This year FLEW by.
An eye-opener for health, and for finally taking stock of it. Boring these tedious disciplines outside of music. But, so very necessary. Two years ago for my recital with OONY I had lost in two months and a half over 50 pounds. In a combination of bad planning a good deal came back on. Since February I have done this a little differently. No quick solution but a lasting one. So since August, some really serious life changing choices were enacted. All natural, hard to do and ultimately successful for phase one. 55 pounds as of today…. hard won. The back is much better, back to phase two. By February another 25 pounds. Why be so forthcoming? Mail. Facebook pleas. Myspace notes. Website contact. Many people imploring me to do something to allow me to sing. They will never know how much they helped effect that possibility. Besides, the importance of doing it naturally and slowly is to be healthy, and once that is accomplished, LOTS of surprises in store.
Lost a lot of friends this year and I will miss them so much. Elizabeth Taylor. How do you say good-bye to that kind of super nova. The world is a lot less fun and certainly missing a great source of love and light. Still doing great things from Heaven even now. The Christie’s auction of her “toys and baubles and beautiful things” fetched over 156.000.000 million dollars. A record to be sure. Some of it will go to her Foundation for AIDS for which she worked tirelessly and gloriously.
This is the world of opera I love. Can you spot all the true legends of voice? Obviously front and center, Rosa Ponselle, Martinelli in the back left, and I believe Galli-Curci first right seated. Love the flowers in the middle and the water stains. I will try to find out who else. A tour photo of the Metropolitan in Atlanta. They all look so interesting and vibrant, and grand.
Here we have Paolo Silveri, the great Renata Tebaldi, Lauri-Volpi, Pia Tassarini, Benvenuto Franci and Toti Del Monte. What a gathering!! I believe at Lauri Volpi’s house. Suits and ties and beautiful respect for who and what they represent.
A very pleasant and loving Christmas in New York with my beloved family, missing my handsome brother in Hollywood, doing great things with his music and charisma….. in somma, a very nice if warm, Christmas. Prepping for the New Year.
Ah yes, dear readers and friends and fans and foes alike, here come we all to a world-changing before our very eyes. In need of those passionate and resolved in their love and support and unwavering dedication to the world of music and the Arts. It is a magic worth saving, worth protecting. The apologies and the funeral for opera MUST STOP. They aren’t good enough to kill it, but they are rewriting the script. It is NOT passe’, it is revelent and so needed in today’s mechanical and increasingly detached world.
As the ball drifts downward, ten, nine….eight……seven…. at the countdown, I will be, God willing, with my loved ones, and with a prayer in my heart and soul for all those far away protecting us, for all those who have left this world for their journeys home, all those already deeply missed and all those so in my mind who are suffering now. Peace to all, a lasting, just and honorable peace and a FAIRNESS to all. Proud of New York for being a state of equality and proud of so many who strive to make that a reality everywhere all over the world.
To my family, cherished extended family, colleagues, friends and dear little feline and puppy darlings….. Happy and Healthy New Year!!! Health and happiness to you and all your families. Find someone wonderful to hug and maybe even kiss this year and start with a heart of full of song and good cheer …..so much to be thankful for, and I am.
Congrats to all my wonderful friends and colleagues who helped make last night so much of a lovely success.
I am grateful to each and every person who came and helped this Historic little Church……
Viktor Antipenko, tenor Nicole Piccolomini, mezzo Christopher Collin Lee,violin Merynda Adams, harp, Iveta and Gherman to choreography of Melanie LaPatin…. Charles Gaston Currin for playing so beautifully the “Oh Holy Night” and the fabulous piano and accordion, of newly minted PhD scholar, Mary-Lou Vetere.
Backstage, for Holy Cross Michael Blecha and the one and only, Father Pete Colapietro, Pastor and Holy Cross Director of Music, Charles Gaston Currin…. and to Tony Award Winner for Excellence in Theater, truly legendary Paul Huntley for his gorgeous wig, Eric Winterling Gown, Isabella who dressed me in an Eric Winterling Original creation, Darlene who wigged for Paul who graciously saw to everything IN PERSON, which meant a lot. Angelina Avallone, expert make-up, and to all those in staff who helped coordinate everything, and to Mr. Gallo of Broadway’s newest Hit, Spiderman, who donated lights and his expertise….. Hope we did well for Holy Cross.
Someone taped with the daunting name operaassasin filming from the balcony, caught little tidbits….at the end of the show, with Nicole Piccolomini and an encore Fanciulla aria…… I was so thrilled. I am grateful to him or her for the chance to hear it myself. I like this gentleman who did the video, he obviously LOVES opera; he has on tumbler a great site called Manifesto. Provocative and thoughtful, even just the early entry. His youtube channel is really new but filled with some very interesting clips as he seems genuinely motivated to preserve for future generations some wonderful moments from opera. I admire his effort and am grateful for his attention to my work.
Now on to getting in physical shape and to being of service to music and my beloved opera.
To have been at La Scala in this moment……LOOK at what is sitting there scoping each other out. I believe that this was an arranged meeting, one of two, this in public of Maria Callas with Toscanini in the hopes of having them collaborate on a Verdi’s Macbeth. SHE should have done this with him. So many stories came out of this meeting one will never really know what happened. I would love to have heard what these two would have done with that opera. Can you even imagine?
What an elegant time for opera. How gorgeous and beautiful. I must confess I loved her heavy too. Her face is impressive and her carriage is so striking…but she worked hard to transform and that she did. Brava, Maria Callas who I admire so very much for her apt, incisive and compelling understanding of music and the arts. personality and message being important in music. Her humility and dedication. God bless and keep you in His most radiant of places, your art, your voice and your heart are not forgotten and give heat to everyone who sings and adores the art form. Happy Birthday, amazing, wonderful Maria. What would you think about todays world of opera?
I love this little Church. I had so many things happen here, had my Mother’s Funeral Mass there, grew up there. In the Sunday Times Magazine fluff that wrote about me they had the nerve to call it a “ratty little church on 42nd Street.”
It certainly has gone through major reconstruction, and now quite literally shines. It is overseen by a priceless treasure named Father Peter Colapietro. I adore him. He brings the FAITH truly alive and his sermons should be recorded for all time. SO, in trying to help this fine fellow KEEP the school open, and to help with expenses at the Church, I decided to throw him a fundraising concert of lots of different and enchanting music. Christmas music and carols, opera, lieder, and all kinds of surprises…..
While I continue to undergo my transformation, I offer to God and all who read this, the best thing God gave me…. my voice. I place in service and support for this marvelous little jewel of a church and it’s amazing Pastor.
Come see me if you can make and let’s celebrate a real time of renewal, and remembering a special baby born centuries ago that would change the world.
In the midst of a time of transformation, physically. Happy to say I am almost back to the 50 pound weight loss of two years ago. Not going to stop as I did but keep going until I have reached my goal weight number one. It actually feels so much better, I am able to move without problems from the back, which got me in this mess.
Prepping for a lovely fundraiser for my beloved 42nd Holy Cross Church, and the best gentleman I have known as Pastor, Father Pete Colapietro. You have to see and HEAR him. He makes the gospel come alive, and keeps it accessible and real. God bless him. So some terrific people are stepping up to perform, and help raise money and I just think that speaks to how great these people are and how much they love to make music. I will post about that event on Dec.11th in a week or so.
I thought I would post, as I occasionally do, photos of opera greats and share some intensity with new fans of opera and relive some of the glories and beautiful people that actually did exist. We are told we ALL stood and barked… like Hell we did. The actresses were alive, the being exulted, the music was respected and maestri weren’t just in a hurry to go home. Things had respect. I am sure it exists today, somewhere. But just for fun, here are some of the singers and enjoy with me their great sense of personality, and commitment.
Great faces every one of them, and I loved the one with me and Luciano, so had to include it. How great do they seem? Pride, style, presence….. and imagine how they sounded?