Twisted 2 : Opera, Ballet, and Classical Music are cool in Columbus, Ohio 


Today I saw the last performance of Twisted 2 at the Ohio Theater. Funny name for a program. Why did  they call it Twisted 2? Because all the Arts twisted together. The first collaboration between the Ballet Met, Columbus Symphony, and Opera Columbus took place in 2014.

I’m so glad I made it to the second one. Artistic directors Edward Liang (Ballet Met), Rosen Milano (Columbus Symphony), and Peggy Kirah Dye (Opera Columbus) outdid themselves. The choreography by Val Caniparoli virtually took my breath away. The Children’s International Choir in combination children’s “Momentum” Dance company added enthusiasm and young energy to the program.

Each of the pieces presented were short, but so satisfying. The orchestra was lit dimly, and on an upper level from the other artists. They played mostly classic pieces that the audience was familiar with, but the added dance and singing made it so entertaining. There was also a large screen that showed films that coincided with the performance. There was a lot to take in, but it all went together perfectly.

Christopher Purdy, a local  celebrity, and a classical DJ, produced a cute film asking Columbus residents questions about the arts that were funny. “How many beers would you need to attend an opera?” Name 3 Operas? The answer that got the biggest laugh was when a hip looking guy said, “I don’t need any beers, I love opera.”

Although I loved each and every little performance my favorite was “Bolero.” Hearing the Columbus Symphony play it masterfully, and watching the dancers sync so creatively to the music was amazing. It was beautiful. (Don’t think just because it’s ballet, it’s going to be all classical, and a little boring: it’s just the opposite with Ballet Met Columbus. )

I also liked when the children ran in from Aisle 1 and 4, and hustle on the stage quickly, and beautifully. They were the chorus from “Carmen.” The “Momentum Dancers” did a quick dance.

Gershwin’s “Summertime” was sung by 4 men which made it a really different version. Usually a saprano sings the main part. This made the song fresh and new.

The whole performance ended with “Ode to Joy” with everyone participating. It was really fantastic. The ending was very cool when all the coffetti fell down from the ceiling. And what a well-choreographed curtain call.

This was really an invitation to attend all the upcoming artistic productions from the various companies that  are coming up. If you’re saying there is not much to do in Columbus, you aren’t looking very hard.

Desiderata (Author unknown. Reputedly found among papers of Adlai Stevenson) 


Go placidly amid the noise and the haste.  And remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all others, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons; they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser person that yourself. Enjoy you achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment, it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit I to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome disciple, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God whatever you conceive him to be. And whatever your labor  sand aspiration, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your should. With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Author unknown. Reputedly found among papers of Adlai Stevenson.

My Prayer: I did not write this. I found it in some old papers. I thought it was good advice! 


Lord, you know I am growing older.  Keep me from becoming talkative and possessed with the idea that I must express myself on every subject.  Release me from the craving to straighten out everyone’s affairs.

Keep me from the recital of endless detail. Give me strength to get to the point. Seal my lips when I am inclined to tell of my aches and pains. They are increasing, as you know, with the passing years, and the love to speak of them grows sweeter as time goes by.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be wrong! Make me thoughtful but not nosy; helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom and experience, you have given me, it does seem a pity not to use it all. 

But you know Lord, I want to have a few friends in this life and the next

Amen 

Voices from the Grave


Today, my husband gave me the rarest of gifts. It’s the sound of my late father’s voice.

My husband had rescued some old tapes that my mother had in her house. As we were clearing up the house in order for her to move into an apartment, he spotted the tapes. Having vague  recollections of making the tapes when I was little,  we kept them. We schlepped (dragged)  them from pillar to post for the last 30 years.  We could never find a machine to play them on -until last week.

My husband asked my collector type neighbor if he knew of a machine that would play old reel-to-reel tapes.  Now, my husband is one of those technical types. He has the magic touch with machinery.   So, he fiddled and fussed. He ran the tapes backwards and forwards. He spliced and diced them together. He did this for me.

“I think I have a tape of your nieces when they were little,” he said.

Knowing that my Dad had brought home the machine from his job as a publicity specialist in the Cleveland Police Department, I knew it was probably my “big sisters” and I. And then I heard him. My dad’s voice. He is telling us how to operate the machine. Then he is interviewing us. He uses his flowery English. I know it’s him. But it doesn’t sound like him. Maybe because he was 43 years old.

“Who is this black-haired beauty?” he says about my oldest sister. “Who is this beautiful blonde?” talking about my other sister. “And here is Barbie.” (Me.) He asks us questions. I sing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider”. I talk about going to Kindergarten. I count to 10, and say my address and phone number. We all sing songs together. I  faintly hear my mother in the background, suggesting things to ask.  Mom was always the director, and Dad liked it that way. I wish she would’ve spoken louder.

On the tape, we  all sound so happy. Our parents had a marriage to be envied. They clearly adored each other. She put on lipstick for him, and he repeatedly brought her flowers and candy. They kissed and hugged each other all the time. They rarely argued.

My father passed away short of his 65th birthday. I’ve outlived him by 2 years. My mother lived until 91, but she was never the same after he died. Such a determined person she went on with her life, but she didn’t smile or laugh nearly as much.

It’d been forty years since I’d heard his voice.

It’s a long time to be without that unconditional love. It’s probably why his voice was unrecognizable at first. Does every girl adore their father; remembering them as them most handsome and perfect Daddy in the world?

There was a little alcove on our first floor, leading into the kitchen. I would always excitedly greet my father with a huge hug when he came home from work. He worked several jobs, but it never felt like it. When he would come home late, he would always come in my room to kiss me goodnight. He would later say, “I came in your  room and you were pounding your ear. ”

So, to hear his voice again and have a recording of it is nothing short of a miracle.

I hope anyone reading this realizes that the sound of your loved one’s voice is really precious. In this world of technology, it’s so easy to do. Don’t forget. You never know where their voices may be silenced.

 

 

Columbus Arts and Music Festival Debuts September 18 


                                  

Arkadiy Gips, well known Columbus violinist, envisioned sharing Jewish music, identity, and culture with the Columbus community. 

” It’s the first Jewish music festival in Columbus. We want to showcase talented musicians who play music in Columbus. We have a lot of different heritage festivals and now we’re bringing a Jewish art and music festival to Columbus.” said Gips. 

 This vision will become a reality on September 18, 2016 at the JCC, 1125 College Avenue. The Columbus Jewish Foundation, JCC, and Jewish Family services is supporting this great arts event. 

Children’s musician, Marc Rossio, will kick off the festivities at 1:00 P.M. Children and adults will enjoy Marc’s creative songs and great showmanship. 

Arkadiy and Friends includes Cheri Papier, Lucy Smirnov, and Lucas Holmes. They have played traditional Jewish music with an original music arrangement for over twenty years. 

American Gypsy includes Arkadiy, Neil Jacobs, and Steven Fox. “American Gypsy’s debut CD was nominated for the American Independent Music Award’s, “Album of the Year”! It will be a real treat to listen to them. 

Sveltlana Portnyansky, a well-known Jewish singer and California Cantor, will sing and narrate the documentary, “Terezin,The Code to Life.” Terezin was the concentration camp in Czechoslovakia that imprisoned talented children and adults from the arts during World War II. The documentary earned second prize in the Toronto Documentary Film Festival. 

Laeli is a Jewish music project made up of husband and wife, Eli and Lael Palnik. Elijah composes original songs, and they perform contemporary and Israeli songs. 

Cantor Max Axelrod, representing the JCC book fair will be discussing his book, “Your Guide to the Jewish Holdays: From Shofar to Seder.”

Columbus area Jewish community choirs including Koleinu, Temple Israel and Temple Beth Shalom will perform. 

Free performances will take place every 45 minutes. 

The final performance, a showcase gala, takes place from 6:00 to 7:00 P.M. at the JCC Roth-Resler theater. All the musicians will collaborate and play together. It will be amazing! 

Tickets for the showcase gala concert will be $20.00 for the general public and $15.00 for JCC members and Senior citizens. 

“It’s a time to celebrate our Jewish identity together. This is a time to have fun, listen to great music, and eat wonderful food. We want this day to express the heart and soul of the entire Jewish community in Columbus,” said Gips.  

To get exact times of performances, and more information about the artists, consult the festival’s website. 

http:/www.columbusjewisharts.com