Me: “Daddy, you’re not supposed to pick your boogers at the opera are you?”
Dad: “No, you’re not.”
Me: “No, that’s a rule.”
And thus began my love affair with one of the greatest musical genres known to mankind, opera. A strange beginning one might think, but taking into consideration I was a mere five years old, a tender little sproutlet, that sort of thought process is acceptable. At least, I hope you would agree. When you really give it due consideration, I believe it is commendable that such a small child would even enquire after the proper etiquette required for such an elegant occasion. Sufficient booger pickage is just as important as posture, dress, applause, and such. I didn’t want to shame my parents. We were, after all, attending a recital of our landlord’s wife. Just think how awful it would have been had she, in the midst of her aria, looked down to see her serf’s child rooting around for a large cache of gold. She already knew of my eccentricities. Whilst dining in their home on a separate occasion, I had noticed the dainty pickle fork conveniently placed within my reach. Immediately I had decided the time was nigh for dazzling the dinner guests with my impersonation skills. My spot on rendition of Ariel-uses-utensils-for-the-first-time was a sight to behold. I learned that night, pickle forks weren’t designed for combing one’s hair… No, No, I couldn’t disgrace my family again. So, I resorted to being content with the state of my nasal content and became completely enthralled with the wonder that was before me.
Some time before while watching Sesame Street I was made aware of a curious style of singing. As Kermit the frog harmonized with two heifers, I took note of their voices. What was that melodic wobbly noise I heard!? The effect was rather pleasant. I was perplexed. Be they angels? I had to know more! From thence forth I set out upon a mission to make my voice wobble in the same manner. At first the attempts were disastrous, sounding something akin to a yowling cat being beaten with a rug beater (greatness has to start somewhere). Over time the yowling turned into underwater warbles and the underwater warbles turned to something resembling that of the desired goal, a vibrato.
With the recital fresh in my mind, I threw myself headlong into forming my meager warble into a full blown operatic vibrato. As I became increasingly successful I knew my destiny was set. I was born to be an opera star. Talent such as mine was meant to be shared! And share it I did.
Music time in kindergarten was never the same. A true opera singer sat in the midst of Barney’s buddy wannabes. “You can sing everybody clean up? Well, I can sing Queen of the Night! You can spell red? Well, I can spell Rossini! You blithering idiots.” (My words exactly, to be sure.)
Staircases were meant to be ascended and descended in crescendos and decrescendos of glory!
Delusions of grandeur flitted before my eyes. The glamour knew no bounds. Silk and satin were made for me. Jewels dripped from my body. Oh the lavish life my mind concocted!
But soon other notions caught my fancy and I neatly tucked my opera obsession up on a shelf. I merely tucked it away, mind you. My love was never fully extinguished.
Almost a year ago, I snatched my little obession off the shelf, gave it a good dusting, and once more let it have free reign over my musical heart. Now, more than ever, I have become a true believer in the beauty, passion, and wonder that is opera
Opera my love, never again shall I forsake thee! I will sing you once more! We shall pass through this life as bosom companions. I give you my word.
Yours Truly – M