Portrait of an obsession

She’ll be off book for the entire Amahl part in another day or two. All the other parts, she still has some holes. I do think she’ll be ready to work as a prompter for the show for the upcoming season, should anyone produce it locally. ‘Course there are those pesky child labor laws. Could put a fly in the ointment. And she’s probably too short to pass off as sixteen.

Could be worse. Could be Phantom of the Opera. (They paid me to say that. The inlaws revile them some Andrew Lloyd Weber. Can you spell t-h-e-a-t-e-r – s-n-o-b-s?)

Also this post could be worse. I could have subjected you to video of our baby monitor, piping in to us her entire operetta-long medley, which she sang to her stuffed animals before going to sleep last night. Yes, I did videotape it. You know, to keep on hand if we want to use it for part of her earlybird application to Juilliard.

12 thoughts on “Portrait of an obsession”

  1. Thank you for giving me the term “off-book”. It will come in handy with my son who has an amazing memory and loves to recite things he has read.

    As for the monkey and her possible career, I say, child labor schmild schmabor.

  2. Thanks, Sparklie! Though I fear we may become raggedy when we move into month two of her not answering to anything besides Kaspar (or Amahl; depends on whether it’s day or night).

    Vikki you have a cash cow boy soprano under your roof. If you don’t know this delightful operetta (it really is delightful, so far, even under the heavy strain of a toddler obsession with it), you should shell out for a recording. If Miguel takes to it, you’ll be booked up every December and he’ll be well on his way toward his Carnegie Hall debut. (How do you get there? Obsession, obsession, obsession!)

  3. It is so reminiscent of my own childhood. Only with me, it was Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf.” Then it was always, “Mama, turn off the radio and let’s sing!” I believe we sang “You Are My Sunshine” and every song to “Oklahoma!,” “The King and I,” “Cinderella,” “Annie,” and “Les Mis” eight thousand seven hundred sixty-two times. Each. “Amahl” is great.

  4. I love that: “Mama, turn off the radio and let’s sing!”

    Man, it’s just amazing how completely and totally kids dive into what they’re fascinated by. It wallpapers their world, wall-to-wall carpets it, expands to fill all the air with its aroma.

  5. ‘Lo Polly!
    I heard a lovely tribute to Amahl on NPR last month and immediately I was reliving experiencing it with the beloved in my teens sometime. Her love for it truly made it come alive. Before that I had heard it once and had made clothespins dolls of the main Amahl characters. Amahl in felt shepherd tunic complete with pipecleaner crutch. So I understand completely l’il monkey’s obsession. I realized lately I do not own a copy of it and remember the beloved telling me there is a superior version and inferior versions available. Do you have an opinion? and how bout l’il monkey?

  6. ‘Lo Bebhinn!

    Well, according to the Authority on All Things Amahl, a.k.a. the beloved, the original recording is the best. Why? Because it’s what she heard first. It’s the original cast recording from the 1951 NBC telecast, with Rosemary Kuhlmann as Amahl’s mother, and Chet Allen as Amahl.

    We went to the dentist this week and she brought two stuffed animals with her, whom she has renamed — you guessed it — Amahl and his mother.

  7. Thanks for the madeleine moment, which hit me at the beginning. I’m not sure whether I listened to it as a child. My father loved opera and operetta, so it is possible.

    Our munchkin determines the music choices in this family since she was 18 months old. We resort to going places on our own, so we can actually listen to our own music choices 😉 Will see how she reacts to it tomorrow.

    Interesting to see Glen Tetley dancing in this.

  8. Lulazoid, happy to share the love. We have nothing but sympathy for your plight over here (with the musical hostage stuff).

    Of course I had to look up Glen Tetley (dancer, coreographer, for those of us who didn’t already know). He would have to be one of the featured shepherd dancers in that the 1951 telecast of the opera. He’s got to be either the one with the groovy Peruvian-style hat (which would be a treasured part of any self-respecting snow boarder’s wardrobe), or the other guy, with the blond wig that looks like he mugged a long-haired sheep, or a mop.

    And jphay, that select group now includes me, too, who (a) agrees with you (adorable), and (b) feels freshly emboldened to do the same thing unto my own smattering of readers (which, for all I know, may not include my sister and dad, but does include my S.O. and a coupla friends, virtual and in the flesh). Watch out world, it’s dueling monitor videos (cue the theme from Deliverance).

    [Hey, and welcome to you both!]

  9. Thanks!

    Here’s a link to Nureyev dancing to Glen Tetley’s choreography of Pierrot Lunaire (you’ll note that Pierrot’s hat harks back to Tetley’s costume in Amahl?)

    If you want to know what horrendous noise we are currently listening/watching thanks to the munchkin, then google ‘In the Night Garden’. The only reason why we condone it is the fact that a very distinguished Shakespearean actor with delightful pronunciation is the narrator. He says ‘mikka makka moo’ so beautifully. ROFL.

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