July 11th, 2009:
What an accelerated week! The past few days looped into a neat circle yesterday evening, as I was sitting in the dress circle at Herbst Theatre, waiting for the first Merola concert of the summer to begin. This would be my first opportunity to hear this year's crop of apprentice singers from all around the world as they sang excerpts from five operas--Dutchman, Orfeo ed Eurydice, The Medium, L'Italiana in Algeri and the last act of Boheme. I love the Merola Program and have been attending the Finale in mid-August for several years. Hearing the new talent that is being polished for world stages thrills me. There's a future, and I am hearing it early.
As I was waiting, who should come down to my aisle to say hi, but Lisa Capaldini, my primary care physician! One of our connections along with an interest in my health is opera. Of course she would be there as well. She was really startled to see me. "You look so great!" she kept repeating. And she had good reason to wonder. When I crawled into her office on Tuesday morning, I was in deep pain, fearful that my right arm would be incapacitated forever. And here, some four days later after starting her adept treatment, I am sitting with my friends and catching up on opera chat before a concert. To other eyes, there was no hint of the desperate times earlier in the week. What a fine end to a difficult passage. Presently, the concert hall lights dimmed and the next generation of singers took to the stage and began to command our attention.