March 1st, 2006

gericault_raft of the medusa 1


The first night of March has provided clouds, occasional stars, frequent choruses of frogs, and constant, chilly damp. Spring has sneaked back around the corner and let winter reclaim another of its rightful nights. In fact, winter might get back the better part of a week. I'm hoping for another thunderstorm to arrive soon. They make excellent alarm clocks. There won't be one today, though, as the last hour has brought considerable clearing, and the late sky has more stars than it does darkness. I expect there will be sufficient sunlight to dry the ground today, but the rain should be back by Thursday.

But despite the enjoyable meteorological tumult, I still find myself sluggish and devoid of ideas or ambition. This makes me fretful. I've learned that it's pointless to fret over these periods when my brain decides to turn itself off, but I still feel considerable impatience when one arrives. Good sense would dictate that I relax and enjoy the vacation, since I know that my energy will not return until it returns, and I have no idea when that will be. Alas that good sense invariably vacates at the same time my energy does, and I end up nagging myself to do something. But nothing can be done. Too bad I lack the propensity to drink heavily.

Come back, thunderstorm!


A thin grin of moon peeked out from the clouds now and then this evening. It's the first glimpse of moon I've had in days. I'm happy to have seen it. It's gone down now, and would be hidden by the thickening clouds anyway. It might show again tomorrow, as the storms are now getting brief, as they usually do toward the end of winter. There might be a thunderstorm tomorrow, too. Excellent.

The Los Angeles Theatre, S. Charles Lee's splendid French confection of 1930, still struggling by on the revenues the owners make from renting out the spectacular premises for the filming of movies, television shows and commercials, is going to go live for a week, courtesy of The Lyric Opera of Los Angeles, which will be presenting a production of Alber's rarely performed 1856 version of Manon Lescaut. This theatre is a perfect setting for a 19th century French opera.

Though I've never seen a live performance in the theatre, I've seen movies from every part of the house and know that it has excellent sight lines, and I suspect the acoustics to be as good. That this will be the west coast premier of Auber's Manon is quite surprising, as several west coast cities had thriving opera audiences from as early as the latter third of the 19th century. Even had this work never been mounted in Los Angeles, I'd have thought that at least San Francisco or Seattle would have seen a production. I've never heard Auber's Manon, though I;ve heard parts of Massenet's later version and all of Puccini's, which is the most recent. Maybe that says something about Auber's work, or maybe it just says something about west coast audiences.