Monthly Archives: August 2010

telling stories

This weekend the New York Times ran an interesting article called “Does Language Shape the Way You Think?” Lucy lived with the Temerlins for a number of years before learning to communicate via American Sign Language. While her “father” had encouraged her to adopt many human behaviors over the years, he didn’t feel any particular [...]

l’incoronazione di lucy?

L’Incoronazione di Poppea was the first opera that really bowled me over. In fact, without Poppea, there would have been no Lucy. Beyond the fact that Poppea seduced me into seeking a career in this rich art form, Monteverdi’s opera about political and amorous intrigues in ancient Rome was extremely helpful as we thought about [...]

lucy’s vocabulary at age 9 and 1/2…

As Kelley went through Dr. Temerlin’s memoirs, one of the things that she picked up on was his interest in lists. We all agreed that there was a lot of musical potential in these. It essentially gives me a string of words that I can take in whatever musical direction I choose… perfect. There’s also [...]

face time

One of the smartest people I know says that e-mail is death to collaboration, and he’s right. E-mail, smart phones, all those things make it easier for us to spew words at each other, but it’s not the same as being in the same room. E-mail and phone “conversations” are as much like the real [...]

hand to mouth…

As Andy mentioned, the whole gang got together in upstate New York this past weekend to hunker down in Kelley’s colorful and cozy farmhouse in Roseboom, NY to refine the libretto. At the heart of this little retreat/workshop was a public reading of the libretto to a small invited audience moderated by AOP’s Charles Jarden.  [...]

We just had a FANTASTIC workshop of OBN!  We had a full reading of the libretto for some friends and colleagues, hashed out some details and cuts, and basically had a great time doing it.  I for one am really looking forward to more! I just saw this post on gawker tv and had to [...]

the beast within

I’ve been reading Elephants on the Edge: What Animals Teach Us About Humanity. It’s fascinating, but reader beware: this is a difficult book for anyone weak of stomach or soft of heart. It tells of the effects of mass culls on elephant families (and elephants do have a rich family life) in the wild, and [...]

Monkey business

One of the most extraordinary vignettes of Temerlin’s memoir is how Lucy, after having acquired a pretty sophisticated vocabulary of ASL signs, lies about a ‘potty accident’ on the floor, blaming it on someone else. Is this learned behavior? Is this the consequence of growing up human? Or, as this TED talk suggests, are there [...]

So you’re doing an opera….about a monkey?

In short, well, yes. We are in the midst of a project that really started about four years ago at Glimmerglass Opera. I was an apprentice artist there, and John wrote a fantastic set of songs for Jocelyn, me, and a superb violinist (Leona Nadj) to perform on my apprentice recital. We had such a [...]

child’s play…

It was a real problem. There I was with a fantastic pianist/coach (Miss Dueck) ready and willing to work with us on this project, and then Redshift happily jumps on board to be the band for the piece. Great! “But wait,” cellist Rose Bellini politely reminded me, “Redshift has a pianist as well… will Jocelyn [...]