Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Gone

We've lost something irreplaceable, all of us to whom opera means something. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson is gone. I'm sorry if I'm not feeling very articulate about it. It's easy now to feel the sting of performances of hers we missed, but instead I'd like to dwell on the one time I did witness the act of will, honesty, and something that looked like humility that was her Didon. If you weren't there (and I don't say this to make the experience more mine) nothing I can say will take you there. If you were, you will remember, I think, the little insecurity at her entrance that grew meaningless as the evening wore on, the plangent tone of voice and impersonation, the haunted way her exit conveyed through some impossible act of expression by her gait and somehow the posture of her back turned to the audience a boundless sadness and resignation. You may even remember, and I think it's not disrespectful, how magnificent she looked in her gown. Alright, I hope you saw her in more things than I did, and have your own reminiscences. She is not, I am wont to add, mine to mourn. She was a person, had friends and favorite places and moods and reasons, and it's a worse day than you or I can know for the people who were really with her. But you and I have lost something, too, and for what it's worth, I'm sorry for the both of us.

22 comments:

manprano said...

Yes, Maury.

Yes. I had hoped it wasn't true, but it is.

When I'd read that she'd cancelled most of her year it was my hope that it was for whatever reason a buying of time. I had hoped for a Chicago Poulenc Carmelites.

I never saw her.

I am poorer for it.

GP

Willym said...

Maury you have said it all and beautifully....

RudigerVT said...

That was lovely, apt. I'm happy for all who saw her live and grateful for your reports.

LPR

Winpal said...

Beautifully said Maury. I was fortunate to see her several times in SF in opera, symphony, and recital. She enriched my life immeasurably and I will miss her dearly.

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