31 January 2005

The pot in the pit

Opening weekend, a la Berkeley Opera.

It was an exciting weekend.

Full of "murder, suicide, theft" (natch).

The happenings - good, bad, ugly and hysterical - in random order:

  • Sold out crowds both Saturday and Sunday
  • My parents, AF, and L came from CO and LA to lend their support
  • The 'nuns' almost set off Julia Morgan's smoke alarm on Sat.
  • But the candles looked really cool when we finally did process with them
  • I sang better Sunday afternoon
  • I have two more performances to even be better
  • Simone drools when he sings (e' il piu vecchio...)
  • Betto dropped the chamber pot into the orchestra pit (hysterical, but dangerous)
  • Lines that were forgotten Sat. were remembered Sun.
  • Audience members thought I really slapped Rino-yay stage combat
  • Two injuries to report (the bad!) - Gherardo's toenail, sacrificed to the rolling bed and La Ciesca's chest, sacrificed to the backstage hallway floor
  • Loads of friends came both nights - the flowers are gorgeous, AZ
  • Nuns wearing naughty knickers
  • Gray hair spray paint
  • Il Notaro spits - a LOT
  • Pinnelino getting his line!
  • Dinner at Q post-show with family and friends
  • Jane's unequaled hospitality, guidance, patience and love of teaching
  • Sunday's bows -- definitely in the 'ugly' category
  • Ad libs on stage, well, acting ad libs, not words (hopefully)
  • Gherardino aka Nepotina (the good!)

And in other news . . .I have a job interview tomorrow morning! YAY!

27 January 2005


Okay, so one of the best fiction books I've read in a long time is The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.

Hosseini is a wonderful story teller. There are moments in the novel that provoke audible gasps from the reader! The reader becomes highly invested in what happens to the narrator Amir, as he 'comes of age' just before the fall of the monarchy in Afghanistan. This is not an historical overview novel, but a fictional story based during certain real events.

Don't read it if you've got stuff to do, 'cause you will not get it done until you've finished the book!

24 January 2005

We are family...

hoo boy! it's that time.....

My parents are coming to town on Friday, as well as my Aunt and a friend of hers from Louisiana. I love my family. They are so wonderful, loving, supportive, wacky and gracious. I'm really looking forward to seeing them. I know I was just at home for Christmas, but it's different when they are the ones coming out here.

When I go home, I tend to get warp-sped backwards into childhood. Do you know what I mean? Not that this is a horrible thing, mind you. I just find myself getting sucked back into the routines, habits and roles that I had until I left for college. It can be frustrating, but at the same time, it is sometimes comforting to just be taken care of by mom and dad.

Now, when they come to SF, it's this big adventure! I'm "living in the big city" (yeah, and Denver's just a cow town...). Living this exciting life, doing my thing, making music, seeing friends. Driving like a local (ack!).

I don't know what it is about child/parent relationships when the child is in their 20s and the parents are not the be-all-end-all to us as they once were. It's a dynamic relationship, and sometimes I find myself asserting my "independant-it's none of your business, anyways-I'm not a child anymore" side, and at other times I just want to be reminded that I will always be someone's 'little girl'.

Regardless of these dynamics, there is one thing my family will never be, and that is boring. According to AZ, we are fit for our own reality tv show. Haven't quite decided if that is good or bad (ha ha)!

Just one parting caveat: Both Bill and Fran are getting rental cars for the weekend (why two? who knows!), so I suggest watching the roads verrrry carefully. We've got one 'old man driver' and one complete out-of-towner-tourist who's never driven here before. Need I say more...?

ps: my brother is turning 23 in a couple of weeks! I CANNOT believe it! But also a question...what the HECK do you get a 23y.o. for his birthday? Anyone, anyone...bueller? bueller?

22 January 2005


...and no, I'm not a pirate...

I'm lying in bed on a nice Saturday afternoon. I'm supposed to be at rehearsal. I seem to have caught the funk that is making its way through the Schicchi cast. BUT, better today than next weekend!! So, I'm keeping my spirits up and drinking. Water, that is. :)

SOOO here's my shameless self-promotion for the month of January. Have a hankerin' for some opera? Come check out yours truly in Berkeley Opera's production of Puccini's Il Trittico.
What we have here is an evening filled with lovers, murder, suicide and conniving; truly something for everyone! A real three-for-one deal!
Opening night one week from today!

Check out

  • Berkeley Opera's site
  • .

    20 January 2005

    Weird Dream.....

    I usually do not remember my dreams, but for some reason I remember dreaming this morning, and it was kinda funny.

    .......DREAM SEQUENCE..........................................

    It's late summer, perhaps labor day, and I find myself at a party. Not just any party, but a do-it-yourself party. Seems that a friend [who we'll call Dougie] has gotten himself a fixer-upper house and has invited all of his friends to come help put stuff together and have a BBQ.
    I go looking for Dougie, because he is the only person I know at this party. Nobody will speak to me, not one single person, and above all, not even Dougie. We make eye contact, even, and he doesn't talk to me! I know this is weird, because normallly we talk and laugh very easily, and his friends are all really great people.
    Anyways. I decide to work on the back door. There is a hole where a little window plate needs to be screwed in. I finally find the electric screw driver, but no screws. Everyone else seems to be finished with their tasks, and they are putting all of the tools away in this large tent in the backyard. I dash around, find four screws in the mud, and fix the door. I come to find it's not a window pane, but a hard piece of plastic with somesort of picture on it.
    I finish, and ask someone where to put the drill. "In the tent, near the edge, so we can get it later..."
    ----------FLASH FORWARD------------------
    It's winter. It's cooooollld. I'm going to meet Dougie at his house, which now seems to be perched on some sort of cliff over a frozen river. There are several feet of snow. I'm pushing a shopping cart full of Christmas presents. Dougie comes out to meet me, and helps me park the cart in front of the neighboring house. "Mind the ice, you don't want to fall in the river," he says.
    We go inside, but then it's time for me to leave. I run for the cart, and of course, slip and fallllllllllllllllllllllll...............................
    SPLASH! The water is cold, but for some reason I can breathe! It's because of my scarf! The wool soaks up all of the water around my mouth, and I can still breathe. I hear Dougie yelling for me to be careful, and that he'll come and save me. I feel warm--not as cold as I thought it would be here. I decide it's because of all of my winter clothing. I am swept away, and lose consciousness until....

    I wake up! I'm still in the water. But now, I'm at Disneyland. I'm in the "IT'S A SMALL WORLD" ride, which is a boat ride. The next thing I know, a large Disney worker is pulling me out of the river, and handing me over to Dougie, like a little baby. We walked out of the ride together.
    *******************DREAM SEQUENCE OVER********************************


    OOPS! Thank you End_UserX for pointing out my egregious error in the "Roseanne who?" entry. 'Every Rose Has it's Thorn' is indeed by POISON, and not, alas, by my boys from Jersey (sorry, Jon).

    Carry on.

    19 January 2005

    That four-letter word . . .

    I was involved in a discussion the other day about a certain four-letter word that has become a casual, tossed-off part of our everyday speech. People interject it without thinking, really, about the sentiment behind such a strong word. Lest you think that I'm going to start cursing (in a traditional sense) let me tell you the word I'm thinking of: Hate.

    When someone professes to "hate" something or someone, it is usually in a causal manner, such as "I hate lima beans". I hear, and use, 'hate' in this context without a second thought: I hate San Francisco drivers, I hate liver, I hate Natalie Merchant's music, etc, etc...

    Hate, however, is a strong word. I feel that it implies the direct opposite of love. When one hates something, it is impossible to love it-the two cancel each other out. I know that when I start to say I 'hate' little things, that it becomes easier for me to start (and want) to hate bigger things. I don't want to be the type of person who casually tosses this verb around. I want my life to be filled with love. Not just platonic, familial and romantic love, but God's love. I don't have to like everyone on this planet, but I want to extend love to them all the same.

    So, how about these changes: I passionately dislike, for example, Natalie Merchant's music, which takes longer to say, but is more appropriate to the sentiment I truly feel. I prefer not to eat lima beans, and I am frustrated by San Francisco drivers.

    I want to try out this new vocabulary. I know that the more time I spend deepening my spiritual life, that the easier it will be. I mean, if God is love (He is), than the more of Him I take in, the easier the flow of love will come out. We are called to love God with all of our heart, soul and mind. We are also called to love one another - friend, family and enemy! There is no room for hate.

    Let the love-in begin!

    Roseanne who?

    Does anyone else remember Roseanne Barrs' horrible rendition of the National Anthem at a 1990 San Diego Padres game? After watching this seasons' American Idol premiere, I am convinced that Roseanne's unspeakably bad performance was the inspiration for the show. You know, turning ear-pollution into primetime gold.

    There were many talented singers featured in the two-hour season opener; but, as goes the old Bon Jovi tune, "every rose has its thorn[s]". I know from personal experience that auditions are very harrowing. You know that you are there to be judged, and it can be a highly uncomfortable feeling, especially if you've never been in that type of situation. It's similar to a job interview, only instead of having the safety of a portfolio or desk to hide behind, you're standing up baring your soul to the world (or, at least the judges). I would contest to say that there were more than a few auditionees for whom this was their first (and, perhaps, last) audition. Maybe it didn't go so well just because of their nerves.

    However, there were plenty of people who were absolutely convinced by friends, family, teachers, and the voices inside of their head, that they could actually sing. I beg to differ. In the words of Simon Cowell "that is the weirdest thing I've ever heard." What were they thinking? And what were their so-called friends and family thinking? Did they think that being berated on national television by some British 'musical guru' would help their son/daughter/best friend discover their true self-worth, their value? NO!

    PLEASE! For the love of ear drums around the world! If someone in your life is tone deaf, rhythmless and/or has a larger-than-life ego, don't encourage them to appear on American Idol! I mean, I love to dance and have good rhythm, but I'm not that great at it. I'm not about to go try out to be a Rockette.

    All that to say it sure makes for a good TV show.

    16 January 2005

    in too deep . . .

    Do you ever find yourself thinking too much? Sometimes I just get in such a weird mindset, that I can't help but over-think, -analyze and -do just about every thought that goes through my mind.
    I feel like I tend to get this way more when I am super busy and not spending enough (or any!) time with God. It's like the balance gets so heavily tipped towards ego and self-absorption that I start driving myself crazy trying to do everything on my own.
    I was really stressed this last week during rehearsals, because there is this one part in the music where I have to sing a note nearish the top of my range. I was doing fine up until last week. Then, we started staging, and it all went to pot. I freaked out and was like "why can't I get this now? ack" and have been stressed because it's a lot of pressure to hit your "money notes," especially when one IS getting paid!
    But then, driving back from Berkeley last night and watching the sunset over the city, I was struck with the reminder that this particular note, is still just a note. It's not the devil, it's not the impossible task of Sisyphus, it's not gonna defeat me. God created this note just like any other.
    So, while at today's rehearsal it wasn't perfect, it was better. I think because I remembered not to think too much. It becomes impossible to sing when one thinks too much. You have to know exactly what you are doing -- but not think about it. It's rather like, just be aware of what is going on, without making it happen. Hard to explain. And remember that music is a gift from Godk, and I should be using it to His glory and not my own. This does take a lot of pressure off!
    Anyways. I had another person earlier this week tell me not too think to much. Sometimes I wonder if maybe I should get a therapist, as seems to be the popular thing to do. But I realized, why pay all that money for someone to listen to me ramble, when I have all of YOU fine people who are out there 'listening' to me for free? Hee hee hee....

    08 January 2005


    So, I commandeered my brothers' "The Sopranos" DVDs, seasons 1-4. Seeing as he's in London, he found it convenient to leave them with me for the next several months. I am happily watching them (well, not ALL of them) tonight on my night off from rehearsal. I don't know why I have this mini-obsession with the mafia, but I just do. Go figure.
    Ciao, amici!