We were rehearsing Beethoven

The director and I

For a performance of 'Ah, Perfido!'

A gesture of remarkable confidence

In my ability

Considering the years of recent silence

My limited training on operatic scale

And my 'maturity'.


So I threw myself into Italian study

Like a possessed woman 

Texts and tapes -

And suave Italian waiters -

For the practised freedom of plummy vowels

And proper accent

To gain a sense of 'whipping the aria'

With authoritative fury,

Of serving the composer with respect

For his musical genius.

I was naively fearless

But remarkably successful.

And soon, sound and diction 

Were merging admirably -

A certain, believable 'fluency' 

Hard won.


Suddenly, he stopped playing

Leaving my voice hanging in mid-air

Full throttle.


'I have decided,' he said

'That when I shampoo my hair from now on

I'm going to wash the rest of myself

With the same suds.

What a waste of soap!

Pure quackery of commerce -

Shampoo and body wash!'


And I whooped

Doubled over, hardly able to breathe

Laughing so hard.


'Well, that should do you good.

You need more air capacity.

Stretch those lungs.

Now, let's go again.

And give it the 'Full Monty!'

Which sounded very 'professional'.

I had no idea what he meant.

Although I got the gist.


No, I didn't. Not really.

But, after I moved to England

I did.


◄ The Doctor

Book on Charity Shelf ►


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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Fri 23rd Mar 2018 17:04

And that's it. Last one!!!

(I think.)

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