Thursday, March 26, 2015

If you know the Gounod

I'm currently working on set painting for Tacoma Opera's production of Roméo et Juliette. Progress has been a bit choppy--largely because people keep getting sick--but it's coming along! Theater load-in is next weekend.

There's a Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet that's pretty well known, but that's a ballet. Anne Marie asked me who the composer of this one was, and I said, "I don't remember--not someone I'm familiar with. I think it starts with a G. Or maybe a C." She looked it up on her phone and said, "Oh, Charles Gounod! I know him."

Later I was checking out the Wikipedia article and realized that I know him too.  Or at least one of his works.   He wrote the Ave Maria that's superimposed over Bach's Prelude No. 1.  The Barra MacNeils have an especially lovely version on their second Christmas album.  It's the first song on Kate's bedtime playlist, and we've been hearing it every night for years. 

Years ago I ran across this video of Bobby McFerrin and was absolutely enchanted.  I had to go look it up again after I made the connection.

I can't help but think what a transcendent experience it must have been to be in that audience. I've always loved the bit at a concert where the performer will stop singing and let the audience carry the song for a while. It creates a brief feeling of connection that always gets me a bit emotional. (I remember being at a concert in Bannerman Park in St. John's Newfoundland, sitting on the grass in the twilight, softly singing "Sonny's Dream" along with all the other concert-goers, and getting positively teary-eyed. And I don't even like that song.)

Bobby McFerrin does some amazing stuff.  This video is fabulous as well. Both entertaining and astonishing.

My mind is blown.


Shelley Dent said...

I just spent 2 hours reading your blog... I even fed my kids frozen pizza (shame) because I was reading and forgot to cook. I really enjoyed reading it. Your talent is inspiring. We have chatted before on 2 peas. I lived in Korea for 5 years but you may not remember me. I was
mackeysmom (I am still his mom but have different user name now) anyway just wanted to say hi and that I enjoyed the afternoon stalking you :)

Helena said...

Aww, thanks! Good to hear from you! :)