Helen and I have known each other for over forty years. We meet at a music evening not long after she had moved to New Plymouth for a great job opportunity. We became good friends and loved the monthly meetings listening to classical music. She had always loved singing and was delighted to discover the wonderful voices that sang opera. It was some years later that I was introduced to opera ( a story in itself ).
What a wonderful world that opened up for me. And of course, I wanted to hear and learn more. With a few other interested people, we decided to listen as a group. Soon we were meeting in each other home twice a month listening at first, before videos and then DVD,s came along. They were some of the best nights ever as I discovered the fantastic world of Verdi, Puccini and Donizetti. Helen and some of the other members loved A wider variety of different opera composers. But I was always stuck in a grove with those wonderful Italian guys. I then spent nearly ten years living and working in the Waikato. When I came home to My beloved New Plymouth, Helen was one of the first people to welcome me back. Those Wonderful opera evenings were so healing and I felt that I just picked up where I had left off. By then new tenors had come along and their wonderful voices have got me listening to so many different composers these days.
As the years moved along we have lost members in one way or another and about two years ago we stopped our meetings. I was extra busy at the time so didn’t miss it at first. Yes, one can download opera and enjoy watching them. It was the sharing I missed very much indeed.
Helen has retired now and on a cool rather wet Tuesday afternoon a week or two ago we sat and watch the one and only Jonas Kaufman singing at a concert at the Turin’s Opera House in Italy. It was just delightful and we loved every moment of it. There were many smiles as we sat and enjoyed afternoon tea before she left. Best off all.we plan to watch opera once a month from now on. Applause, Applause.