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.
You don't think all that opera drama is just onstage, do you?
"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
Why do women gravitate to the kitchen to chat when there are perfectly comfortable chairs in the living room?
Despite the intensity of our catching up - and the promise to do it again soon - it was awesome!
I'm off to Google
Who knew he was still single?
Don't tell him I'm looking for him, okay?