I suppose we could file this post under “learning” and “technology” – themes from our website’s subtitle. In this case the technology (the “application of conceptual knowledge for achieving practical goals”) is a carefully placed and pressing hand. The learning is the struggle.
The story is in the New York Times, and it is about opera singer Anita Rachvelishvili, who lost her ability to sing most roles after pregnancy and giving birth. “Rachvelishvili sang Carmen, the role of her 2009 breakthrough, hundreds of times, and was scheduled to ring in 2024 as Bizet’s classic antiheroine in the splashy premiere of a new production at the Met. Instead, the show will go on without her. Rachvelishvili, 39, will spend New Year’s Eve at home in Tbilisi, where she was born, as she tries to reconstruct the fundamentals of the voice that brought her stardom and then abandoned her.”
She has sung some roles, though, if with difficulty: “Early in fall 2022, she was able to creditably sing the generally low Dalila in Saint-Saëns’s ‘Samson et Dalila’ in Naples, though her high notes were still problematic.” Here’s how she made it through:
The tenor Brian Jagde, her co-star in that “Samson” and several other productions during this period, sometimes went so far as to anchor her during scenes with a hand at her waist, to lend the lower muscular support that she no longer felt internally.
This detail really moved me.
Here’s Rachvelishvili singing “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle” from “Carmen,” from 2014: