21 February 2007


In this blog, I make fun of Renee Fleming's cream of corn of a voice, but the same way a son makes fun of his mother's idiosyncratic cream of corn. Not reluctantly, the son eats the cream of corn, and years from now, away from home he would look around his own kitchen and recognize only a few things, and look back to the first hearth he knew, and say, oh what I'd give for one more taste. Last night, during Tatiana's Letter Scene, I felt a premonition of the same kind of yearning. What gets press is her embarrassingly lovely sound, borne undoubtedly of singular dedication, sometimes well sufficient to quench my thirst for some divine connection. But what lies underneath the Beautiful Voice, as I see it, is a yearning for true and simple things that long formed the heart of the son. My mother never made cream of corn, but she made other simple meals, mostly fried stuff, which I blame for my deadly devotion to trans-fatted fries, and anything dripping in fat. Perhaps many years from now, I'll look back, as I did last night, and say how wonderful it was to have been at countless Fleming performances because she always made me feel utterly happy and loved, and also reminded me of love. I'd say, at one point she was all I knew, and I've never been more content.