Tuesday, January 17, 2017

One thing leads to another

Dear Readers,

I have been epistolarily silent this last week, and - for those of you who are close to me know -vocally silent because I contracted pneumonia. It could, of course, be worse. I, fortunately, have not been hospitalized, and I elected to recover at home. I've been taking a plethora of medicines. With each new obstacle (ie. frenotomy, and pneumonia) I find myself feeling more and more callow. I've been taking azithromycin, prednisone, antihistamines (cetirizine and diphenhydramine), elderberry extract, vitamins C; D; B12, guaifenesin, phenylephrine, dextromethorphan, and plenty of acetaminophen. I have been hydrating, resting, and eating plenty of soup. I've been sequestered in my home, trying to limit contact with my colleagues; in efforts to prioritize their health.

Recovery has been a challenge: my roommate has also been sick. He and his girlfriend are smokers, who smoke in the apartment. I bought Lysol disinfectant spray and two containers of antibacterial moist tissue wipes, but I am the only person who uses them. My roommate keeps the apartment fairly cold, particularly at night.

Today is my last day of antibiotic treatment; just in time, because things are about to heat up here in Michigan. We have concerts in Florida, Detroit, and the beginning of our rehearsal period for Little Women approaching.

Good news to share:
In my off time I have finished reading Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy's The Ethical Slut, which is a fantastic and engaging read. I have decided to revisit Melville's Moby Dick. I also have Getting the Love you Want, Seta, Oceano Mare, Overtones, a book of temperaments, and 1984 (in English and Italian) on the back burner of my reading list.

I've also chosen to explore my culinary interests. I've made several pizzas, pastas, and soups from scratch.

I've also become an expert Instagram user.

I wish that there was more to tell, and of it better news to share.

Until things are on track again...
Warmest regards

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Ankyloglossia - 5 weeks

Dear Readers,

It has come to my attention that those of you who are reading from mobile devices will be subjected to a thumbnail of the photos that I post, like it or not. My apologies for the weak of stomach, who would prefer not to see my healing process.

Again, I am posting these photos for two reasons: for those interested in my recovery from professional and personal investment in me, and those other singers who - like myself - did not have any resources. I am happy to answer questions, or address comments of those curious.

I still stretch my tongue regularly throughout the day. I have been singing some, but no solo performances yet. Unfortunately, as the pain subsided I contracted the flu/some bad congestion. I am getting over the illness but it has, sadly, extended the period of vocal rest. Once this gunk is off my chords I will be ready to go. Which could't come too quickly, because I need to get Little Women and Fanciulla in my throat ASAP!

For those of you still interested, below are photos of my healing/recovery.

Photos from the follow-up visit and debridement:

Photos from 5 weeks (1/3/17) following the frenoctomy (frenotomy):

Thank you for checking in,
as ever
all my best

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Welcome 2017 - Happy New Year!

Dear Readers,

Before we get too far into the new year, and the spring season at MOT commences I want to wish you all my very best for 2017!

Things have been slow since my frenoctomy; not much to share. I was home in New York for the holidays. On Christmas eve, for the third year in a row, my good friend Costas Tsourakis and I pulled a double. We sang the Christmas eve service at The Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Manhattan, followed by midnight mass at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Bayside, Queens.

It was a true delight to be home singing, for some reason it meant more this year than in years past. I can't exactly put my finger on "why," but there was something beautiful about that night.

Today, January 4th, was our first rehearsal with maestro Suzanne Acton; in preparation for the Michigan Opera Theatre Studio's production of Mark Adamo's Little Women (based on the Louisa May Alcott novel of the same name). I will be singing the character of Theodore Lawrence  "Laurie."

Laurie (Theodore Lawrence [sic][1])


Voice Part:
Lyric Tenor
d to bˈ [optional cˈˈ] (D3 – B4 [optional C5])
e to aˈ

·         Theodore "Laurie" Laurence - He is a rich young man, older than Jo but younger than Meg. Laurie is the "boy next door" to the March family, and has an overprotective paternal grandfather, Mr. [James] Laurence.
    • Laurie's father was disowned by his parents after eloping with an Italian pianist.
    • Both Laurie’s father mother died young, and the boy Laurie was taken in by his grandfather. Preparing to enter Harvard, Laurie is being tutored by John Brooke.
    • He had a sister. She is dead.
    • Theodore "Laurie" Laurence, sometimes calls Jo "my dear fellow",
    • He is described as attractive and charming, with black eyes, brown skin, and curly black hair.
    • He later falls in love with Amy and they marry; they have one child, a little girl named after Beth: Elizabeth "Bess" Laurence.
    • Sometimes Jo calls Laurie "Teddy". Though Alcott did not make Laurie as multidimensional as the female characters, she partly based him on Ladislas Wisniewski[2], a young polish émigré she had befriended, and Alf Whitman, a friend from Lawrence, Kansas
    • According to Jan Susina, the portrayal of Laurie is as "the fortunate outsider", observing Mrs. March and the March sisters. He agrees with Alcott that Laurie is not strongly developed as a character[3].
    • Fred Vaughan—A Harvard friend of Laurie's who, in Europe, courts Amy. Rivalry with the much richer Fred for Amy's love inspires the dissipated Laurie to pull himself together and become more worthy of her. Amy will eventually reject Fred, knowing she does not love him and deciding not to marry out of ambition
·         The Marches’ charming, fun, and intelligent next-door neighbor, Laurie becomes particularly close to Jo but ends up marrying Amy. In between the publication of Part One and Part Two, Alcott received many letters asking her to marry Jo to Laurie. Perhaps to simultaneously please her readers and teach them a lesson, Alcott had Jo get married, but not to Laurie. Laurie struggles with his grandfather’s expectations of him, in a similar manner to the way Jo struggles with becoming a lady. Laurie is not manly enough for his grandfather because he does not want to enter the business world. Likewise, Jo is not feminine enough for her sisters because she swears, soils her gloves, and speaks her mind at all times.[4]
·         Laurie, is a high-spirited young man about the same age as Jo. Until the March girls come along, he's moody, bad-tempered, and often bored.
    • Like many other teenagers, he has plans for his life that are pretty different than his guardian's. His grandfather, old Mr. Laurence, wants him to go into the family business and be a merchant, importing expensive goods from India.
    • He wants to be a great composer, or maybe just run away and have adventures while traveling.
    • Laurie compromises with his guardian by agreeing to go to college.
    • When Laurie and Jo meet, they immediately hit it off and become good friends.
    • Laurie's feelings eventually turn romantic, but Jo insists that she could never fall in love with Laurie. In a way, it's because they're too similar – both of them have touchy tempers. But really, it's not Laurie's fault. Jo likes him, but doesn't love him.
    • He's able to transfer his affections to her sister Amy, whose genteel manners make a much better match for his wealth and social position. It's a happy, if creepy, ending to their love triangle.
    • Laurie's main function in the narrative, besides providing a Y chromosome in this heavily-female novel, is to show the redeeming influence of the March girls. At many points, including his time in college and his period of distracted wandering through Europe, Laurie is in danger of doing what nineteenth-century society called "going to the bad" – gambling, taking a mistress, drinking, or other "dissolute" behavior. But his friendship with the March girls, his desire to keep their good opinion, and his tendency to absorb their moral principles all work together to keep him on the straight and narrow.[5]

Hope you enjoyed some info about my character. Looking forward to bring him to life for you.

Thanks for reading,

[1] G. Schirmer/Adamo’s misspelling
[2] Who Alcott apparently, with affection called Laddie. “The flirtation between Laddie and Alcott culminated in them spending two weeks together in Paris, alone. According to biographer Harriet Reisen, Alcott later modeled Laurie after Laddie. How far did the Alcott/Laddie affair go? It’s hard to say, as Alcott later crossed out the section of her diary referring to the romance. In the margin, she wrote, “couldn’t be.”
[3] Wikipedia
[4] Spark notes
[5] Shmoop.com