Saturday, 4 April 2009

The glory of the human voice

Estate sale this morning in the Lakeview area. Jon called me this morning and picked me up half an hour later. They were getting rid of lots of vintage recording equipment that Jon is so crazy about. He left with a stack of tapes, sound effect vinyls and objects that only meant something to him. His wife will be delighted! I found a few old records that were more of interest for their cover.
I contented myself with some vintage LPs, my most prized acquisition being a record by millionaire soprano extraordinaire Florence Foster Jenkins!

Speaking of soprano, there was an opera gala tonight to promote the up-and-coming young stars from the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera. Two strikingly wonderful singers: Adriana Chuchman, gorgeous and elegant red-haired beauty who reminded me of Julianne Moore, with a magnificent presence and wonderful musicality and Amber Wagner, who would be perfect in...Wagner precisely! She is one of those ‘typical’ opera singers, ample and majestic - another singing turkey, I first thought as I saw her entering on stage, but endowed with the richest voice. Her musicality and phrasing were flawless. She started with an aria from Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera which left the whole audience stunned with admiration. The two girls performed the famous Aber der richtige duet from Richard Strauss' Arabella . My evening was complete after that. There was also a young tenor named Edward Mout who showcased an excellent acting flair and a total ease with the text. When he sang his aria from Gianni Schicchi,  he took us in the heart of the drama. For four minutes, I forgot about the gala.
The president of the Ryan Opera Center is a very dear friend of Karen who decided to use her colossal fortune to help artists. An opera lover herself, it was natural for her to be active in that field.
Karen wanted me to meet her and that gala was the perfect opportunity. The first encounter went well. The rest will follow - or not. It seems it is the time for me to meet people who can really bring me to another level of my career.
Last week, as I was about to have an early night, a friend of mine asked me whether I’d want to join him for dinner. He also wanted to introduce me to someone who, he said, owned the largest book gallery about Asian art and culture. Jeffrey Moy, his name was, had us come to his place and cooked for us. There many people I like, lots of people I love and many others whose company I enjoy. But there are few people who really interest me. Jeffrey Moy is one of them. He opened his library for me and my jaw dropped at all the treasures I saw. I may buy books, he buys entire libraries…

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