Sound and Clouds and Thunder (22)

[All the energy and sheer joy of music-making you’ll need to make it through another week of 45ish Dystopia and other countries willfully abolishing democratic structures (and Heaven only knows what the French will choose today on that front), packed into 6 minutes: Diana Haller (Ariodante) with Ruggiero’s “Sta nell’Ircana” from Handel’s “Alcina”, Stuttgart 2015- – Clip with thanks to Vesna Zelic]

After recently hearing Haller’s Ariodante, I’ll stick with her Bartoli-level of palpable joy in singing to remind us all once more that, while horrible forces unleashed by the (misguided or calculating) aid of others (perhaps even our own) have now spent 22 weeks wrecking havoc on much more than just one nation  and we have 186 more weeks left, we also have belcanto to power us up for the next March for Science, our neighbors’ rights and our own.

Yesterday, I walked through Technisches Museum in Vienna, which has a permanent exhibition on objects stolen off the persecuted, in their case during the NS regime. And it was eerie and bone-chilling to see – to be reminded again – how easily and with what  level of detached logistics people were murdered and their things were stolen. You look at at old radio, at old maps, an old car, and they once belonged to a family – a family deported, torn apart, in most instances murdered. And this thing is still there. And you wouldn’t know its bloody history if not for the research undergone to make it visible.

It is so easy not to know. It is so easy to look the other way. And it may start with a book or a radio or lifting a rule of environmental protection, but it ends with members of your community being marginalized and killed, directly or indirectly (by polluted air and poisoned water and no access to health care).

I walked out of the museum newly determined to always look twice and to continue speaking up. And since we need energy for that, it brings me back to “Sta nell’Ircana”, which, if you look at it in recent light, is actually an aria about self-care: Go out there and attack the Evil Empire with your best coloratura, but then also retreat to your cave, protect your young and your community, and shut off the news to recharge. And then remember you’re a tiger and charge into the DaCapo.

Hang in there for Week 23, and also cross your fingers for France today.

21 thoughts on “Sound and Clouds and Thunder (22)”

  1. Fingers crossed, indeed, seems we have to cross again on 7th May, but right now, it’s at least a tiny bit of relief. Still, bad enough that it could come that close.


    1. yes, it feels like Austria all over again, only that this time, it isn’t my little province posse that put the nazi in door no. 2, but La Grande Nation.

      Liked by 1 person


    “Go out there and attack the Evil Empire with your best coloratura, but then also retreat to your cave, protect your young and your community, and shut off the news to recharge. And then remember you’re a tiger and charge into the DaCapo.”

    Love. Proves. Stronger.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. The Spring Offensive of the Snail
          by Marge Piercy

          Living someplace else is wrong –
          in Jerusalem the golden
          floating over New England smog,
          above paper company forests,
          deserted brick textile mills
          square brooders on the rotten rivers,
          developer-chewed mountains.

          Living out of time is wrong.
          The future drained us thin as paper.
          We were tools scraping.
          After the revolution
          we would be good, love one another
          and bake fruitcakes.
          In the meantime eat your ulcer.

          Living upside down is wrong,
          roots in the air
          mouths filled with sand.
          Only what might be sang.
          I cannot live crackling
          with electric rage always.
          The journey is too long
          to run, cursing those
          who can’t keep up.

          Give me your hand.
          Talk quietly to everyone you meet.
          It is going on.
          We are moving again
          with our houses on our backs.
          This time we have to remember
          to sing and make soup.
          Pack the Kapital and the vitamin E,
          the basil plant for the sill,
          Apache tears you
          picked up in the desert.

          But remember to bury
          all old quarrels
          behind the garage for compost.
          Forgive who insulted you.
          Forgive yourself for being wrong.
          You will do it again
          for nothing living
          resembles a straight line,
          certainly not this journey
          to and fro, zigzagging
          you there and me here
          making our own road onward
          as the snail does.

          Yes, for some time we might contemplate
          not the tiger, not the eagle or grizzly
          but the snail who always remembers
          that wherever you find yourself eating
          is home, the center
          where you must make your love,
          and wherever you wake up
          is here, the right place to be
          where we start again.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. some Haller additions, perhaps in particular for Agathe since they’re in German:

    Half hour audio feature after which you definitely want to add Haller to our list of “opera singers who must be great fun not just on stage but also while sharing a beer” (thadieu: add another one to the gym list, too!)

    local print interview with both Haller and Durlovski on Stuttgart regie style (and, as far as I am concerned, giving a whole lot of “Yes! Exactly!” answers – also: yo, @towanda! Red Shirt Alert!)


    1. Very good interview, quite relaxed, and no stupid questions! Will have to finish the audio later.
      (what is the gym list, or wait, maybe I don’t want to know. And I agree on Durlovski’s sports approach!)


        1. She talked about pull-ups? Missed that, but was also a bit distracted because her accent and speaking voice so resemble that of a friend of mine. I immensely enjoyed the Ariodante extract within the broadcast, definitely need to try and hear her in Stuttgart next season. Too bad there is not much chance of broadcast/video streaming from there, but who knows, maybe Brigitte is lucky with her request.


          1. If we annoy all the TV stations enough, there might be. And Brigitte DOES have a special talent there!

            (PS. Check Haller’s Twitter. 😉 )


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