Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mi mi mi mi mi!

In the minuscule span it took to say hello we'd already hugged and crossed a couple years of emotion in the process.
My friend, teacher, and mentor.
How I'd missed her.

Since the time we saw each other over two years ago, both of us had lost parents (she, her mother and father to Alzheimer's in the last 8 months), one child off singing opera in the northern part of New York, the other starting high school and my Baby Boy had grown into a kindergarten graduate.

Our memories are long.
When you study privately with the same person for four years in the same voice studio day after day after day, you know them as intimately as another human can. You begin to let your guard down and trust each other. And if you're an exceptional teacher you know that the inner workings of a person's soul always displays itself first in the musical rendering. It is your job to hear it, know and capture that part of them, celebrate it, hone it, tweak it, and wrangle the honesty into each tone. What is internalized emotionally, comes out in one's singing. After all, singing is just breathing on spiritual wings. That's why so many performers stay stuck in one aspect of their "unique sound" for so long. It's honest. People connect with that. It's hard to branch out into other emotions when angst pays the bills. My Maestra knew how to push me into facing the inner first and gave me the courage to let it fly from my fingers and voice. Of course, there are consequences for this teaching philosophy.

She knows where the bodies are buried.
You don't think all that opera drama is just onstage, do you?
We laughed and reminisced about colleagues retired now, tried to catch up with where everyone might be these days, who went into teaching and who stayed the vulnerable path of performance. Oh, the stories. Oh, the secrets. There has been much success in our circle. She and her classical pianist husband performed recently in Scotland, another mutual friend is working on The Wiz production in New York, many have successful careers as professional musicians across the world, some have succumbed to the practical private studio route......Unlike many other professions, the community of actors and singers seem to find a way to stay connected. There are tethers everywhere!

"Did you know that the tenor in Gianni Schicchi married the soprano in Magic Flute?" and "Remember the gorgeous baritone in Opera Workshop class? He's studying with so and so now," and on and on.....

Careers mesh along the way and sometimes one will step into the place where another left, quite unaware that the shoes you're filling might be someone you sang with many moons ago. If you're not after the same role in the same town, you're good to go. Otherwise, all bets are off.

We ate Thai (no, I didn't cook it) and sat in my kitchen for 3 hours talking music and memories and psychoanalyzing the world in general. Relationships and love lives made for lively and hilarious banter. We both had never to be discussed with the world stories to relate on that level. We laughed until we hurt. And then each told of the final moments with our parents. We cried until we hurt.
Why do women gravitate to the kitchen to chat when there are perfectly comfortable chairs in the living room? cause the coffee pot is near
Despite the intensity of our catching up - and the promise to do it again soon - it was awesome!

So, that was my day.
I'm off to Google research a certain baritone.
Who knew he was still single?

Don't tell him I'm looking for him, okay?




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18 comments:

The Gal Herself said...

Oh, what a joyful post you have here, Your Highness! Stories, secrets, and memories with your friend and mentor, and (perhaps) a reconnection with a certain baritone who shall remain nameless. You have a resilient, forward-focused spirit, My Queen.

Jamie said...

Oh my, does the baritone have a name? Love the stories of you singing. Once upon a time I sort of had a voice. Don't mix smoke inhalation with vocal chords... still love the sound of others singing.

Stef H (Glitterbabe) said...

i would love to hear you play and sing! if your writing is an indication... it's sure to be beautiful.

and can you believe the word verification for me is disco???? go figure!

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - We did have a wonderful time today. And barely scratched the surface! Given a couple more hours I think we could have found a solution to the oil spill and other major calamities. After all, we're just a pair of very dramatic diva singers. Anything is possible in our world.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jamie - Smoke does not mix with vocal cords. I can't stand to be around it. Yes, he has a name. But he never knew me as a pencil skirt. Or....well...maybe he did come to think of it!

I always played the ditzy roles.

Mimi Lenox said...

Stef - What a lovely compliment. Thank you.

Disco??! How funny!

Mimi Lenox said...

I just answered every one of these comments and they totally disappeared from sight. What is wrong with Blogger?

Mimi Lenox said...

Now they're back.
Can you say Twilight Zone music?

Mimi Lenox said...

REPEATING....Gal - We did have a wonderful time today. And barely scratched the surface! Given a couple more hours I think we could have found a solution to the oil spill and other major calamities. After all, we're just a pair of very dramatic diva singers. Anything is possible in our world.

Travis Cody said...

YAY for your good day!

Mimi Lenox said...

Yay indeed!

dawn said...

How wonderful to spend time with someone who is so special to you. Kitchens are the best place for reminiscing.


Soooo.... a certain baritone eh? hmmmm... ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Good friends are precious.

Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

What a wonderful day...so happy for y'all

Akelamalu said...

I don't know what it is about kitchens but my friend and I always gravitate there to talk too. :)

Red Shoes said...

I like stories like this... to me, it indicates that Life IS a thread... and just because part of it veers off in another direction, it doesn't mean it won't come back around...

I wish I could sing...

~shoes~

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Maybe he's on an opera dating agency?

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - We drank an entire pop of coffee.

Charles - Absolutely. Those who stick around through thick and thin are blessings.

Vinny - We did have so much fun.

Akelamalu - It's a woman thing.

Shoes - I like the idea of life being a thread.

Jean-Luc - Very funny, my friend!

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