Monday, August 1, 2011
Senza di te (languisce il cor).
I was going to write a thoughtful and moving post about Ramadan, but, as it goes on for a whole month, I should have another opportunity. I don't feel quite in the right frame of mind. Although I knew it was coming, Ramadan still has taken me a bit by surprise, and it feels as if I have been pulled over for a busted headlight only to find out there is a warrant out for unpaid tickets. In any case, blessings to all - practicing or not.
Speaking of practice, albeit of another kind altogether, I have recently been taking voice lessons. It started out as a whim. I sing in the shower (AMAZING acoustics!), in the car, any time there is karaoke. I can carry a tune (this was later confirmed by a rather surprised professional.) I am enjoying it quite a bit, except that my assignments seem to be veering toward the exceptionally morose. As I have discussed previously, I do kind of like morose...but this is all a bit too much.
I am working out of "Twenty-Four Italian Songs and Arias of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century (For Medium High Voice)". I'm a mezzo-soprano! Or something. This era was apparently a good one for, well, SONGS and ARIAS about heartbreak, love lost, love gained (and lost again), and flowers. Shepherds, gay maidens, ravishings (not of the previous parties, I must add), despair, meadows, and stars all make their due appearances. That was back in the day of no Twitter or Facebook, so there was no other way to update your relationship status, I suppose.
If you are not suffering from the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or on your deathbead thanks to having been cruelly discarded by your lover (for he/she has found another! Or has died! Or has gone back to her baby-daddy!) then you surely will feel as if you have been. Or, at the very least, everything will take on a dramatic air, and even the wait for the Sears repairperson to come fix the problem with the soap dispenser of your high-efficiency washer will seem worthy of plaintive weeping and gentle, trembling song. (It has been two weeks since I made the service appointment, and I am tired of waiting! It's helping me get into character, though.)
Case in point: Caro Mio Ben. I am working on this one, and it is lovely (when sung properly.)
Caro mio ben,
Senza di te languisce il cor.
Il tuo fedel
My dear beloved,
believe me at least,
without you my heart languishes.
Your faithful one
cease, cruel one,
so much punishment!
There is a silver lining in all of this. One, I get to feel kind of cultured and renaissance-womanesque (or is that renaissance-esque woman...) because I am singing in a romantic foreign language. Two, when I close my eyes I am able to imagine that I am kicking something off my bucket list (dressing in a toga and singing in a chorus of some locally-produced opera.) Three, another excuse to cry! Of course.