Opera, Painting and Chocolate Chips

Today was an awesome day. I’ve finished the spring’s semester of teaching at Levine Music, which included conducting three choral performances of three different choirs, and my private studio has a lull before the summer schedule starts.

I’d forgotten how to play, so long has my nose been to the grindstone and taking care of others. So, today I made it about reconnecting with fun. I baked some gluten free chocolate chip cookies. And ate way too many and loved every moment of it! They were washed down with iced tea-lemonade which I made from scratch with fresh-brewed decaf black tea, the juice of one squeezed lemon and brown rock sugar. Yes sir-ee, it has been awhile since that much sugar invaded my body and it was fantastic.


I also discovered the incredible Raina Kabaivanska, a Bulgarian lyrico-spinto, who is known for Verdi and Puccini as well as a wide range of opera roles. When you hear her sing “In Quelle Trine Morbide” from Manon Lescaut, it is a truly sublime experience. Her musicianship, emotional depth and technical finesse are—well, listen for yourself!

Watch that body at work–an athlete in her prime. If you are a singer and have been taught belly-breathing only, you might want to start asking questions about the kind of inhalation/phonation cycle she is using. There is nothing wrong with belly-breathing, but it is only one small part of the process, albeit an important one.

Anyway, I also FINALLY got to experiment in my crafts’ space with acrylic paints. (The number of musicians who are also visual artists is pretty impressive!) I spent much of today creating this painting which I have called “Circle of Women.” I am giving it to our daughter as a college graduation gift. I did use a body part to paint part of this–and no, it was not my boobs. Can you guess? :)


I have just finished making dinner–lentils in a home made vegetable broth with sweet potato chips, and am typing the first blog post in ages. The weather is lovely for an after-dinner walk.

It’s been far too long since I “played.” I almost forgot what I love to do on my own to feed my soul. And today reminded me!!

No matter how much work you have to do, don’t forget to play. It makes all other things possible!

2 thoughts on “Opera, Painting and Chocolate Chips

  1. Well, I know nothing about singing, but that is just wonderful! Also: the dress, the hair, the earrings! There is something about the way clothes were made then that just makes me happy. And chocolate chip cookies! The husband noted on his last flight from Stockholm that all the men had strawberry muffins with their coffee, while all the women had chocolate ones. Of course, I say, of course… And I love your painting, the colour balance is just right – I´m sure your daughter will treasure it. Hope you have a good summer vacation. With lots of play.

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