A Big Feat…A Devoted heart….A Long Time Coming.

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have noticed that as of late, posts have been few and far between.  The reason has nothing to do with a lack of interest lately, but more to do with a profound experience that has been the culmination of a very long journey for me.  On May 4th, 2010, I successfully defended my Ph.D dissertation, “Italian Opera from Verdi to Verismo: Boito and “La Scapigliatura.” For the last 13 years of my life, I have devoted myself to the letters, works, and operas of several important composers, namely Giuseppe Verdi, Arrigo Boito, and Giacomo Puccini, and although I have been researching and writing for approximately five years, I had not anticipated that defending my work would be so emotional.  As I spoke about my 600 + page manuscript, at one moment I could strangely hear myself talking and wondering, “Who is talking? Is this me?”  The voice was filled with passion and fire and vibrancy.  At that moment, I felt that I might have converted any non-opera loving person to the other side, just by the sheer determination in my voice.  And, all for the love of opera.

Verdi and Boito

I recalled that the first post on this blog displayed a picture of Indiana Jones.  In effect, the research I conducted was not much different than that presented in the third movie of that series, “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” where Indiana takes on his father’s passionate search for the Holy Grail by using a diary filled with clues that required decoding.  Who would have thought that Italian Opera would present a similar situation?  The point I wish to make is that the study of music history, although some might think it to be tedious or even boring, is just as exciting as any action movie.  It is also what leads us to maintain an authentic, appropriate, and most of all, a respectful manner of performance practice that is based on the wishes and direction of the composers whose works we are so compelled to sing, perform, or conduct. It is my hope that young music students continue to study history and use it as a foundation for whatever musical discipline they are devoted to. As musicians the path to a fundamental happiness and success can only be achieved by hard work and devotion, but let us not forget that love for music and art play a significant role.  For those of us who remain devoted…a world of wonder awaits.

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Published in: on May 17, 2010 at 5:22 pm  Leave a Comment  
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