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!