Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Schedule for Spring 2013

Gentle readers, it has come to my attention that Operabase does not have any of my future engagements posted, so it looks as if I don't have any! Heaven forfend! Plus, I have forgotten how to update my hastily assembled 2010 website, which has not been updated since then (I plan to make that a priority very soon!)

So here, then, are my dates through July, at this writing:

Saturday 16 March - Senta in Der Fliegende Hollaender with The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Andris Nelsons, conductor.

Friday 19 April - Sunday 28 April (exact dates not announced) - Senta in Der Fliegende Hollaender at the Teatro San Carlo in Napoli, Italia, Stefan Anton Reck, conductor and Jannis Kokkos, production.

Sunday 7 July, Wednesday 10 July, and Saturday 13 July - Irene in Rienzi with the Von Leipzig Nach Bayreuth Festspiele, Christian Thielemann, conductor and Matthias von Stegmann, production.

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Notice about "On Paper: Playing Post Office"

It has been some months since I have made a post here, and I have not abandoned this blog. It has been a busy and challenging winter for me, what with a lingering respiratory infection and with the excellent problem of lots of work! I do hope to get back to regular postings soon.

This post, however, constitutes an official notice that I will be rescinding my Creative Commons license for my one-act libretto, On Paper: Playing Post Office, effective March 1, 2013. At that time, the work will revert to traditional, all-rights-reserved copyright.

The Creative Commons license for Playing Post Office was initially applied because it was an entry into the English National Opera's Mini-Operas competition, which required submissions to be listed as Creative Commons In-Kind licensees. That competition still has a link for Playing Post Office on its site, but the competition has finished, the winner has been chosen (my piece did not even make the finals of the libretto competition), and I believe that anyone wishing to create a further artistic work using it would have notified me by now.

I will, however, give anyone out there who wishes to use the work under the CC In-Kind license three weeks, until March 1, to notify me at my email address of their effort and preferably to send a copy of that work as an attachment.

Monday, October 29, 2012

'Cane Pain

OK, so far, for the first time in decades, my feverish storm preparations have NOT been for nought! I am now glad I bought:

1) a large/long pruning shear, to clip branches of the trees that might endanger the power line into my house (there is still one I'm worried about, but I can't reach it without standing on something. ).

2) Gorton's Fisherman Rain Wear from Home Depot, for standing out in the cold, blowing rain cutting branches.

3) 4 new battery operated tube lights.

4) 4 30-packs of batteries.

5) new, electric-blue-and-black blanket for Teddy, which I hope he is still wearing. The other horses found him quite the fashion plate after I put it on him yesterday, and he was definitely not loving the attention.

6) an anti-fungal rain-rot prevention spray which I applied liberally before blanketing The Ted.

7) groceries, tp, etc., because who the heck wants to sit in a drive thru or run out to Walgreen's in this?

Things I bought that I am glad to have but that I have not yet needed:

1) Enough bottled water to supply the cast and chorus of War and Peace for a year. Yeah, what's not to love?!

2) a neat little hand-crank/solar radio/flashlight/alarm with a USB port (!) for charging a cell phone!

3) A fireplace screen, which I have needed since I moved into this house in 2008. Wal Mart had the same ones on sale for $5.00 that Home Depot was offering for $40.

4) A tarp. I'm planning to do some painting soon, after all.

5) a cord of wood and an anti-creosote log.

As I write this, we here in Manassas, VA are experiencing the 30-mph sustained winds and 40-mph gusts that were forecast. Mea culpa to Bob Ryan! Y'all to the north - take care.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Welcome

I am a great champion of music by women composers, so my musical offering for today is an 1824 piece by a very talented "Young Lady" of Philadelphia who, sadly, chose to remain anonymous. Was it so unladylike in those days for a lady to let her name appear atop a piece of music written for the newly-organized (1820) Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia and very likely played at the reception for the Marquis de Lafayette on his returning-hero tour of America in 1825? (, n.d.) I saw a name connected with her, apparently through contemporary hearsay which still only gave her last name, but I cannot find the link now, and there is no other documentation. In any event, the piece is part of the Keffer Collection of Sheet Music at the University of Pennsylvania.

Miss Anonymous's "Lafayette's Welcome to Philadelphia"

Resources: (n.d.) "A Rich Heritage," Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia (webpage). Retrieved from on October 13, 2012.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Evelyn Lear

The memorial program for my late friend and mentor Evelyn Lear will occur this evening at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. As I am unable to attend, I wrote the following in remembrance of her:

One day in the spring of 2005, I was summoned to the dining room of the Tulip Inn where I was staying. I was in Hilversum, Holland, rehearsing for my European debut in Erwin Schulhoff's "Flammen" with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. As I took the call, I could hear Evelyn on the other end, weeping. I thought something terrible had happened... But it turned out that Evelyn was overcome with emotion and pride after hearing a bootleg of my first Brunnhilde at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. That was the kind of woman and mentor the great Evelyn Lear was to all who, like me, were fortunate enough to fall under her loving and nurturing wing. Over the past decade, Evelyn was, with her dear Tom, a rock of support, a ray of enlightenment, and an oracle of artistic experience and knowledge. She heard me in a master class and from there promoted me to all who would listen. She didn't get rich doing this; she didn't claim glory for herself. Her work was in humble service to the art she loved, and without her, I know I would not be where I am today. Godspeed, Dearest Evelyn, with deep love and gratitude. Jennifer Wilson

Unfortunate News

It is with the deepest regret that I must announce my withdrawal from the La Gioconda at Opera di Roma. My sadness at this development is all the greater because Gioconda was a new role which I have been excited to perform and which, despite initial reservations, I have come to feel fits my voice exceptionally well. Unfortunately, I arrived in Rome two weeks ago with bronchitis and haven't been well since. My respiratory tract is now clear, but for the past three days I have suffered from fatigue, headaches and a fever which have defied ibuprofen and have made standing up and working difficult. As the role is a new one for me, sitting out tech week rehearsals and then attempting to perform seems a very bad idea. Flu-like symptoms, ironically enough, are harder for an artist to work around than respiratory ones, which respond to decongestants, steroids and whatnot. Drinking Red Bulls to get through rehearsals when you are only sitting watching is a very bad sign. I have the highest regard for the medical practicioners of Italy, but given that I have been ill to some degree for the past six weeks, I think it best that I go home and see my own physician, to make sure I am in top form for my remaining engagements this fall.

I offer my most heartfelt gratitude to Maestri Abbado and Pizzi for their inspiration and support, and to the administration of Teatro dell'Opera di Roma for their confidence in my abilities and for their ongoing interest in collaborating with me. To my wonderful colleagues I wish a stupendous opening night and a successful run. All the best, and thanks for the music!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Am What I Am

It's been a while since I have made a post, so I thought the next post I make should be this one. Certain people have long tried to rob me of credit for every little silly (and not-so-silly) idea I have come up with, because I had a couple of difficult years in the mid-80s and mid-90s, during which I experienced writer's block. Therefore, so this person's thinking goes, I could not possibly have written good things at other points in my life - it must have been someone else, inexplicably using my extremely common Anglo-Saxon name (why not simply call oneself "Mary Smith" and be done with it?) as a nom de plume.

Thus, I take this opportunity to clear up any rumors or misunderstandings that some in their madness or busybody-hood might be spreading about me. Let's see. I have actually written, from my own thoughts and in my own words (except where appropriately cited), in its entirety, every item I have ever submitted or published anywhere under my byline. No one has ever used my screennames (including Nachtigall, Tyrrath, Bloghilde, and several others) to write a single word, as far as I am aware (though it is always possible I will find out I have been hacked at some point). No one else has ever logged on any of my screennames or email accounts with either my knowledge or my permission - in other words, IT'S ALWAYS ME unless illegal activity unbeknownst to me has occurred.

While we are clearing up rumors, I have never taken recreational drugs; I am not addicted to any substance;  I am neither a tramp nor an ascetic; I was born fully, 100 percent a biological female and am still so; I am not mentally ill; I harbor no hatred toward any group in society; I am even-tempered and a good friend and colleague; I am not autistic, and I do not have Down Syndrome or any other mental handicap; I have never sent a lookalike colleague to do rehearsals or performances for me, presumably splitting the fee, though I'll admit it's tempting; I am not secretly a soubrette; I do not require a microphone to be heard in opera houses large or small; I have never weighed in excess of 300 lbs; I have never knowingly had a relationship with a married man; I am attracted ONLY to adult biological human males, though I embrace with love and respect those in the LGBTQ community; I have never known or had any relationship with any criminal of any kind; I have never stalked anyone, though I have certainly been on the receiving end; and I HAVE NEVER BEEN ACTIVELY INTERESTED IN NOR HAVE HAD ANY RELATIONSHIP, OPEN OR CLANDESTINE, WITH ANY 80s POP STARS!
HAHA, yes - I knew you'd be entertained! I do have a good reason for posting this however, as just about anyone who knows me is aware.  Anyone who can come up with any MORE possible (or fanciful) rumors about me, please feel free to email me!