Today in My History2001: No Tribble at All
2002: They Might be Giants
2003: Flying for Me
2004: Clam Dip
2005: A Taste of Freedom
2006: Door to Door
2007: Living with the Clean Queen
2008: It's the Economy, Stopid
2009: A "Not a Review" Review
2010: Against the Laws of Nature
The Wizard of Oz
Books Read in 2011
"Listening to Van Gogh"
for Cousins Day Drinks
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Christmas, Part 2 from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.
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THE THREATENED CLOUD PASSED AWAY
2 February 2011
Last week, I had to pospone an interview because of all the fog on the freeway which terrified me. We rescheduled it to today and the weather cooperated.
It was a weird ride down to San Francisco, though. We had clear, blue skies here in Davis but about 20 miles down the road, I ran into heavy fog--not ground-hugging fog like last time, but high fog which didn't really impede traffic, though I noticed that the highway patrol was out in force, perhaps because of the fog.
There was one spot where you go up into the hills, then down a steep hill and back up another one. I could see, starting up the hill, that it was sunny at the very top and when I got there and looked out, down into the valley, it was filled with billows of fog, interspersed with parts of the landscape that were higher and stood above the fog. I had, unfortunately, already passed the point where I could get out and take a photo, so was not able to capture it.
The only really heavy spot was crossing the Carquinez bridge, which practically disappeared in the fog, but once on the other side, it all began to turn from thick fog to just grey and I had no trouble whatsoever.
I met Alison at the BART station without a single screw up and we drove on over to San Francisco, which was sunny and lovely. We were half an hour early for our interview, so stopped at Starbucks to get some coffee and stragetize about the interview.
Baker and Ellen met in the Lamplighters, married, and now have two grown kids, one of whom plays the violin in the Lamplighters orchestra. Their daughter recently appeared as Katisha in a production of The Mikado in Sacramento.
I remember when both Baker and Ellen joined the company, and when Ellen moved out of the chorus and into principal roles. I also remembered when she substituted for Montserrat Caballé at the San Francisco Opera when the diva was unable to appear in a scheduled performance of Roberto Devereux.
As reported by Critic Robert Commanday, The work was so infrequently performed, there could hardly have been more than a few sopranos worldwide who knew the role of Elisabetta.
Ellen Kerrigan, a young Affiliate Artist who had sung an aria and duet from Devereux for a James Schwabacher lecture-demonstration, had been asked by the Devereux director, Jacques Karpo to stand in for Caballé during rehearsals, as a physical presence. That way she became familiar with the rest of the score. A week before the performance, when the conductor and/or Adler sensed something might happen, Kerrigan was asked to learn it (at no additional fee, of course). So in stepped the lovely slip of a company debutante in place of the large diva, and she did a very commendable job in the five remaining performances.
It was our one chance to go backstage at the SF opera. I remember rushing to the theatre to buy tickets, standing in line behind all the opera faithful who were returning their tickets because Caballé would not be singing.
Ellen was not an overnight sensation, but she did a damn good job and we were so proud of her and all crowded into the star dressing room after the performance to congratulate her.
So I have a long history with these people and the interview was fun, reminiscing about a lot of things.
When it was over, Alison and I found a nice outdoor cafe where we sat and had lunch and talked over the interview and the book.
I dropped Alison off at a BART station and continued on my way home, stopping at the Jelly Belly factory to buy socks, of all things. I can't eat Jelly Bellies any more (though I love them) because one of them made me lose a crown off my tooth a few years ago and Cindy suggested I give them up. But the company makes GREAT socks, which are the most comfortable I've ever worn, and seem to last forever, unless puppies get to them.
The weather all the way home was sunny and clear without a trace of the morning fog.
All in all a good day.
PHOTO OF THE DAY