How's your dad doing?
Really really good. He's done with all chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and is starting to get his energy back. His sense of taste (which he lost as a result of having his tongue radiated) is even starting to come back, which is a relief to him and the rest of us as well. Add those improvements to the fact that one of his sons is graduating from medical school tomorrow AND the track team that he coaches took second place in the state last weekend (and was only 1/2 a point out of first place), and I'd say he's about as good as he's been.
What have you heard from Heidi and Phil?
Heidi and I talk by phone every other week or so. Beyond that, we read each other's blogs, and when we have things to say that are too personal for blogs, but don't have the time to call, we e-mail. They are doing well. Phil is still having bi-weekly chemotherapy treatments, and it's not clear how much longer that will be going on (for more details, click here and here). An encouraging aspect of all this is that the past few treatments have been easier (both mentally/emotionally and physically) on Phil and hence, on Heidi. So, that's been a nice development.
Eden has found her voice and is apparently talking up a storm. They are planning their annual summer trip to Utah, but at this point aren't clear on precisely they will be arriving and departing. All in all, they are living with faith and hope and confidence in the future, and they're finding time to laugh and enjoy each other.
What's playing at the opera company this summer?
Two (actually three) operas (Carmen and a double bill of Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci), an operetta (The Mikado), and a musical (Camelot). The shows open on July 8, and run every Wednesday through Saturday (matinees and evening performances) through August 8. You can click here for a schedule of exactly what show is playing on what day.
Which of the shows will be the best?
Yeah, right. Like I'm going to give that question a straight answer. My diplomatic answer however, follows:
I love the spicy-ness of Carmen. She's deliciously naughty, and every time I see this opera I'm just intrigued by how cavalier she is about breaking the heart of such an honest boy-scouty man. Of course, at the same time I'm frustrated by Don Jose (the boy scout). How could he be so stupid as to give up so much in exchange for so little? Anyway, I like the music, and (as I've said) the story is very intriguing to me. We have a great actress/singer playing the title role this year, so I'm especially looking forward to seeing what she does with it.
The intermezzo of Cavalleria Rusticana is one of my very favorite pieces of classical music. If you haven't heard it, you need to. Go here, realizing that hearing it live will be about 1,000 times better. If you aren't familiar with I Pagliacci, it's the opera with the crying clown, which is, in my opinion, the second-most recognized opera symbol around (the most recognized being the lady with the horned-helmet and long braids).
Vanessa Ballam is playing Lady Guinevere in Camelot, and I always enjoy watching her on stage. At least part of the enjoyment with Vanessa (for me) is knowing that she is just as genuine and nice of a person out of the spotlight as she is in the spotlight. You know how some performers are really talented, but as people they can be really diva-like and hard to deal with? Not this girl. Not even close.
The Mikado is hilarious. I love Gilbert and Sullivan, and of all G&S pieces, the Mikado is my very favorite. It's just so dang funny. Sarcastic, silly, and just so so funny. We did the Mikado here probably about eight or ten years ago, and I thought that it was one of the most magical productions that we have ever done. Honestly. Generally by the time the opera season is over, I am so done with it all. I don't want to spend any time in dark rooms, sitting in seats and watching anything on any stage AT ALL. Not the case when we did The Mikado. I could have watched it for another month. That's how good it was. (Oh-and Vanessa is in this one too--along with her dad.)
And now that I've (semi-accidentally) turned this post into a commercial for Utah Festival Opera, here is the last question.
How's that little Heather doing?
Here, judge for yourself:
pretty darn well, I'd say
And with that, I leave you for today. Watch tomorrow for the last of the seven posts in seven days. It's the return of Poetry by Charlotte! What could be better?
I can't think of a single thing.