Day 05: Something You Hope to Do in Your Life
My grandmother (MaMa) was a very important person in my life. She was an integral, matriarchal figure through most of my childhood .. as most Italian mothers/grandmothers are .. and even though we lost her to illness in April of this year, I still hear her talking to me almost every single day.
She taught me many obscure but powerful lessons in my life. From having picnics in cemetaries to getting her ears pierced with me when I was thirteen and she was .. Lord knows how old, she found quiet, subtle ways to drive home strength and love.
My grandmother was known for her voice when she was younger; she wanted to be a performer on the professional stage, but as it happens with all of us, life got in the way. She was trained in classical voice and opera, and although her voice had matured through both age and years of smoking when I heard it, the evidence of a strong base was there. Her vibrato was natural.. although looser in her later years.. and her tone was always spot on.
Of course, several grandchildren followed in her footsteps, singing both onstage and in studios. I was among them. I was warned that, when the time came, she wanted Send in the Clowns played at her funeral.
I didn’t know much about the song, really, which is odd when you consider I’ve spent 2/3 of my life in musicals. I even sang other pieces from the show A Little Night Music in recitals. All I knew of that song in particular was that 1) SUCH A DIRGE and 2) it involved clowns, which is not very Sondheim-like. Sadly, it took my MaMa passing away for me to actually sit and listen to it. I was trying to learn it to sing it, but .. I knew I’d never be able to. Not without melting in the middle of it.
In one of those little coincidences that makes you wonder, the revival of A Little Night Music opened this same year. I began to learn more about the part, and .. well.. I got it. I finally understood why MaMa loved that song.. and that part.. so damn much.
So something I’d like to do in my life: I’d like to play Desiree Armfeldt when the time is right. I know I’m too young now, and I need a little more wear before I’d really, REALLY feel the part, but I want that. I want to play that part before I die so that I can sing that song. For MaMa.
I’ve always had a running list of parts I’d like to play before I never play again, and that is the most recent addition. I hope I get my turn, since MaMa never did.