Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Music of Our Night

The other night Emma convinced me to sing the Phantom's part in several songs from The Phantom of the Opera, while she played the piano and sang the soprano parts. She talks me into singing some kind of harmony with her several times a week. But the Phantom! I mean, "How low can you go?" As I am an alto who generally has a range of maybe three notes, this was quite an effort, probably worthy of some obscure award or, more likely, jail time.

The big surprise was that I could actually do parts of it if I sort of screamed and made wild gyrations with my upper body. I had my moments. I couldn't keep it up, though, and Emma, still playing, would hear me "losing it" and give this encouraging advice: "Don't be yourself, Mom!"

Clearly I was expected to cross some line from struggling mom singer into a Don Giovanni, vibrating with testosterone and timbre.

Then Emma would point her index finger at the place in the music where she wanted me to try again and smile very, very sweetly. She is a pro at making a desperate situation look pleasant. Or is it simply that I'm a pushover? (I know. I'm a pushover.) Anyway, whatever the reason, the result was that I would roll my eyes and begin my bellowing, like a cow lost in a blizzard trying to deliver its first calf, hind feet first.

It was bizarre! But we were having so much FUN--especially when I hit several notes in a row. . .or Emma had a solo!

In the middle of all of this, Nathaniel started mixing up a batch of Toll House cookies. Over the roar of the mixer, my howling, and Emma's playing, he shouted to me, "Mom, we should switch places!"

He sings bass all the time and loves the Phantom, so he was absolutely right. But he was just teasing me. He refused to leave the kitchen. It was too much fun being in the audience.

And completely risk free.

1 comment:

Emily G. said...

How funny. My sister and I were always vying for which one of us could trick the other into singing the most ridiculous part. I often won. My sister is a higher soprano than me, but she sang the Phantom, alto part of "Barcarolle" and the alto in "The Flower Duet". Teehee. And there was no force involved-I just convinced her she did it "So much better than I could!" I know, I am a bad sister. But there were the times she got me to let her sing the descant to my favourite song...don't know how that happened...