For better of for worse, I’m genuinely not a fan of opera.
Having worked most of my life with trained singers who absolutely love operas and make their living singing through them, it’s created some challenges. For the most part, we work through it.
Though the advent of cancel-culture has created difficulties all its own being as I’m white male, a Priest, a symbol of the patriarchy and all that must be smashed, altered, and destroyed, while many musicians are libertine, do as you wish, dyed in the wool liberals. It’s odd as I’m actually fairly liberal in many areas.
Where were we again?
I actually love this opera.
I was driving to Florida with a friend to visit his family many years ago, we’ll call him Slew. As we drove we listened to a classical music station for a few hours and played “Guess That Composer” because music majors did that kind of thing before we could stare into our phones mindlessly for hours on end. He had just graduated from a prestigious northern university and I had just graduated from UNO (places are only as great as you make them) – yet I won every guess!
Point being, UNO is great in so many areas because some learned professors simply want to live in New Orleans and it’s solid work.
But no, that’s not the point. The real point of the story is that one day whilst NPR was broadcasting their Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera bit, I heard something completely fascinating. I went through the process: 20th century; atonal; opera; must be Wozzek.
I was right! Though admittedly it was a no brainer.
It’s so bizarre it’s wonderful.
Atonal theory doesn’t make much sense initially. But because it uses other methods to establish continuity to the ear – it makes sense to the listener in a new and fascinating way. There’s a reason it’s still popular – because as bizarre as it is, it also makes complete sense.
Here’s another bit – it has a lot of interesting starting points. And it’s all very intelligently done.
Stay great, and listen thoughfully.
And be kind to your music friends – no matter how successful they are, they all suffer greatly for their art.
The Mass from the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. 🙏🏼
You’ll note that I forgot to light the candles. 😬 We have Adoration until 11:45, then there’s a lot to put in place quickly, and some of our daily Mass servers are vacationing in some holy sites out in the otherwise wild west of the USA.
But like anything else, once you realize it, it’s okay to simply go about the business of getting it done. I realized it while saying the prayers before the Gospel.
So afterward I took off my maniple, a French tradition which signifies the Mass is interrupted – such as for giving a Homily, which is not a part of the 1962 Missal and is done outside the Mass (for instance, if you watch JFK’s funeral Mass, the Homily is simply read after the Mass is ended,) – lit the candles, replaced the maniple then continued with the Mass.
To not do so intentionally was, I believe, classified as a mortal sin. As for making mistakes – commenters note that the only perfect liturgy is the Heavenly Liturgy and we will always have some element of your human condition present.
One Priest I know left out, during his first Mass in the Extraordinary Form, the Pater Noster (Our Father). I practiced the Mass for two months daily, motions, pronunciations, bows, etc, prior to saying it in public. I knew it too well, and eventually, come Easter, I made every mistake in the book thinking I finally had it down. It comes in time.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.