Thursday, July 06, 2006

Loss of a hero

I have a passion for Handel. He is my favorite composer, and I listen to his music incessantly, which many people poke fun at me for. My first year in Houston was a busy one, and I happened to have a night off for the first time in weeks. I had recently purchased a video of Peter Sellars’ production of Handel’s Theodora from Glyndebourne, so I decided that this night off was going to be a night to relax, turn off my cell phone, sit on my couch, crochet, and watch a video of Handel. About twenty minutes into the piece, I stopped mid-stitch, transfixed by the singing that I heard. I looked up and saw Lorraine Hunt Lieberson kneeling on the floor, singing passionately one of the most beautiful arias in Handel’s canon. It was my first time to ever hear or see her perform. I’ve never been the same musician since – it was a type of commitment to a performance that I will always strive to emulate. Never had I seen someone so devoted to making music with all of her being.

Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died on Monday at the young age of 52. She was taken from us too quickly, and it saddens me to think of our musical world without her.

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