The rehearsal last night was almost three hours. Tom took pity and let us go at about ten minutes to ten. His energy is amazing. Of course, he's the one responsible for making all this work. That continually amazes me, because he does it so well, handles it so well, seems almost to thrive on it. An orchestra, four soloists, and about 150 singers and he's on top of it all, enjoying the music, laughing with us, staying focused, never irritable, never self-centered.
It sounds SO good. I ache from it, emotionally and physically.
I've been reading a few books, more or less simultaneously: Paris 1919, The Clinton Wars, and The War on Freedom, all of which are historical, political, and what some of my friends and family would label "heavy". Although not nearly as heavy as, say, Greek classics read in the original Greek, they do take a toll and I find a need to branch out sometimes.
So I found Patricia Cornwell's Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper Case Closed. It's her investigation into the Ripper case and her convincing exposition of the facts and why they led her to the conclusion that the painter, Walter Sickert, was in fact Jack.
I thought I'd have a look at more of Walt's paintings so I went online and found some. They are all over the place. He really is well-known and respected as a painter. I noticed, too, that he had started a painter group in England that included the painter Harold Gilman. Gilman is my stepmother's father. I found this quite interesting. My stepmother Elizabeth had mentioned that he was no small shakes as a painter but I had not actually heard of him before I met her. Now I see that there are Harold Gilman galleries.
The Ripper book is good. She did a lot of work putting that together and it's working. She researched the times down to tiny details, found what she could on Sickert's life (including operations he had as a child on his penis - suggesting that he was horribly mutilated in that area, which further suggests a partial motive for later murdering women). I think this would not be considered "heavy" reading but neither is it really "light". Maybe I need to go out and find something yet another layer lighter.