Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, December 2, 2010
An opera begins long before the curtain goes
up and ends long after it has come down. It
starts in my imagination, it becomes my life,
and it stays part of my life long after I've left
the opera house.
Maria Callas, diva; born on this date, 1923
Ah. Maria Callas. Drama personified. Dramatic voice ….. though in my opinion uncontrolled, inaccurate, shrill (like the so-called “period” violins that have become so popular, and which I hate!). But she poured out feeling, emotion. In a singer, that can be seductive!
“Opera” ….. meaning “work”. Life is an Opera. It begins “long before the curtain goes up” ….. i.e., when we are born into this World, so much that has gone before us in the history of the human race will have a tremendous influence on our lives. And as we grow, all that has gone before will invade and become part of the Imagination, and it will shape us and teach us and guide us towards what we shall become. As to the time after our Passing, I have no facts and some Imagination! But when we have put down our earthly lives and “left the opera house”, our “work” will pour it’s power onto those who knew us and loved us ….. and so the Journey goes on.
“Advent”, as it takes its part in the Wisdom of the human community, reminds all of the human race that the Past and the Future fold in and make the Present, the Now. I’ve heard many great opera divas through my years. Sometimes Callas was really “off”; sometimes sublime! Leontyne too – though she was exquisitely more “pulled together” than Callas. But there were moments of Magic when everything came together, all the glory of the Past and all the possibility of the Future ….. and a Now moment brought Heaven to Earth. I will never forget the night that Leontyne Price floated for over 10 bars and magically “disappeared”. After a stunned ten seconds of utter silence that seemed forever, the Met audience erupted in a roar that raised the hair on the back of my neck. The Now exploded. All that had ever been and would be came together at that moment.
This is what our lives are meant to be: the utter Present, graced by all that has gone before and propelled by all we yearn for in the Yet To Come.
Let’s give it all we’ve got!