Archive for July, 2013

The Audition


It’s been awhile since I’ve hosted a Couchsurfer. With the steady flow of travelers and students renting my bedrooms, I haven’t had the energy to host during the few quiet moments I have alone in my house. Then I got a request two weeks ago from Sarah, a Canadian opera singer in town to audition with the Lyric for their young artist’s program. She was seeking a bit Zen before the audition and perceived my place and my self as being that.  She was a first time surfer with no reviews but I liked her message and her very sincere looking picture so I said yes. It was a low impact request for only one night and a day which was perfect.

Yesterday, she arrived late morning and after spending some time getting acquainted, we embarked on a bike tour. Nothing too aggressive, just a leisure ride through some neighborhoods with a couple stops to shop and snack, followed by a failed attempt at visiting the just closing Graceland cemetery, then heading home along the lakefront path. After a little relaxation back at my place we decided on dinner at Gino’s North, just a short walk away.  My favorite thing about that place, besides the pizza, are the cozy circular booths that make for good atmosphere. Our conversation covered a lot of ground. It was a  full day exchange of personal history and sometimes that kind of thing really wears me out, but not this time. It was very easy to be around Sarah. I felt relaxed as if I was hanging out with an old friend telling stories. After dinner and back at my place I made us my new favorite drink, Dark and Stormy. Only one for the pre audition soprano but at least two for the hostess with the mostess.

Maybe there was some kind of magic chemistry created between the bike ride, talking and pizza all sloshed together with those cocktails but I woke up feeling like a million bucks!  While Sarah was getting ready to leave I was on the computer working on a postcard order. I could hear her in her room warming up her voice with scales. This voice sounded like it had to be coming out of a much larger woman! Then she came out of her room, and asked  if I wanted to hear her sing. Of course, I did but half my brain was still being sucked into my computer project. She began to sing an Italian aria from The Marriage of Figaro. The computer distraction powered down immediately. There she was, this petite young woman standing in the middle of my kitchen, singing with so much heart and passion.  I don’t speak Italian but I could understand every word on an emotional level and the tears slowly started rolling. I watched her living her true potential and it was the rare privilege of witnessing greatness. And then she left for the audition.

The aria felt like a gift and not like any other. I am no connoisseur of opera singers but I can’t help but believe Sarah is on her true path and that she will realize her dreams. This encounter brought to me sorely needed inspiration. She gave me a song and she gave me a reason to write another story!



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