nearly every performance of rinaldo, my friend sharin (she is a wonderful colleague and a beautiful singer, you should hire her) would come out onto the stage with her umbrella and stand under the 'rain' (a shower) and sing lascia ch'io pianga and all of my complicated emotions would come out and I would cry big fat baby tears. this was acceptable because I was alone in the booth and nobody could see me but sharin.
aside: having your own personal soprano sing to you specifically from the stage is pretty special.
I should preface this by saying that I actually first cried at rinaldo on the very first day of rehearsals back in february, and this is going to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that I am a total sap, but it happened when sharin sang her very first aria (which is definitely not sad) because she is a really good friend from a larger group of really good friends, all of whom I treasure and miss, and I hadn't seen her in awhile and here she was singing and she was a grown up opera singer, and sounded so beautiful and so I secretly cried a little but didn't tell anyone.
last saturday, on the afternoon of closing night, I drove over to the hotel where all our artists stay and picked up a keyboard I had rented for our conductor for the duration of his stay. let me just take a moment to tell you that gary is possibly the single loveliest and most gracious person I have ever worked with, excellent on the podium/at the harpsichord, and beloved by the singers, orchestra, and staff. rinaldo was very likely either the hardest or the second hardest project I've worked on in my eight seasons at the opera (galileo being tied for the lead), and it would have been unbearable if gary hadn't been unfailingly helpful, patient, knowledgeable, and appreciative. he is the first and probably only conductor to ever refer to me as 'his goddess' at a public event. the two of us make up our own mutual appreciation society.
anyway. I came over to pick up the keyboard and gary had informed me a few nights before that he also was going to give me all his leftover food (they're here for over a month, so they have what essentially amounts to small apartments), and that he had 'something for me.'
'should I bring it to the office, or to the theater?' he asked me, one night after a show.
'to the theater is fine!' I replied. 'no need to make an extra trip to the office.'
'oh good!' he said, then paused. '...do you have a car?'
'gary, what on earth!!' I said. 'did you buy me a pony?! because you know, I already have one.'
'oh no! well ... isn't two better?'
so I came and brought a cart from the hotel lobby and we loaded up the keyboard and the stand, and then he handed me a bag of groceries and another bag and said, 'here's the loot!' and I peeked inside and there were bottles, but I didn't take them out while I was standing there. we hugged and he said, "I'm terrible at goodbyes! so, see you in a few hours." and then I got into my car and opened the bag and found a card and these:
which in case you can't tell is two bottles of bourbon, both local.
the card came via pony post:
and was so sweet and wonderful that I choked up in the car.
so later that night when it was dark and quiet in the theater and sharin was standing there with her umbrella, singing her heart out, I sat in the booth, lit by one stand light, and quietly bawled my little heart out. and it wasn't because the aria is so sad and beautiful (which it is) but because there are gracious, wonderful, amazing people in the world, and they are my people, and we were all there together in the room making something beautiful.
in depression you want to see things like this but you just can't. you can't recognize most beauty for what it is, particularly in yourself. I feel so lucky to have my people. all my wonderful people. just, what, 8 weeks ago? I felt like I might as well abandon everything and everyone in my life and go be a park ranger somewhere in the woods, alone, because what is the point of my life right now really.
these people are the point of my life, really. now and always.