Saturday, April 23, 2011

My dearest, back up in the apartment aerie after a wonderful afternoon, including a lovely piece of good fortune. I decided to go see a Met Opera performance of Richard Strauss's Capriccio, which was being simulcast in HD all over the world this afternoon, including Hudson (where I might have seen it - but realized with irony that I wouldn't have), and at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, about a twenty minute walk from here. It was a cool gray drizzly day and I walked, umbrella aloft, along Atlantic Avenue looking at all the beautiful and interestingly designed shop and boutique windows, furling my umbrella closed when I realized that it wasn't raining anymore. I arrived at BAM, went to the ticket window in the lobby, and waited until two young women with European accents ahead of me finished their transaction. Then it was my turn and the clerk asked my name, assuming that I had a reservation. No, I'd like to purchase a ticket - if I can. Just then the young women returned and said - it took me a moment to realize, to me - we have this ticket, please take it, we were going to throw it away. I very gratefully accepted and thanked them and that was that. I was early for the performance and I went back outside thinking I might walk around Fort Greene a bit until it was time, and as I exclaimed to myself over that bit of good fortune (which seemed in a "slant" way, a kiss from angels, to make up for other vexations), I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk, looked at the ticket, and realized that it was the more expensive $28 one which included a pre-performance lecture - for which I was now a few minutes late. So I returned a few steps to BAM, and had the treat of learning a bit about the opera and its themes before I saw it, which certainly helped to illuminate it for me.

The lecture ended and there were a few minutes before the simulcast was about to begin, so I got up to stretch my legs and attend the restroom. As I returned to my seat I glanced behind me - and to my surprise recognized the fellow. We greeted each other warmly. I was just thinking of you yesterday, I said, when I heard the music lesson from downstairs. Oh - that was me - was it yesterday? - it's all a blur, he replied. And then I remembered how you had dropped the opera tickets on the street and I took a cab to Lincoln Center and found you and L and gave you the tickets. Oh yes, I remember, he said - that was amazing!

It was amazing, and it was nice to have that little memory yesterday, and to be able to share it with him today. He is a very gifted countertenor, who for many years while I lived here took voice lessons from our upstairs neighbor (downstairs, from where at the moment I now sit). Small world! It was nice to see him, and he told me that he had been recently hired by the Met, and I congratulated him, and he reached the row where he sat and it turned out that he had come with his voice teacher, my former neighbor, and he said, look there she is, and I looked and there was her friendly familiar face beaming as she waved hello to me.

So that was a second lovely piece of good fortune, as I think of it.

Darling, I think you can see that my good mood has been restored, I've found some equilibrium again...

The opera was just wonderful. I'm not the biggest opera fan - depends on the work - but I do love Richard Strauss, his ravishing plumbings and soarings. (I should say that one reason I fell in love with D so very many years ago is the fact that he had recommended Strauss's Four Last Songs to me, with which I was unfamiliar, and when I brought the tape home (a time before CDs) and listened to it, I was so blown away that I fell in love not only with the music but with the messenger.)

The Renee Fleming character's predicament - trying to choose between two suitors, a poet and a composer - resonated with me (echoes of John Koch's beautiful painting of the woman pianist seated between her devoted male friends). The opera is a brilliantly witty discussion as to which is a priori, words or music - the score to be settled (and single suitor selected) via the vehicle of opera which is how the characters as they sing their ruminations determine that the matter should be resolved - an opera in which they themselves will star...

It was just wonderful, I was transported, not restless hardly a bit (though feeling a little asthmatic because somewhere near me someone was doused in Chanel No. Five, and though that was distracting it wasn't severe; it's strange, I'm generally not asthmatic or weirdly symptomatic in any way at all, except occasionally in theatres - I've discovered, for example, that I'm allergic to strong odor of movie popcorn.)

My dearest, this is the ramblingest post ever, not feeling very poetic, just happy to have had such a nice day. I hope you've been enjoying one too. Love, and very many kisses -

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