Thursday, March 25, 2010

Paved with stars?

Here is the obit I wrote for this blog just before Ariadne, though having taken a few months off, I'm wondering if my hesitation in posting it is a sign I shouldn't let it go quite yet. Anyway I love a valedictory, so put on Haydn's Farewell or Wotan's Farewell or any other you've got by the Brunswick, and if I end up posting tomorrow, you can't say you didn't have time to figure out that I'm flighty and inconsistent.


Five years is a long time to do anything.

Well it's not quite five years. Four and a half. But sometimes life hands you bookends. It appears the first thing I wrote up on here--no, wait, the first thing I blogged is what I typed first, and I don't see any reason to disavow the medium with all its idiocies and minor glories--was Ariadne. It was October, 2005 in the same beloved production with Urmana, Villars, and Damrau. "By the end of the best evenings at the opera, of course," this all began, "you feel as if you'd run a marathon."

The last thing I'm going to blog is also going to be Ariadne. [This did not turn out to be true exactly, though La Cieca posted a Wellsungian chat about it between me and the Squirrel.]

I'm not giving it up altogether. I've gotten too attached to it. But I've come to despair a little of writing another review of a production I already told you about a year ago and trying to make some little joke because it otherwise feels stale. And maybe more importantly, I think I need to be doing something else with my writing, but that's less for you to worry about.

So as far as My Favorite Intermissions is concerned, the gongs done gung as I am wont to say during actual intermissions. I'm hoping to write things elsewhere, if asked. But as far as this is concerned, in the form in which you have indulged it, I think the time has come.

Insofar as I leave you, it is with a few words from Onegin, always dear to me.

While all those cupids, devils, serpents,
Upon the stage still romp and roar,
And while the weary band of servants
Still sleeps on furs at carriage door;
And while the people still are tapping,
Still sniffling, coughing, hissing, clapping;
And while the lamps both in and out
Still glitter grandly all about;
And while the horses, bored at tether,
Still fidget, freezing, in the snow,
And coachmen by the fire's glow
Curse masters and beat palms togeher;
[D'Annato] now has left the scene
And driven home to change and preen.

This intermission is ending. Enjoy the opera.

With gratitude for your attention,

Next up: either a spring roundup or nothin'.


Jack Johnson said...

The gratitude is all ours.

Anonymous said...

MD, I have loved reading your observations. I have been in withdrawal for a few weeks, but I've kept clicking on your site in the hopes that you have posted something.

You write clearly and passionately, and you have always moderated fairly. Coming home from an opera, I would often wonder "What did Maury think?"

I miss the observations that you, the Wellsungs, and Sieglinde frequently posted about the New York opera scene. I feel lost without you all. Whom do you read now to keep up to date on the New York opera scene? I feel adrift. La Cieca's site remains central, but who else is out there posting regularly on opera in New York City?

Best of luck in the future, and many thanks for your generosity over these five years.


Unknown said...

That's sad, this being the opera blog I've most enjoyed reading (EV3R!1!) with your comments balancing the right amount of intellectual insight with down-to-earth-ness and humo(u)r (in an otherwise too analytical, or too hysterical (but mostly the latter) blogosphere).


Post perhaps an update of where we might find you writing, if you wish to be read. I know I'll want to be reading.


Maury D'annato said...

Thanks, folks. I am known to be a compulsive writer. Maybe by next season it won't seem so dry and I'll be unshutuppable as I periodically have been. I just don't like turning out stuff I know is boring simply because a prima has gone by and it's what I do, you know? There were a few years in the middle where I'd write something I imagined I'd be entertained to read. The last year has not been like that.

jondrytay said...

Dunqu'e proprio finita?

Thanks for having been the best x

Calpete said...

Oh, Maury. This makes me so sad. You've informed and entertained me since I accidented onto your site, and I've always appreciated your intelligence, clear-eyed criticism, and just-right level of snark. Really, as one of your other mourners above said, please at least post to let us know where you can be read in the future? And thank you for the last few years, bubbe.

gregory, of manprano persuasions said...

As I have learned (and you seem to agree), either it will or it won't. Either way, to be around to notice is the thing isn't it?

I've loved the run almost as much as I love looking like I'm about to cry but the at the last second not crying though still staring into the camera with wet eyes.

rapt said...

As I hope my occasional comments have made clear, I too am an adorer of your blog and will find life a little grayer (and my mind a little duller) without it. I have to say, though, that I'm excited by the positive part of your message--your intent to do something more/different with your writing. To me, though you're a font of obscure wisdom, an ace analyst, a sensitive ear, and a host of other metaphors, you're above all a writer, as demonstrated both by your love of the word (and the phrase and the sentence and the paragraph) and by your urge to launch your passions into the darkness (please forgive me these metaphors--you see my mind is dulling already...). Do do do write, in whatever form compels you; and, as those above also request, give your followers at least a hint of where that to-be writing can be found. I'd conclude with a Yiddish toast, only appropriate for such a mensch, if I only knew one and could spell it. (I'm of the Italian American persuasion, but I've always felt a kinship, which is no doubt explained by the study I once read that proved that Jews and Italians, of all ethnic groups studied, had the lowest threshold of complaint....) Thanks again!

JohnUK said...

I can only second what the other comments say here. Since stumbling onto your site a couple of years ago I have enjoyed your blog so much and will miss it. Let's hope indeed you continue writing elsewhere and tell us where to find it.....
Thanks Maury

Maury D'annato said...

rapt and everyone, if I'd known people would say such nice things I would have quit ages ago. Thank you so much.

I'm afraid I may have sounded grandiose about doing something else with my writing. It's not like literary agents are nailing book contracts to my door and shpritzing them with cologne. I just kind of want opera not to be the only thing I know how to write about, I guess? I have no idea what the practical phenotype of this will be. Maybe three months of sitting around delivering various tropes on the "I coulda been a contender" speech to the cat, and then back to opera blogging. It's hard to know.

rapt said...

Just to clarify my earlier comment in the light of your allusion to agents, lest there by any mistake: by saying I wanted to know where your future work might be found, the LAST thing I meant to do was to repeat one of the 2 first questions I've gotten at parties or other social horror occasions when I've described myself as a writer: "Oh? Who is your publisher?" (The alternate question: "How much do you make?") If your work does end up appearing in a public forum, that will be wonderful, both for you and for me (and, as I might say in pale imitation of MD, for 'um); but for heaven's sake, I don't mean to imply that publishing (let alone, God forbid, making $$ at it) is what makes one a writer. A writer, as I deathlessly wrote to a local rag that had published an article mocking "writer wannabes" hanging out at coffee shops, is someone who writes (or works at writing, which may--as you surely know--mean staring out the window suicidally for hours on end), and is no less or more a writer upon publishing. Still, grim though that prospect may seem, I'm excited at the thought of someone of your talent and heart dedicating yourself to what I think is a rewarding discipline. If miracle touches you (and publication is a miracle--involving luck and the shameless cultivation of every single connection you have or don't have), I'll be happy as possible for you (and me)--but frankly, I'll be happy for you either way and would gladly, if your unpublished works outlive you, be the Mabel Loomis Todd to your Emily Dickinson.

Unknown said...

All I can say is that I have enjoyed your musings most among all those writing about opera. I must go and listen to one of my Podles discs and raise a glass to Maury. You will be missed!

Sadie Salome said...

Heartbroken! Yours was my favorite opera blog.

Sibyl said...

Oh the pain! Sigh. Shudder (but not the in-the-loins kind: I love you, but I'm not that kind of girl). Gnashing of teeth. Rending of garments. I'm sure I shall still occasionally wander about in this emptied hall, watching the mice nibble the remnants of the feast. OK, sorry (I've got Franco Corelli's Werther assaulting my ears and it seems to have affected my sense); you are the god of my idolatry even now you are sloping off to festivities elsewhere.

winpal said...

Somewhere in the heavens Lucia Popp is singing Traurigkeit ward mir zum lose as we all feel the pain at this loss. I will miss you Maury. Thanks for brightening the blogosphere and moments of my life and best wishes for whatever comes next!

Maury D'annato said...

You know, do check back if you like, though. At the risk of being a teen drama queen committing paper-cut suicide, I really don't feel 100% certain I'm killing the blerg. I just thought it would be nice to have a formal ending, in case I am. I need not to do it for a while, at least, because I wonder at times if writing here keeps me from writing something a little I think what usually happens with these midlife crises is that you realize you don't actually have that novel in you.

dafphil said...

Don't kill the blerg!!!


there's clearly a disconnect/ion between how you feel about your writing this blog, and how us readers feel; is this a quarter-(or mid- i didn't want to be presumptious) life creative crisis?

do what i do and drink through it!


Anonymous said...

Only just got to check in, and I'm quite saddened to find you having made a finale of sorts. Perhaps I'll find time occasionally to read the blog (and attendant, often witty comments) from the beginning; I came in sometime around the third of four acts, and didn't get to be a consistent audience to you, but have always enjoyed it when I could be in the audience. Thank you so much, and I hope to get to read more from you, wherever your writings may appear.--LoLo

squirrel said...

but we want a post on LULU!!

Anonymous said...

And the Caramoor NORMA!!

Annette said...

And now not even the Twitter account anymore? Oh Maury.

I came here because of an NPR review by Lily Meyer of Hanif Abdurraqib's book on Tribe Called Quest. She writes of her changed listening as a result of reading:

"This comes from deepened knowledge and understanding, but it also comes from absorbing Abdurraqib's love, which reinvigorated my own. This, too, is a way of reaching for the future: to write about music so beautifully and intelligently that readers are moved to love it, or reminded to love it more."

Which is exactly how I used to feel reading your blog, and Sieglinde's, too.
I wish you'd come back.