over that fiasco!!).  I did have a coffee musing with my dear friend Stan Lacy, who is the director of New Camerata Opera, at a coffee shop he loves on the Upper East Side called Caffe Bacio.  It has been such a while since we went, I’ve forgotten all my details.  But I can say it’s a decent morning coffee spot.  The pastries were good and the coffee was decent and strong.  But honestly, the more important part was actually, finally getting to spend time with Stanley and meet his adorable little daughter, the Peanut.  Stanley and I have worked together a few times and always enjoyed each other’s company.  But with our busy schedules and him having a family, “hanging out” has simply never been an option.  So, this was a very nice chance to send some time with him outside the theater.  Oh, and then of course there was Emma Bonanno’s killer St. Paddy’s Day party.  Well, it wasn’t really a St. Paddy’s Day party, it just happened to coincide.  But she made a baller mint chocolate cake!!!

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Emma and the cake.  Stanley and The Peanut.  Heather drinking hot chocolate at Max Brenner.  Me and the lovely Sarah.

So, in a nutshell, this has been my life.  I have not been bored.  I have been mentally stimulated. I’ve felt loved by the people around me, and more singing on the horizon.  Life really is pretty wonderful for me these days!

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Emma, John, Tom, Bonnie, and Melissa.  The Elizabethan Gang!!

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