lessons from Amahl

Wrapped up a warm, fuzzy weekend of Amahl and the Night Visitors. This experience was loads of fun and it has me counting blessings this week. Here’s a short list of life-lessons learned.

1. Singing is more fun when you are surrounded by friends.

My mezzo role models.

Have you ever noticed there’s no singing 4-part harmony by yourself?

2. Talent is God-given. However, it demands an incredible amount of dedication and perseverance to develop to full potential.

Our 3 kings from far away.

Enjoyed talking to these pros about their experiences.

A humble shepherdess with the kings.

These guys were amazing and left me speechless at every performance! Bravi, bravo, (or is it hur-ray?) for honing your craft and reminding me of what greatness can be achieved with hard work and focus.

You guys were nice, too. Thank you.

3. Memorization is just plain difficult. I thought the music in Amahl was easy to sing. Yes, the notes were pretty easy....but yikes.…the laundry list of names and items we sang about were daunting.

Tav&brandonAssumed the lists were more difficult for me because of my old, moldy brain. It was like singing tongue twisters.

julioIn retrospect, the task seemed difficult for most everyone.

For me, memorizing requires repetition, re-pe-ti-tion and more REPETITION. I got tripped up a couple of times, but by the last show, I finally got it!

Memorizing is hard. There are no shortcuts.

4. I have a touch of claustrophobia.

The backstage area was cramped. I sensed the walls closing in on me. Tried hard not to have body odor, but they instructed us not to wear anything with fragrance because it can set off people’s allergies. So….I can’t be sure. Singers are a sensitive bunch. Thank you cast, for your understanding. The same can be said for unexpected flatulence.

5. Amarillo has an abundance of home-grown talent.

Amahl and his mom.

Who would have thought Jackalope Flats could be an artsy oasis? Better believe it, because it’s true.

6. Watch the conductor. Want to have success in navigating the music? It’s nice to glance his way once in a while.

7. Having kids in the audience makes for a more energetic and fun audience.

This show was perfect for the 5-and-up crowd. The Kings’ entrance made for some wide eyes and dropped jaws.

8. I find meaning in being part of ‘something bigger’ than myself. (See #1)


I enjoy being around people. There’s always something new to learn and ways to have the imagination stretched.


Thank you Amahl cast-mates. Thank you, Amarillo Opera for the opportunity to sing and for allowing me to be a small cog (or shepherd) in creating this art for our community.

Promise to continue working on the body odor issues.

Mignonette-love to all.

memory bingo

Working on a very small chorus part in Amarillo Opera’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Although the part is tiny, the chorus is challenged to learn a couple of long laundry lists. While coming onstage we call out about 3,051 names in rapid succession. These names are spinning in my brain like bingo balls.

bingo hopper Does anyone know anyone named Babila? I’m asking for a friend.

Once the names are spunkily sung with rapid-fire precision, the chorus begins enthusiastically listing the foods we are bringing as gifts to the Kings. There are exactly 3,052 of those. Anyone heard of a mignonette? A medlar? Anyone?? I haven’t either, but I’m singing and emoting like I love ’em. I love Opera. It drives me to the dictionary.

I’m such a poor shepherdess, I’m simply carrying a lame head of lettuce to present to the Kings. The 3 Kings are excellent actors. They act as if I’m presenting them with a new, monogrammed ipad! They are pros; each and every one of them.

amahlAmahl is a sparkling and tasty Christmas aperitif. It sets the mood for the coming season and it leaves us wanting to know more about the amazing child.

Short, sweet and to the point. There’s some glorious singing that will raise the little hairs on the nape of your neck. It’s a perfect night out. I think it would be a fun event for grandparents to take their grandchildren (older children who are able to sit still for one hour) to see and introduce them to the magic of theater.

Here’s the link to the Amarillo Globe News article:


Here’s hoping for a BINGO! this weekend.

Christmas-y tidbit love to all.