Sunday, September 27, 2009

La Boheme on my mother's birthday

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  • photo of "the young and vibrant cast" of Portland Opera's production of La Boheme.

Portland Opera's la Boheme  
Hold on to your heart!

A wondrous young love blossoms in the bohemian world of 1830s Paris.

It all begins with Mimi's gentle voice at the door. Might she have a light for her candle? And that one small light ignites opera's most touching and poignant love story.
From the moment Rodolfo stares into her eyes and Puccini's violins slowly rise from the quiet, an extraordinary journey begins. For them. And for us. With their first tender kiss, we're swept back to the miraculous time of our own first love.
One of the most romantic operas ever composed! Soaring, lyrical, and intensely emotional.
Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.
- overview from Portland Opera website

I am so excited that we will be at the 2:00 p.m. production of La Boheme in Portland today. Mike and I attended Portland Opera's February 2001 production of this opera, just four months after my mothers death. We had been season ticket-holders for five years and had worked our way down to the center orchestra section by 2001, so close it was almost like being on stage. When, amongst the snowy scenery in Act III, there was a white bust of a woman in the foreground setting that looked so much like my mother that Mike and I gasped together as the curtains parted, it became a wondrous connection with her.

After my mother's death in October 2000 I experienced a random and magical series of occurences that I called ICMs (Ironies and Cosmic Messages) when describing them to Mike, in my journal, in letters to my sister. The bust on stage at La Boheme in 2001 was one of those.

We let our Portland Opera season tickets lapse in 2003. The money needed to go elsewhere and I ceased using charge cards for entertainment. But oh how I have missed the opera. Listening to it on the radio and on CDs is nice, but doesn't come close to being in the audience. Determined to attend at least one opera in the 2009-10 season, I was thrilled to see that the new production of La Boheme was scheduled on my mother's birthday (one of those ICMs as the anniversary of her death also approaches) - and I got us great Box Seat tickets, cash not credit, so all seems right with the world.

Massenet feels it as a Frenchman, with powder and minuets. I shall feel it as an Italian, with desperate passion.
-- Puccini, quoted in M Carner, Puccini (1974)

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candle photo via tinypic



distracted by shiny objects said...

A perfect Sunday.

Kathleen said...


How extraordinary! It would seem your mother is a fan of ICMs as well! May you bask in the beauty of La Boheme and tender memories of your mother.

You'll be in my thoughts today--

Peace . . .

Phivos Nicolaides said...

No wonder why you are so excited! Wishing you all the very best.

bookmanie said...

"What pleased to (re)-discover on your profile photo. You are very beautiful. I've never forgotten. I am very busy on twitter. Come join me. Bookmanie

M Riyadh Sharif said...

Oh... It would be a perfect day for you... Your excitement is touching me too! Best of luck!

Rhiannon said...

One of those Physic "intuitive" coincedence's that you get...having to do with these "Serendipity" experiences....very interesting. I know how that goes and when these kind of things happen you seem to feel that there is something more out there don't you?

How lovely that you got to see the opera on your Mothers Birthday. I find that very special and especially with the white bust of the woman that looked like her in the background. I love to read about things like this. Makes me simile.

By the way I clicked on the Loreena Mckennitt video at the bottom of your post (one of your and mines fav song of hers)and it says the user removed it or something like that.

Still very very smoke here and manyh (including me) are having a very difficult time with this awful pollution in the air. However it's supposed to drop down to the low 60's during the day and high 30's in evenings by Tuesday! I am so excited. Hope it brings rain..there's a chance.

La Boheme!


Lydia said...

@Distracted- It sure was! The La Boheme cast was superb, our seats were marvelous, we walked around downtown Portland afterward before driving to dinner. Weather was gorgeous too and that is going to change according to the reports I just watched.

@Kathleen- I tucked your message inside my heart and took it to the opera with me today. Many thank yous.

@Phivos- Thank you for the good wishes. We had a perfect day!

@bookmanie- I thought of you last week and intended to see if all is well! I'll visit your blog but I'm not on Twitter...I'm afraid it would rule my life!
(i appreciate the compliment very much.)

@Riyadh- You would have loved every minute of this day, so I'm glad that some of the excitement wore off on you!

Lydia said...

@Rhi- Yes, I do know what you mean about those moments giving you the sense there is something more. :)
Thank You for letting me know about the McKennitt video! You're so thoughtful. I removed it and replaced it with another featuring the same song (Dante's Prayer) at youtube. I'm listening to it now...the month between my mother's birthday on Sept. 27 and the anniversary of her death on Oct. 27 is a deep time for me and this song provides the soundtrack.



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