Friday, September 09, 2005
British Baritone Simon Keenlyside
No, this is NOT going to turn into the "barihunk du jour" blog, but as there was some appreciative comment on the Adam Cooper and Nathan Gunn photos (characterized by frequent repetition of the word hot and implied heavy breathing), I thought I would post, strictly in support of high culture you understand, this lovely picture of Simon Keenlyside.
Simon's another Brit, currently much in demand (on stage, and I'm sure elsewhere) for an elegant, seamless voice and a charismatic personality on stage. In England he was tapped to sing Prospero in the world premiere of gay composer Thomas Ades's opera THE TEMPEST and he stood Boston on its ear two years ago with a tremendous performance in Debussy's PELLEAS ET MELISANDE that went to New York City with similar acclaim.
He can also dance--ballet or modern WHILE singing--as he did when he turned one of Schubert's great song cycles into highly acclaimed dance song theater. He's got to have limitations--everyone does--but so far he's done a particularly good job of hiding the fact.
The French have a saying, "Paint the devil on the walls and he'll appear to you in person." I wrote about Matthew Bourne's production of Swan Lake yesterday and today I picked up IN, Boston's gay arts newspaper, and saw that it will perform in Boston next April 20 through 23, and I expect that means it's on national tour. I rather doubt Adam Cooper will be recreating his now legendary role, but one can at least hope that another male dancer with something like Cooper's tremendous sexual allure will have been cast.
I'm heading down to New York tomorrow for the first of my operas this season, Richard Strauss's lovely conversation piece CAPRICCIO. This is a new production at the NY City Opera. Last time I saw it performed it was at the Metropolitan with Simon Keenlyside in it, by coincidence. After the matinee, I drive back up to Fritz's where we have a meeting on Sunday afternoon with an architect who has experience designing earth-sheltered homes.
The proposed building site, a south-facing slope covered in mixed hardwood and pine
I began this the other day so here's some more of the story. I'm currently planning to leave MIT, barring any totally unforeseen problems, at the end of the academic year in June of 2007. By that time Fritz and I will have been together ten years but will never have been able to live together due to the demands of our individual careers.
It's time. I want to be able to establish a big garden with him; he has some plans about which he and I are very enthusiastic that involve taking his excellent bargello needlework and turning it into marketable items; we want to spend each and every night in the same bed. I'll not be retiring, but leaving MIT. There are several possibilities for me to explore in the area, just an hour north of Boston and only about half an hour further from New York City than I am now.
The genesis of all this was several years ago when I illustrated a textbook for Northeast Solar Energy Corporation about active and passive solar technology for private homes. I learned an enormous amount and the concept made enormous sense to me. There were models I didn't like, like the really scary Saskatchewan Super-insulated Solar House that has no windows or doors in the north, east and west sides and only 10% of the south wall is window. It surely conserves heat--much of which comes as a by-product of toasters, light bulbs and refigerators--but is too much like living in an underground bunker for my personal taste.
There were, however, many delightful, light-filled possibilities and I drew up plans for a house for myself for "someday." I showed them to an architect friend at the time and he thought they were excellent--he said he'd give them his stamp any time I wanted to go ahead with them but the time and circumstances were never right. Now they will be.
My ideas have changed over the years in regard to energy self-sufficiency and current technology. I want to explore photovoltaic cells, the efficiency of which has made quantum leaps over the years. And I want a very warm, comfortable, Moroccan feel to the place along with space enough to really entertain. I love giving long, informal dinner parties. Because of the new technology in particular, I want the collaboration of someone who has had experience in this type of construction. As more material is generated, I'll get it digitized and onto the blog.The Gerber baby in the time of salsa
This was sent by a friend who knows my off-beat sense of humor well. It's a litle bit of "sick" humor, perhaps like some of Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons, but I got a big laugh out of it and hope you will, too.
Simon must have phenomanal breath control to dance and sing like that. I'd like to be a fly on his stomach to see for myself.
Nathan Gunn performed with us a few times. It was awhile back. We all had a cruch on him, and he was so sweet.
(ps, i don't know if you are getting spam, but you might want to add the spam avoiding feature now available on blogger)
Thanks for letting me know about Blogger's spam guard. I haven't gotten any--yet. I'm sure it's just a matter of time.
I second Karl - please keep up informed of the house plans (and hopefully subsequent house!) I've heard about solar energy for residential buildings, but the conclusion, usually, was that it was not cost effective (i.e. too expensive to make up for the lowered energy bills).
I'm a real estate/home improvement/home freak so I look forward to reading about this upcoming adventure of yours!
Thats so cool about the future home. Scooby and I would like to build a house someday that is self sufficient and live off the grid. Someone told us utilities are suppose to go up another 70% this winter. I could barely afford them last year.