Saturday, February 9, 2008

Opera and Links

Here's a link to an interesting question I saw on Best of Answers lately:
See the question

I just discovered that BYU-TV has decided to show again "1856: Long Walk Home", a concert opera that covers the experiences of pioneers from the Willie and Martin handcart companies. I really enjoy this opera for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the amazing performance of Jennifer Welch-Babidge (I've been a fan of hers ever since I heard her in person in Logan a few years ago). About halfway through the opera she sings an incredible solo ("Mother, I dream of warmth..."). You can see the program here for the next month or so after posting:
See the opera

Oh, do I ever love opera! Hearing an opera on CD or the radio isn't usually that exciting, and seeing an opera on TV is better but not always gripping, but seeing an opera in the theater is my absolute favorite form of entertainment. I even like Wagner and modern operas that many people don't seem to like. Unfortunately, so many operas have material that I think is inappropriate. Before I would attend an opera, I would check the synopsis carefully to make sure it didn't have anything I would regret seeing. For example, I thought the music of Thaïs was so wonderful the first time I heard it on the radio I would even listen to it on the radio... but then I discovered that there is a scene in the opera where one of the main characters has an erotic dream about the other character, and apparently this scene is often performed in the nude. If anyone is interested in inviting me to an appropriate opera, I would gladly go and have a great time. The combination of music and theater: what could be better? As I recall, the first time I saw an opera in the theater I was so mesmerized that I was surprised when the first act was over; it had seemed to me that only a short time had gone by.

So check out the opera at the link above and see why I like it. The composition is very nice, but above all I just can't get over Jennifer Welch-Babidge's performance. Maybe I'll talk her into being my voice teacher someday. ;)

And while you're at it, see this YouTube page for the opera "The Dreamweaver", by Erica Glenn. Dreamweaver and the other operas on this channel were the winners of a national opera composition contest last year (but Dreamweaver took number 1). I'm pretty proud to claim the composer as one of my friends. I was at the performance last year where the videos were made. To download a better-quality copy of the audio, see

And in case you're not aware, Marie Callender's semi-annual pie sale is on this month. I've eaten a lot of pie today. :)

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