Friday, February 25, 2011

The Dangers of Play

Dear blog readers, I took a break last week, as I was on a break. I took my yearly trip with the family to Killington, Vermont, for five days of intensive skiing. Skiing is one of my life passions, and is something I am good at, other than playing violin. Many people ask me if it may be too risky and dangerous for a professional violinist to careen down intermediate slopes at highway speeds or double-black diamond ones with icy moguls. Well, it could be, but when one has a passion, one pursues it. Or at least that's how I look at life.

It is so dangerous playing Mozart's Magic Flute. I am writing this at 11:40 p.m. on a bus on the way back from Strathmore after our first performance of this incredible piece of music, and we're no where near half way home. My back is hurting a lot more than it was after skiing Ovation with my two older sons twice, a double-black diamond slope in Killington with a 45% pitch at the top, laced with a combination of moguls, ice, patches of fresh snow, and a few rocks thrown in for good measure. At least then I could stop and stretch whenever I wanted to. Tonight, after another endless yet out-of-this-world beauty of a slow movement, one in which especially Second Violins end up suffering as our bow arms are constantly hovering over the lower strings, all I could do was put my arms down for a few seconds before it was time to continue. There were times when pain was so unbearable that I thought I'd let out a sound that Mozart didn't call for in his score. But all that was worth the pain (at least that's what I'm saying now that I'm somewhat supported by a semi-comfortable bus seat, and able to move when I want).

The music and the story this week don't, of course, need to be advertised, but what makes this production special is that the singers, every one of them, are of such high quality, with both their singing and acting. I strongly encourage every one of your to hurry and get yourselves and your loved ones some tickets for our leftover performances in Baltimore for this Saturday or Sunday. You'll laugh, cry, cheer, and be very entertained, and we can this prove ourselves that we actually don't need special effects (though there is a bit of fake thunder and a few cool lights (: ) to enjoy a very special evening.

It's almost midnight, and the bus trip is almost over. Time to drive home and stretch a taut back before hitting the sack.

-Ivan Stefanovic

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