“OK Georgio, this time let’s try it andante, and express a little more feeling into this part of the Aria,” commented the maestro.
Today we were practicing some of the songs from the opera La traviata (by Giuseppe Verdi). I was playing the role of Alfredo Germont, the young aristocrat who adored the beautiful Violetta. My favorite piece in the opera is the “Libiamo ne’lieti calici” (Drinking Song), which is actually a duet.
“Remember, it’s the fallen women, the one who went astray,” added the maestro. “A one, and a two, and …
The first performance of La traviata was given in 1853 and the audience was far from enthralled. So the determined Verdi rewrote five of the pieces and presented the new version of the opera in 1854. This time the audience cheered and clapped, and the opera quickly made its way into theaters across Europe and America (New York on December 3rd).
The cast of La traviata
Violetta Valéry, a courtesan (soprano)
Alfredo Germont, a young bourgeois (tenor)
Giorgio Germont, Alfredo’s father (baritone)
Flora Bervoix, Violetta’s friend (mezzo-soprano)
Annina, Violetta’s, the maid (soprano)
Gastone, Alfredo’s friend (tenor)
Barone Douphol, Violetta’s lover (baritone)
Marchese d’Obigny (bass)
Dottore Grenvil (bass)
Giuseppe, Violetta’s servant (tenor)
Flora’s servant (bass)
The story is based on the novel La Dame aux Caméias, by Alexandre Dumas (son of the famous author with that same name). In the opera the main character Violetta Valery is portrayed as a courtesan well connected in Italian society. Although sick for a period of time she was now feeling a bit better. She hosted a social party at which time she learned of the admiration of Alfredo.
After some time Violetta falls for Alfredo and they start living together. Alfredo’s father then wants to break up the romance because of the upcoming marriage of his daughter (Alfredo’s sister). It appears that the family’s reputation had been tainted by this illicit affair between Alfredo and Violetta
The couple later separates, there is a duel between Violetta’s lovers Alfredo and the Baron, and then near her death (due to tuberculosis) they are reunited once more. But it’s too late. Alfredo’s father is regretful for what he did and brings in a doctor. Unfortunately nothing can be done, and Alfredo sings Gran Dio! morir si giovane (O, God! to die so young). Violetta then dies in Alfredo’s arms.
After I sang the duet for twenty minutes, we took a short break. Then I began to sing “De miei bollenti spiriti,” Wild my dream of ecstasy.
Last year, after my 52nd birthday, I vowed to strike out and follow a dream. That’s why I am now singing.
My parents emigrated from Italy after the last Great War and came to Brazil in hope of a brighter future. The first years in the new country had its challenges, but they learned to speak rather fluent Spanish and adopted the holidays and customs of their new homeland.
Georgio followed in this father’s footsteps and became an engineer. After finishing grade school and graduating from college (Centro Universitário Adventista de São Paulo), he signed on with Umoe BioEnergy. That hallmark company specializes in production of bioethanol for international markets. Brazil is fossil fuel free, and does not need to import petroleum for transpiration (cars) purposes. The country is energy self sufficient.
When Georgio turned 45 he began to feel that the life path laid out for him by society was a sham. All along he was told to work hard, do well in school, get that good job, and you will enjoy happiness and success. Make sure you get married to a good woman, raise lots of kids, have your own house, and be proud.
And it’s not that he was particularly unhappy, but having achieved that long sought after goal was a letdown. The prize of life’s purpose was dangled in front of him for years, and when he finally got it – he felt little changed.
He was told that life is a journey. Start at the very beginning and strive toward the grand finale. There is a great goal waiting for you to be had. Maybe it was money, or fame, or happiness.
But Georgio discovered that he had missed the whole point of life. He was supposed to hop, skip, sing and dance all along the way.
Meditation helps to reestablish the playfulness and joy of life.
No matter which way it takes you, enjoy greater silence and peace of mind. Culture the human nervous system to better reflect your true nature.
By practicing meditation daily you are making quantum (great) strides to advance:
– increased intelligence
– better health
– greater feeling and sensitivity of heart
– social harmonious interaction
– a greater level of mental and physical relaxation
– a strengthened immune system
– slower aging
– greater orderliness of brain functioning
– less wasted energy
– relaxation of the nervous system
– increased self actualization
– building self esteem
– the elimination of phobias and fears
– improved relationships among cultures, people and nations
– increased job satisfaction
– a reduced tendency to worry
– the development of greater tolerance
– increased compassion
– the experience and sense of “oneness” with nature and the world
Following the crowd does not bring real and lasting happiness.
Success and failure are just two aspects of the life learning process. We learn from both sides of the coin of life. Search within yourself for guidance.
Unravel the entanglements of the ego. You’ve been doing all these things in life to benefit yourself (ego) and family. Now discover and act on your lost dreams for growth, satisfaction and fulfillment.
Most of our behavior is automatic, initiated by stimuli from the environment. Understand that everything in this phenomenal world is transitory; in constant change and motion.
Intention is not the same as doing. So take action today. Your life is currently being painted on a canvas. Make every new brush stroke count.
It takes courage to buck conformity and reach for your own ideals. In order to gain anything, you must first lose it. Practice meditation to escape impermanence and suffering. Day by day delve into the realm of blissful silence.
Enable your inner divinity to shine forth for the betterment of yourself, family, and fellow human beings.