Sunday, May 8, 2011

Queer queer queer

There's something terrifying about doing an opera for the second time, especially one that was successful in its first incarnation: a weight of expectation, a fear of the pieces falling together not quite as expected. When the journey begins, this terror is all one has, but, as we approach our destination, traveling together, we notice the sights along the way, so pretty to the eyes, and the fates now seem to favor the risks we have taken. We settle back into the warm delights of artistic camaraderie and look forward to the joy of performance. The music is good, done by someone else, not me at all, someone whose ideas and expectations I can no longer remember. When Bryan Nies, our conductor, asks me how a passage should go, I don't know the answer.  All I know is the way it was back then, the sounds and realizations that I love.  He is angry that I can't make decisions, so I merely make them, saying yes, treat it like rock and roll, yes, I want every note of that very quick run individually bowed, slower, louder, faster, legato, conduct it like this, not that. But there are too many options and I like them all.  Fortunately, Jim Cave, our leader and director, sees a clear path forward.  I believe he has the map to get us to where we are going and so I merely sit to the side, leaping up to let someone in who is late, caught in the Muni catacombs, just as the line curves around the ossuary on the left, or rearranging the fruit I have bought to keep the performers happy, practicing the guitar quietly with ten year older fingers, sitting back, in the corner, just far enough back to not be seen, but to see enough to know it is beautiful. I can hear from here, thank you, and it all sounds beautiful. Maybe it should be a little louder or softer here.

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