Monday, March 31, 2008

the tube

The Tube
March 2008

My iTunes: Preludio from Partita No. 3 in E Major, BWV 1006 by J.S. Bach

I thought I'd take a break from opera posts for the day since I didn't have rehearsal today. I've actually gone the whole day without listening to the music on my ipod, too! Perhaps I'll have a non-opera related picture tomorrow as well since our next performance is on Wednesday.

This was a shot I took in the London underground last summer. I'm not exactly sure which tube station it was in -- my guess would be either Camden Town or somewhere else closer to the city center. I think it shows a picture of the fast-paced life that we live today. But there is hope -- moments of stillness amidst the hectic times. The camera is proof!

This is a gorgeous piece -- I have two different recordings. One is a solo recording, the other is with a full orchestra. Both are beautiful. YouTube has some amazing videos of violinists playing this piece. The speed at which they can move is absolutely unreal!

Sunday, March 30, 2008


March 2008

My iTunes: Bari Improv from the August Rush Soundtrack

Last night was opening night at the opera -- it went really well! The principals really gave it their all and put on a spectacular performance. We got there really early because parking wasn't an issue on a weekend (hallelujah!), so I snapped some pictures outside the stage door. This is at the corner of W Oliver Street and Maryland Avenue -- we know it well now!

Check out the movie "August Rush" if you can -- this is one of my favorite songs from the soundtrack. It's amazing.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

all laced up

All Laced Up
March 2008

My iTunes: August Rhapsody from the soundtrack to August Rush

I like taking close up pictures -- I think it's one of my trademarks in my photography. I think in life we rarely take time to "stop and smell the roses" so to speak, and we're so busy trying to live our lives that we forget to stop and notice the little details. So, here is one of those little details that we so often miss. Can you figure out what it is? (Really, it's not that hard...)

I watched August Rush for the first time yesterday evening -- it was amazing! It is certainly on my list of top-ten movies! I can't say enough about how wonderful it is, and the soundtrack is simply gorgeous as well. Watch it. Now.

Friday, March 28, 2008

pin up

Pin Up
March 2008

My iTunes: Black Swan from Gian Carlo Menotti's The Medium

Yesterday when we were getting ready for the show, my friend Catherine who is also a supernumerary with me was putting up her hair. I took advantage of the moment and played paparazzi for a bit.

It's been nice to be on the other side of the camera for once! And to be back to taking pictures again -- it's been too long...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

opera de montreal

Opera de Montreal
March 2008

My iTunes: Good Morning, Baltimore from Hairspray

Tonight was the final dress rehearsal for the opera. It was so exciting! I think I want to be involved with opera productions forever...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


March 2008

My iTunes: Je Veux Vivre from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette

I'm getting an early post in today, just to be sure it's up! We have rehearsal tonight starting at 6:00, so it'll be a full day!

This is a shot I took just before going into New York City through the Lincoln Tunnel a few months ago. I liked messing around with it in Photoshop and just used it in a presentation I put together for a group here on campus. It reminds me of Heroes, the TV show.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

british graffiti

British Graffiti
March 2008

My iTunes: Tutti Zitti from Puccini's Madame Butterfly

Posting may be a bit less frequent over the next week or so because we're coming down the home stretch with the opera. We have rehearsal almost every night this week and the final dress rehearsal is Thursday. I'm so excited! I will try my best to post, though -- I hate getting behind in my postings. I don't know what the policy on photography will be, but if I can I'll get some pictures at the opera.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


March 2008

My iTunes: Reveries-Passions by Hector Berlioz

I like old keys. And I also like deep red tones. My friend, Anna, just finished posting a series of images based on the color red and her pictures inspired me to find something red to post as well. (Check out her daily photo blog here:

Short post tonight -- I'm working on writing several letters, sending several important emails, writing an outline, finishing a book, and working on a listening assignment for my music history class (hence I'm listening to Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique yet again, but right now I'm just focusing on the first movement, which is entitled Reveries-Passions).

Saturday, March 22, 2008

celtic cross

Celtic Cross
March 2008

My iTunes: Voici Nos Gens! from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette

This is an image I wake up to every morning. To decorate my bedroom, I printed out a bunch of my photographs from Europe in black-and-white and essentially wallpapered two of my walls. This image ended up being right in my line of sight when I wake up. I think it's a good reminder of what I'd like my legacy to be one day. The inscription at the center is in Latin: "In Te Domine Speravi." It means, "In You, Lord, I trusted." The cross was on the wall in one of the cloisters at Westminster Abbey in London.

I thought it was an appropriate picture for today, the day before Easter.

And for those of you who read what I am listening to in iTunes each time I post, yes, I am still listening to the same opera. I've completely fallen in love with the music. This track is rather long (a whopping 17 minutes!), but it has one of my favorite parts of the whole opera in it. The two families are gathered around the bodies of Mercutio and Tybalt as the Duke comes to survey the scene, and they cry out for justice in a sort of call-and-response format. One voice raises the cry, "Justice!" and is echoed by the full chorus in multi-part harmony, "Justice!" The sound just fills the room and makes me weak at the knees. It's fantastic.

Friday, March 21, 2008

good friday

Good Friday
March 2008

My iTunes: Depuis Hier... Que Fais Tu, Blanche Tourterelle from Gounod's Romeo et Juliette

This is one of my favorite arias from the opera -- it's fun one by Stephano, a male role cast to be played by a mezzo-soprano. Roles like this are known as "pants roles." They became popular as castrati were going out of style. Unfortunately, most people don't appreciate French opera as much as it deserves to be appreciated. Italian is the typical favorite. I just love it all! My recording of this opera is from 1983. Unfortunately the quality isn't the greatest, but perhaps I'm spoiled from hearing it live several evenings a week...

I thought this would be an appropriate image for today, Good Friday. I like the simplicity of this shot. It was taken from the Colosseum in Rome. You can tell it's not in America because the symbolism of the crucifix would never be allowed to be so prominent on an historic, public building. I like how the cross looks out over everyone beneath it, even while they "overlook" the cross. Too often I myself am guilty of that in my own life.

Anyway, blessings on this Good Friday.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

my MRI

March 2008

My iTunes: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik by Mozart

It's not exactly an image that I photographed myself, but I did photograph the image and the image is of my back... I thought it would count for one day's posting. Can you tell what is wrong with this picture? Yes, you guessed it, the big black "explosion" of the last disc is most definitely NOT normal.

I find it fascinating that we have advanced technology to the point that we can use magnetic resonance imaging to produce pictures like this of the soft tissues inside our bodies, absolutely void of invasive procedures. I've studied the history of art during the time that photography and x-rays were first becoming used, and it's amazing to see the impact that this sort of technology had on modern art. It actually directly impacted the flatness that is so characteristic of artists like Picasso, which I find rather ironic because x-rays are images of the 3-D human body.

But anyway, enough lessons for today. Enjoy the day, and touch your toes for me because I can't...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


March 2008

My iTunes: Non Piu Andrai from Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro

I just heard that one of the interns who I worked with in London this summer just got engaged. Engagements make for such exciting news! His girlfriend (now fiancee) came to visit him in London for a week this summer, and this is my favorite picture that I snapped of the two of them. If memory serves me correctly, this was when we visited Camden Town on one of our days off. Congratulations, Matt and Nicole!

The song that I'm listening to is quite catchy, and if you listen to (or watch) Don Giovanni, you will actually hear the tune from this piece in that opera as well. Le Nozze Di Figaro was written and performed in Prague before Don Giovanni, and this particular tune was so popular that upon visiting Prague later, Mozart commented in one of his letters that he heard the people singing and dancing to it in the streets. When he composed Don Giovanni, which premiered in Prague in 1787, he had the chamber orchestra in the final act play this piece while Don Giovanni ate his dinner. Don Giovanni's manservant, Leporello, who serves as the comic relief for the dramma giocoso opera, comments that he's heard that tune before, a joke that the Prague audience would have picked up on.

Okay, enough of a music history lesson for today. Hopefully the weather is nice wherever you are and you have a chance to go outside and enjoy it. I will be attached to the couch until my MRI at 3:00, and then hope my pain will be bearable enough with all this medication that I can make it to the opera rehearsal in Baltimore tonight...

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

monastery door

Monastery Door
March 2008

My iTunes: Marche au Supplice from Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique

Sorry for lagging in my posting... yet again. I spent most of yesterday in Baltimore for fittings and rehearsal for Romeo et Juliette. The rest of the day was spent in great pain because I couldn't take the effective pain medication until I got to Baltimore because you're not supposed to drive while taking it. I just didn't get around to posting.

This morning was spent at the orthopedic specialist's office, where I was diagnosed with a herniated disc. Tomorrow afternoon I will go for an MRI of the lumbar area of my back to verify the diagnosis, and for the next two weeks I will be on steroids to treat the inflammation around my S1 nerve.

This shot is of a door to a monastery in Assisi, Italy. I liked its rustic look -- just imagine how old it must have been!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

marble floor

Marble Floor
March 2008

My iTunes: Symphony #3 by Brahms

Well, one visit to the ER later, I am back and posting. I spent this morning at the ER because of severe pain in my left leg. Now I am on muscle relaxers and strong narcotics and have a doctor's appointment tomorrow. Because it seems like I have something nerve- and/or disc- related, I'll probably have to get an MRI within the next few days. Hopefully we can get everything straightened out, the pain will stop, and my schedule won't be too terribly disrupted (especially with the opera rehearsals!)...

So, can you figure out where this floor is? It's quite famous, and the labels for this post should give you a hint...

Friday, March 14, 2008

exceptionally written

Exceptionally Written
March 2008

My iTunes: Romeo et Juliette by Charles Gounod

Getting that "A" on a paper is every student's dream, or at least should be. But sometimes I think people make too much of grades and forget about the learning that grades should inspire the student to achieve. Maybe I am the exception to the rule, but my interests are almost too wide and varied. There are so many things I want to learn about and so many classes I wish I could take. Maybe one day I'll get to take them all...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

let's try this again...

A Little Green
March 2008

My iTunes: Symphonie Fantastique by Hector Berlioz

I've been trying to upload an image all week, and it finally worked. Hopefully it will be working from now on so I can continue to post my pictures! 2008 has not been a good year for doing that so far between the computer troubles and the uploading troubles...

This is one of my new favorite pieces of music from the Romantic period (early 19th century). I like the fourth movement a lot because it is so full of sensual imagery (that is, imagery that appeals to the senses, like sight, touch, etc.). The first time I heard it, not knowing the title of the piece, the title of the movement, or the composer, I pictured a very specific scene in my head. Berlioz was a programmatic composer, meaning he communicated a specific scene that he intended the audience to picture when hearing this piece. Ironically, without knowing the prescribed scene as Berlioz described it, I pictured the exact scene. Listen to it and see what images come to mind.

The latest news: starting tomorrow, I have a week off! At least I won't have my regular schedule, but I do have a rather large "To-Do List". I hope I can get most of the things on it out of the way -- wish me luck!

Hopefully I'll post again tomorrow...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

more posting trouble

Once again, I've been having posting trouble. Blogger won't even bring up the window to browse for a photo. I will keep trying...

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

stone pillars

Stone Pillars
March 2008

My iTunes: Noi Don Magnifico from Rossini's "La Cenerentola"

I like timeless things. There is something about permanence and stability that attracts me, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. These stone pillars were from Bath, England, and they seem to exude timelessness, even though they are very much rooted in a specific time. When life seems crazy and things are changing and uncertain, looking at something that has stood the test of time -- like these Roman pillars -- has a calming effect on me.

Monday, March 3, 2008

big ben and parliament

Big Ben and Parliament
September 2004

My iTunes: La del ciel nell'arcano profundo from Rossini's "La Cenerentola"

I was FINALLY able to upload a picture. I think that blogspot doesn't like the original one I was trying to upload because I am still unable to upload that one, but was able to get this one into the blog. This is an old picture (almost 4 years old!) from my first time in London in September of 2004. It's a shot of Big Ben and Parliament at dusk from the top of the London Eye, which is located just across the Thames.

Hopefully I won't have any more trouble with uploading pictures...

still having trouble

I am still having trouble uploading photographs, but will keep trying...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

posting trouble

I've been trying to upload a photo for the past 24 hours, but have been having trouble. I'll keep trying... Thanks for your patience!