An approving look back

After yesterday’s epic cleaning/therapy, it was serendipitous that the first thing iTunes chose to play this morning was Am Südpol, denkt man, es ist heiß. This was the “penguin opera” I wrote back in 2004 for a competition for the opera company in Cologne, Germany.

The libretto was based on a popular German children’s book about penguins who live for opera and the annual visit of the Opera Boat. It was a totally engaging little story, with Scene 1 introducing us to Uncle Otto, his niece (who hates opera, she says), and the young boy penguin; Scene 2 with the opera company as they squabble over roles in La Traviata; Scene 3 in the opera house and the hilarious opera-gone-wrong; and Scene 4 back on the ice, with young Lottie recognizing how much she loves both opera and the boy penguin.

The big finale is all about how Musik fills our lives and is a huge gift, even at the South Pole. Since I began the opera with a Latin overture (keeping with the title’s erroneous claim that it’s hot at the South Pole), I made the finale a bumptious calypso number, ending with everyone onstage dancing in sombreros and sunglasses passed up to them by the ever-rebellious orchestra.

I say all this to say that listening to it again this morning, I was delighted with my work, the entire piece. (I didn’t win the competition, needless to say, but boy did I learn a lot.) The finale is especially engaging, and I offer it to you here: Am Sudpol finale

What’s my point? It was a boost to my self-image, another little nudge to get back to work on something, anything, because when I’m at the top of my form, I’m quite good.

(We will ignore for the time being the flipside, that I’ll never write anything that good again.)

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