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All we need is a little "Patience"

January 8, 2014

So, NYGASP’s production of Patience, Gilbert & Sullivan’s second-longest running operetta of their time (behind The Mikado and ahead of H.M.S. Pinafore!), just closed Sunday after four fantastic performances at the Symphony Space. We had an incredible write-up in the New York Times, and I have to admit that it was gratifying for that venerable paper to recognize NYGASP’s efforts (and those of her fearless leader, Albert Bergeret, and her individual players) to preserve Gilbert & Sullivan’s legacy and ensure its future.

 

I didn’t know Patience before my first engagement as Lady Angela with NYGASP in 2012 — but now I can’t imagine how I ever lived without it! Gilbert’s creation of the character of Bunthorne, in particular, is genius. In my opinion, it’s some of his best work. And while Patience may not have some of the catchiest Sullivan tunes, I think he turned out some really beautiful melodies – “Love is a plaintive song” and the sextet in the Act I Finale (“I hear the soft note”) come immediately to mind. This parody of the 19th century Aesthetic movement is really a timeless masterpiece. And I’m so pleased to have had the chance to have had a proper run (four whole performances! as opposed to our one in 2012, which felt like a dress rehearsal – a great dress rehearsal, but was a bit of a nail-biter for the whole cast). This time around, we had the opportunity for, oh, I don’t know, character development. (What??? I KNOW.) Our formidable AD, David Auxier (a very gifted performer, too), gave thoughtful notes to really help us bring sincerity to the silliness.

 

I wish we could take Patience on the road, but we would definitely have to offer the audiences a glossary, as there’s quite a bit of flowery language (about indigestion, no less – hilarious!), and since it’s a relatively “unknown” work, it’s harder to sell than the Big Three (Pirates, Mikado and Pinafore). The cast would relish the opportunity to become as familiar with our Patience roles as we are with, say, those in the Big Three. (If you missed it, here‘s a link to our video preview — I meant to post it long before we opened, and somehow failed to publish that post. Oy.) NYGASP’s is a labor of love, and I for one am grateful that there is still one professional company in the U.S. dedicated solely to the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, (though we certainly have the talent to do any other number of things – and to do them well, too! – we have great opera singers, musical theater divas, dancers, brass players, drag queens, ukulele-ists… I’m beyond thrilled to share the stage and call “friend” this brilliant and eclectic bunch!), struggling and striving to sustain and relevate (that’s my new verb for “keep relevant”) the G&S canon. The Players play on, because we simply cannot stop.

 

“I hear the soft note of the echoing voice of an old, old love long dead.
It whispers my sorrowing heart “Rejoice” as the last sad tear is shed.
The pain that is all but a pleasure will change for the pleasure that’s all but pain,
And never, oh never, our hearts shall range from that old, old love again.”

 

We are old souls, indeed, and shall never range from our old, old love. (For many, our first love.) I hope you’ll check out NYGASP’s touring schedule here, and be sure to catch them/us in a city near you! I’ll be in Idaho in February and Denver in March for run-outs of Pirates, but you shouldn’t miss my compatriots in Pinafore if it comes to your hometown. It’s a treat for the whole family!

 

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The Diva Digests

an opera singer's thoughts on music, food, and the meaning of life

about The Diva

I’m a California native, recently returned to the L.A. area after 15 years as an opera singer in the Big Apple. Singing has always been my favorite means of communication and self-expression. I’m a self-conscious self-editor, so singing someone else’s words and music has given me the freedom over the years to express what I couldn’t figure out how to say. Well, I’m tired of editing, so here I am, writing my own words (for better or worse). Welcome to my blog! I’ll write mostly about singing and eating, and how the two have intersected in my life.

 

My overall health is pretty good (and it’s a lot better than it used to be). Thank God, I’ve never had major illnesses. But repeat sinus infections for an opera singer is pretty bad news. When I realized I was making myself sick with what I was eating (hello coffee, fried food, and refined sugar!), it was a huge wake-up call. I could likely have saved myself an invasive surgery if I had known that my fibroids were growing because of my highly inflammatory diet. I thought surgery was my best option, because it was what my doctor recommended! (By the way, I have kept my fibroids in check and improved my sinus health – and lost 25 pounds – by engaging in new food habits that reduce inflammation.)

 

We have become a magic pill culture. Sit in front of the TV for 5 minutes, and you’re bombarded by direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing. “Do you suffer from heartburn so bad it makes you vomit? Never fear. Go ahead and eat that plateful of atomic buffalo wings, wash it down with a bottle of red wine, and take this little pill. You’ll be right as rain.” UGH. (I paraphrase, but you get the idea.) Actually, you’ll end up with chronic inflammation, which can lead to serious illness. (Cancer, anyone?) Have you ever considered that the bloating and discomfort you feel after a meal is NOT normal? Do you want to get off of your OTC (and possibly even your prescription) meds? Do you want to quit your daily Advil habit? You can do it by making a few, simple changes to your diet. (Countless people have even reversed their diabetes by changing what and how they eat. Diabetes!!) Food can change the world — and YOUR LIFE.

 

If you have struggled with sugar or other food addiction, poor sleep, intense stress, brain fog, blocked creativity, with the feeling that you haven’t reached your potential, and you are looking for an ally to help achieve your best health, unlock your super powers, and live a dynamic life, please contact me at thedivadigests@gmail.com to set up a FREE 1-hour consultation and learn more about one-on-one and group coaching options… The Diva will help you Digest, too, and live an authentic, dynamic life. ;)

 

Thanks for stopping by. Make today your best day yet!! Remember: Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. (-Anonymous) It just has to be authentic. (-Me)