Libretto, MARIFE

Ten years ago, in VCCA (Virginia Center for the Creative Arts), self was working on a novella called Marife, loosely based on the events of the Oklahoma City bombing.

A composer named Drew Hemenger, who she met at VCCA, worked with her to turn it into a full-length opera.

The orchestral suite was performed by Hampshire Symphony two years ago. In her most woebegone moments, Drew would direct self to this or that opera (Porgy and Bess?) which took 20 years to be performed. And self would say, “Drew. I do not have 20 years.”

Dear blog readers, this is just to let you know that two people, if they are determined enough, even with no money, can create an opera. The problem has always been finding people who want to stage it. So self is doing this blog on the opera, for the first time. In case someone has any ideas to share?

Here’s how the libretto begins:

I.

MARIFE:

They were talking and talking and talking.

LAWYER:

About what?

MARIFE:

How do I know? What men talk about. Fishing, maybe.

LAWYER:

Fishing?

MARIFE:

Yes, fishing.


Self remembers when she first presented the libretto to Drew, he looked at the 80 pages and said, “That’s going to take three days to sing.”

So self chopped off all the lines to about half their length.

Is that how one writes a libretto? Self doesn’t know. She never wrote a libretto before.

“And just put in the word love, as many times as you can,” Drew said.

“I am not that kind of writer,” self declared.

“This is opera! Do it!”

Right after the Las Vegas shooting, self saw so many parallels with the Oklahoma City bombing. She asked Drew, “Didn’t it strike you as eerie? The ammonium nitrate? The Filipina?” Drew said: “I don’t know. I’ve been trying to stay away from all the Las Vegas shooting news.”

At  one point, Drew met someone who said we could have it staged in the CCP, the Cultural Center of the Philippines. He nearly flew over to Manila.

And self asked: Who was she? And then: Drew, this is one walk you’re going to have to take alone.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

PERSONAL HEROES: FIREFIGHTERS OF CALIFORNIA

Trump is rather disinterested in the raging wildfires that have wrought havoc on Northern California.

Fires started over a week ago.

Self’s flight to Albuquerque on Thursday, 12 October, was cancelled due to “weather.”

Self’s flight to Albuquerque on Friday, 13 October, was cancelled again due to “weather.”

Self learned from another passenger in the SFO United terminal that the cancellations began on Wednesday.

Son’s wedding was on Saturday, 14 October.

The only thing that saved her was: another of son’s friends, Alex Case, was in the United terminal, scheduled for the same 11 a.m. flight to Albuquerque. Somehow, we found each other (first sighting since son’s high school graduation and Alex had grown at least two feet), found an American Airlines flight to LAX, and then got another flight from there to Albuquerque, finally arriving 8:30 p.m., missing the rehearsal dinner.

But: she made her son’s wedding! She made her son’s wedding! She made her son’s wedding!

Last night, she flew back to the San Francisco Bay Area. Her seatmate said, “There’s still smoke.” We looked out at the darkness. Above the twinkling lights of the city was an area that was a different pall. And self thought: the firemen have been fighting since the fires started, over a week ago now. And the fires have only just started being contained.

Each fireman deserves a medal. A big fat gold medal.

Stay tuned.

Share Your World: 16 October 2017

How SYW (Share Your World) Works:

Create your post answering the four questions below, then post a link to Cee Neuner’s blog in the comment box.

  1. If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?
  2. What color would you like your bedroom to be?
  3. What makes you Happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.
  4. What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

Here are self’s answers:

If you had to move to a country besides the one you currently live in, where would you move and why?

The Philippines, since I grew up there.

England, because I adore theatre and everything related to. And because it’s an easy hop from there to my other favorite country: Ireland.

What color would you like your bedroom to be?

A deep red. The kind I first saw in Edinburgh, in 2012.

What makes you happy? Make a list of things in your life that bring you joy.

  • Discovering new places
  • Visiting museums
  • Being with son, his wife Jennie, and their friends
  • Writing
  • Reading a good book
  • Looking at flowers

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?

Eating Bone Marrow Tapas at Mas Tapas y Vino on 2nd in downtown Albuquerque.

Haven’t had bone marrow in soooo long. Self loved it growing up in the Philippines.

 

 

 

Layered: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 20 September 2017

This week, let’s explore the interplay of texture and depth.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Self’s home is in Redwood City, California. She’s been exploring its nooks and crannies this summer.

She got this nifty display stand about 20 years ago, and every time she needs some validation, she looks at the stand, where most (if not all) of the journals that have published her work over the years are displayed.

On the lowest shelf are two programmes from the New Hampshire Symphony. The opera she collaborated on with Drew Hemenger got its world premiere in New Hampshire, March 2015:

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And here’s the interior of a peanut butter & chocolate do-nut from an iconic doughnut shop in Westwood, which she visited in July:

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Finally, a keepsake box filled with samples of son’s childhood artwork:

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Layers of memory, layers of goodness.

Other examples of LAYERED from around WordPress:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Book # 2: Unit # 1, Tyrone Guthrie Centre

Libretto for Peter Grimes, by Benjamin Britten:

  • Women’s Chorus

O when you pray you shut your eyes
And then can’t tell the truth from lies.

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Yesterday (9 March 2017), Unit # 1

  • Auntie

Loud man. I never did have time
For the kind of creature who spits in his
wine.
A joke’s a joke and fun is fun.
But say your grace and be polite for all that
we have done.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

A Good Match: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 22 February 2017

  • . . .  share a photo of things that complement each other.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Self has wanted to blog this picture for the longest time: at Dulles International, the day she left Washington DC, there was a one-man concert in the departures terminal. OMG, what a send-off this man’s music was! The sign next to the musician announced that the free concert was in honor of Black History Month. WOW. Self has no words. Thrilling.

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Merlon Devine, playing at Dulles International, in honor of Black History Month: February 2017

And here’s a sign self saw at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore:

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Definitely, Food is Love.

Finally, a poster advertising the annual Noir Film Festival at the Castro Theatre. San Francisco and Noir go together like white on rice:

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The 15th Annual Film Noir Festival (Noir City), held at the Castro Theatre

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Latest Isn’t Who We Thought

George Michael, Nooooooooo!!!

2016 is ending terrible.

I’m never gonna dance again.
Guilty feet have got no rhythm.
Though it’s easy to pretend
I know you’re not a fool.
I should have known better than to cheat a friend
And waste a chance that I’ve been given
So I’m never gonna dance again
The way I danced with you.

— George Michael lyrics, “Careless Whisper”

There better not be anyone else. You hear, 2016? NO ONE ELSE . . .

Quote of the Day: Dana Stevens, Slate

Early in January, David Bowie died, and then Alan Rickman four days later, and those twin losses now seem like the double toll of a warning bell whose somber echo would resonate through the year. 2016 was a year when the pillars that used to hold up our shared cultural universe wouldn’t stop crumbling around us. Prince? You expect us to somehow continue American pop music without Prince? Oh God, Gene Wilder. Oh no, Leonard Cohen.

— Dana Stevens, Slate movie critic, The Top 10 Movies of 2016

RELAX: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 2 December 2016

This week’s Photo Challenge — RELAX — is perfect, just perfect!

We all need to relaaaaaax. Especially after the kind of elections we just had.

Three relaxing things self got to enjoy in 2016 (Can you believe it’s almost 2017? Time flies!)

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Relaxed in Capitola, CA

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Relaxed in Ferrycarrig, County Wexford, Ireland

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Old Blind Dogs Performing in Fort Bragg, CA in March 2016

Playlist for Catherine Morland

Bowie’s Let’s Dance.

Right? Right?

“If you say run/ I’ll run to you.”

Almost word for word what our smitten heroine told Mr. Henry Tilney, when she had barely met him.

More later.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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