I only have 4 weeks left of summer break before school starts. In that time, I have quite a few projects that I want to finish, all of which I’ve enumerated in previous posts. There’s not much time left.
And it makes me think of the passing of time and things I won’t ever get the chance to do, after all. Which is a bit disheartening. It was one of the reasons I moved – I wasn’t performing in Milwaukee, and I knew that my shelf life as an artist was, at that point, limited. La voce is still holding out, and quite well, thankyouverymuch, but the logistics are that there are others coming up and perhaps it’s their turn. I had my turn. Maybe I should have made more of it. Maybe it just was what it had to be at the time.
When I was in my mid-30s, I played the Queen of the Fairies in G&S’ Iolanthe. Now I look at that role as one that should be played by someone older. Like, perhaps, oh, I don’t know – ME. Again. I played Katisha at that age, too. I can still play those roles. I won’t be playing Pitti-Sing again, or Lady Angela, but I can still play Ruth.
I won’t be singing Dorabella or Rosina, but there are other supporting/character roles I can still do. Marcellina. Berta. Baba. Mum. Florence. Mother Abbess. Mother Superior.
Someone spoke disparagingly of me recently to another colleague, saying that I cast myself as Marmee “out of ego.” Well, Maureen McGovern was about the same age as I am when she created the role and when she did the national tour, so I wasn’t too old for that, but I will be shortly. And besides, I sang the hell out of it and I wanted to do it. And I got great reviews for it. (And so did the person who spoke disparagingly of me, in the role in which I cast her. But that’s another story.) I can play Aunt March for another 20 years. There’s time for that.
In the song, “Unchained melody,” the lyric goes:
“Time goes by so slowly and time can do so much”
I submit that time goes by so quickly – and we must make much of the time that we have.
“Gather ye rosebuds while ye may, Old Time is still a-flying
And this same flower that smiles today, Tomorrow will be dying.”