Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Let us not forget that this is the nation of immigrants since the dawn of its history, and, furthermore, they came as refugees escaping oppression and seeking, in particular, religious freedom; and henceforward the nation grew with successive waves of immigrants.  Social heterogeneity generated by immigrants has been the nation’s strength which continues to enrich the life and culture of its citizens. 


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Opera is Art of the Voice

Opera is vocal music.  Singing creates a drama in the opera; the drama it creates should come from singing.  All too often, in modern productions, opera has been made into a sight-and-sound spectacle with singing submerged in the visual fanfare; the set, costume, and lighting, which should support the singing, too often take precedence rather than a subsidiary place.  Little wonder I experience a special excitement when I attend an opera in concert presentation; with no stage set and minimal costume and physical action, it is so much more fulfilling than a fully-staged performance, precisely because the voice with instrumental accompaniment carries the drama.  A good libretto rendered into an expressive musical composition and sung beautifully is what we get.  In some operatic works, notably in Wagner’s music dramas, symphonic music takes precedence to which voices are one additional set of instrument.  All these points were powerfully demonstrated in the recent performance I attended at Carnegie of Handel’s Ariodante featuring the English Concert and Joyce DiDonato in the title role.  It was opera par excellence superbly realized. 


Pink, pink, pink

My obsessive taste for pink originates, I recently reflected, in the fact that I missed out on pinky girlhood, having grown up in wartime Tokyo when the camouflage khaki washed the world.  So, even now at my advanced age, when I see a little girl dressed in pink I get oh so envious.  But, too, I remember that the cherry blossom that colors every spring in Japan is the glorious pink. See also Pink Me on my Webbsie