Why Me? Why Write? Why Now? Why Not?

The Me is Doug Curran…Douglas M Curran…Douglas Metcalf Curran. Douglas is Celtic for “dweller by the dark stream”. Curran in Gaelic means “little spear”. And Metcalf? Scottish for “I met a calf”? Hey I don’t know! I don't have all the answers. I'm still trying to get the questions right. At least I seem to be a spear fisher by some dirty water. Or maybe I'm a Druid. And that Curran thing may not even be as Irish as my Irish American wife, Colleen Fitzsimmons, hoped it was when she married me. Ok, I might be a Viking. It's like this. I was reading this book, The Lion Of Ireland, see, and the author, Morgan Llewellyn, recounts a last battle between Brian Boru and the Viking invader king, to regain Irish dominance again throughout the island and kick the fureners out. The Viking king's name? Olaf Cuaran? Cuaran? Curran? I'm a Viking now, so I am? And a descendent of one of those marauding and murderous pillagers and plunderers? I've never pillaged a thing in my life...well, maybe a book or two from somebody. I'm really just a gentle giant who loves books and music. Ok, I bought a sword recently, but only as a wall decoration to enhance my Irish family history coat of arms! Honest! Viking, Schmiking, so rest my Irish soul! Or my wife will have my old bald Irish head!

August 2, 2010

Hiatus Over...Let's Talk Opera!

Yeah, yeah, I know, I've been missed...not! No one reads this but me anyway, so what if I took a few months off? Who cares - nobody! But I did have a memory I'd like to write down.

I was channel surfing the other night and caught that part of "Moonstruck" when Cher and Nicolas Cage go to the opera - not just any opera, but "La Boheme", The Bohemian. That's me, a Bohemian of sorts too, I guess, with my dysfunctional mind that jumps on all kinds of ideas, that revels in new things, tries to create music and writing, and is always looking for some new truth or connection - and oh yeah, there's that beard thing.

But it also took me back to my college daze at BYU when after taking some voice lessons, I thought I'd try to do an opera. Crazy me! I had been gravitating toward more classical music lately, getting more power and confidence in my singing voice, which had only been focused on a pop orientation thus far. I was a crooner, ballad singer, loved jazz and bossa nova standards. But I was trying to stretch.

So in the Winter of 1965, I auditioned and got a minor lead, the baritone Shaunard in La Boheme, coincidently. My good friend and Brazilian Mormon Mission singing buddy, Jim Smith, was double cast in the same role, only he was on the first string of all voice majors, and I was on the second team of wannabees, doing alternate nights. I was lucky to even be there, because I wasn't that good, and my acting was atrocious, for an English major too.

But I did fall in love with the music, so majestic, sweeping and romantic, poignant and tragic too, with the death of Mimi overshadowing the whole drama. In fact, after it was over, I continued to sing all the music in my mind, even through that summer of traveling in the Far East with a BYU USO-type show for the DOD and the men in uniform. Yes, I was a versatile song and dance man, jumping at the chance to travel free ala the US Military - and jumping at every yelled command of our hyper but super talented leader, Janie Thompson.

We had lots of long bus rides and plane junkets to various outposts, during which I would often bring out my guitar and sing my Brazilian bossa nova and other jazz favorites to take up the time and do some quiet entertaining for our own 12-man troupe. But on some long trips too, my mind would go back to the music of Puccini and his glorious opera "La Boheme" and I would sing it again in my head!

Yes, I was 'moonstruck' by that music, as were Cher and Cage's characters - another memory from the past as I grow older and reflect, reminisce and record a few thoughts for a posterity that I'm afraid isn't too interested in my past right now. But I still am I guess, what I can remember of it...

1 comment:

  1. umm...excuse me! I've been anxiously awaiting your return to your blog. I love reading your posts, Daddy-O!