Last Thursday, I had the good fortune to be able to attend the final dress rehearsal of Dr. Atomic at the Metropolitan Opera. For the first twenty minutes of the piece, my eyes were glued to where a spotlight was shining up in the top center of a wall of cubicles that housed a colleague and friend from my days at the University of Michigan, waiting for him to sing his opening phrases that would be his Met debut a couple of nights later. He sounded beautiful and was wonderful to watch – it was exciting to watch him be on that stage that we all dream of singing on, and it got me thinking of our times at Michigan, where we cut our musical and vocal teeth together, learned the basics of our craft, laughed about our educational missteps along the way and congratulated each other on our successes. I was proud to see him up there, an important part of such a moving and powerful event at the Met, living his dream.
After an adventurous Friday, I actually ventured back to Michigan for a quick trip to attend another college friend's wedding. Leaving the airport, I was surprised to see just how colorful the trees were – after so many years of missing Fall in Michigan, I had forgotten just how breathtaking a Michigan Autumn can be. A couple other UM friends and colleagues were there, and we provided some music as we watched our friend tie the knot. Seeing her come down the aisle in her wedding dress, I couldn't help but remember that it was the end of one my relationships in college that cemented our friendship as she held my hand through that terrible time and helped me move on. After all those deep, intense discussions about the nature of love and relationships, my heart swelled to see her pledge herself to the man that she loved.
To see how far we have all come was overwhelming – I was filled with nostalgia and memories, happiness, giddiness, and pride. I was also anxious to see how much farther we will all grow.