Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Opera Woman

Zut alors, Eduard Kunz, the pianist from the Cliburn Competition I was cheering on because of his name, has been knocked out of the race. I guess his performance of Beethoven's "Waldstein" Sonata was not good enough. That is Eduard Kunz pictured above, in happier days.


Die Welt ist leer, ist leer. That is out of Schumann's "Frauenliebe und -leben." It means "The world is empty, is empty."

I am always applying lines from Lieder and opera to my life.

For some reason I am always thinking of lines from "The Magic Flute." I guess it is because I studied German and I know that opera so well.

"Geduld, Freund. Der Himmel will auch fuer dich sorgen." That means "Have patience, friend. Heaven will look after you, too." Pamina says it to Papageno in "The Magic Flute." I used to think that a lot when I was single. It meant God would find me a good guy.

"Zuruck! Auch hier sagt man zuruck?" That is what Papageno says when he is finding all the doors barred to him. I think that a lot when I am in a situation with no way out, which, I have that experience a lot, often at work.

What other lines come back to me frequently? It is hard to think of them when something does not arise that reminds you of them.

"Ich bin nicht hungrig, Tetrarch." That is from "Salome." Salome says it. That line flashes into my mind when I am not hungry.

Isn't this a silly thing to be thinking about? But the news these days is so scary and ridiculous that it is right and just that we divert ourselves. Dignum et justum est. That is a line from Mass that comes into my mind a lot. It means "it is right and just." But Latin Mass phrases are another topic for another day.

"Freundschaft und Liebe." Tamino says that in "The Magic Flute" when they ask him what he seeks. That occurs to me without fail whenever anyone asks me, "What are you looking for?" Luckily I never say it out loud. People would think I was crazy!

It is funny when these lines drift into your head in the middle of a busy workday, a crowded afternoon full of errands, whenever. Does that happen to anyone else?

If it does, here and now is the time and place to confide it.

Dignum et justum est!


  1. Hi Mary,

    I thought your readers might like to know that all performances from this year's Van Cliburn Competition - including those of Eduard Kunz - are available for listening at:


    Just look for the MUSIC section on that page and click on the photo/name of the pianist you want to listen to. New performances are being uploaded as the competition progresses.

    Performance from the Hill Violin Competition in New Zealand will also begin uploading later this week.


    Sincerely (with apologies for the shameless promotion)...

    Steven Carlson

  2. This post makes me think: Hm! Hm! Hm! Hmm! Hm! Hm! Hm! Hmm! Hm! Hm! Hm! Hmm! Hm! Hmm! Hm! Hm! (But to be honest, my internal running narrative is all-Seinfeld all the time. Not that there's anything wrong with that.)