Thursday, February 16, 2012

Back to the Berkshires

Alberti Talks has been on a winter vacation. In spite of the unusually mild winter we have had in Berkshire County, trust me, Isla Verde in Puerto Rico is a lot nicer in January and February. Isla Verde is just east of Old San Juan and is a heavenly place to spend the winter months. I returned to Sandisfield last night to snow and ICE! You pay for your thrills. March certainly came in like a Lion!

Here is the view from my condo balcony.

The beach in front of my condo.

But it's back to work: teaching at Rood Hill Farm, planning the Ferris Burtis Music Foundation Fund raiser for June 10th, teaching a vocal master class at Smith on April 17th,and going to Boston to be present at the Federal appeals trial for GLAD's suit against DOMA, (we won the first trial in Federal court two years ago thanks to the ruling of Judge Joseph Tauro).

There wasn't a lot of music for me to comment on while I've been in Puerto Rico. Unless you count the group who comes to the beach in front of my condo every Saturday and plays mindless music (?) so loud that it can be heard from Isla Verde to San Juan Viejo!

One rather amusing thought came to me as I watched the film 'There's no business like show business' on Turner Classic Movies, starring Ethel Merman and Marilyn Monroe- both singing. If that doesn't give you a laugh, I don't know what will. Even when she was speaking, I had to turn up the volume to hear what Marilyn was saying. Both her singing and speaking were done in that breathy 'Happy Birthday, Mr. President' voice with which she performed for JFK. Merman was at the height of her vocal powers, easily blowing Marilyn off the screen. Thank God Marilyn could shake her real talent! Whoever designed this casting must have been on drugs at the time.

I also enjoyed seeing the film 'The Chocolate Soldier' again with Risë Stevens and Nelson Eddy. Two wonderful voices. It must have been a treat for Eddy to sing with a real singer after all those movies with Jeanette MacDonald. Poor Jeanette had a pretty voice but it was a 'chirpy' soprano. Rise's gorgous voice matched Eddy's perfectly. Too bad they didn't make more films together.

But I'm home again and open for business!