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Reged: 05/06/05
Posts: 924
Loc: Los Angeles
Over the Rainbow
      12/03/09 10:00 AM

I have just returned from a magical night at the Los Angeles Opera production of Rossini?s The Barber of Seville that combined two of my favorite things, Bel Canto Opera and the Wizard of Oz. What is not to like about an octet of eight talented singers and a balloon ascent of the opera?s lovers at the end of the work just like that of the Wizard of Oz at the end of the movie? The magic of tonight has made me forget for a time all the worries of my life and to live for a time in The Wizard of Oz of my boyhood.

For those who do not know the opera, Figaro, the Barber of Seville, helps a young man marry Rossina, the woman he loves, who is ward to an odious older man who wants to marry her himself. The opera is in the Bel Canto style which uses trills and runs to express the emotions of the singers and to showcase the singers? vocal talents. It is a style of opera that not many singers can pull off successfully; but, the cast in tonight?s opera was nearly perfect.

As a young gay boy growing up in a dreary, sandy Central Florida town, the first time I saw the Wizard of Oz was a revelation. There was a place over the rainbow that was as fabulous as me and when I got there a beautiful fairy would tell me I wasn?t where I started. The movie has remained one of my favorites and is on my desert island list along with Auntie Mame with Rosalind Russell, Sunset Boulevard and Since You Went Away. Rossini?s work, in my opinion, was just waiting for a staging with the Wizard of Oz in mind.

The LA Opera production of The Barber of Seville uses the same contrast between the black and white of Kansas and the Technicolor of Oz to show the movement from Rossina?s captivity to her joyous marriage to her lover. The effect was completely entrancing.

Tonight was a welcome break from the rash of bad news we have had of late. The We is my husband of thirty years and I. As many of you know, I was diagnosed with the initial stages of HIV Associated Dementia in June 2008. My dementia is caused by 25 years infection with HIV and poor control of my infection prior to the introduction of protease inhibitors.

My dementia has progressed to the point that I experience periods of anxiety when I am in unfamiliar surroundings or around unfamiliar people leading to high blood pressure, muscular weakness and profound tremors. My psychiatrist tells me that the cause of these symptoms is a lack of neurotransmitters caused by the effects of HIV on certain parts of my brain. I have had periods of muscular weakness caused by physical or emotional stress over the last three years, but I have always been able to handle social situations such as one encounters when traveling or at parties.

The psychiatrist has proscribed Lexapro for the social anxiety. I tried it this evening at the Opera. I must confess that I felt just as anxious as I have ever felt going to the Opera of late. I sweated profusely and I my heart went thump-a-thump in my ears. We are going to give the new med a better trial when we go, as we normally do, to The Bellagio for Christmas and New Years. Cross fingers, everything will go off well.

On top of those worries, we are having trouble getting into retirement communities that offer a continuum of care for people with dementia and with the congestive heart disease that my companion has. Just today, a place in the Wine Country of Northern California, that we love, told us that I would have to be examined for fitness for entry because I have a diagnosis of dementia. Many care homes, it appears, have the same prejudice when it comes to dementia.

My case is complicated by the fact that I have periods of socially inappropriate behavior as a result of my dementia. I am embarrassed to admit that there have been several police reports as a result of my actions. My doctors have reported these episodes in their reports prepared for the facilities to which I have applied.

Tonight, however, I am enveloped in the memories of a great night of theater; and, I will not think of these things as I drift off to sleep. There is a more fabulous world over the rainbow.


Life is a river.
Carpe diem.

Post Extras: Remind Me!     Notify Moderator

Entire thread
Subject Posted by Posted on
* Over the Rainbow ScotCharles 12/03/09 10:00 AM
. * Re: Over the Rainbow BrokenWingedBird   12/18/09 11:13 AM
. * Re: Over the Rainbow hopefulone   12/06/09 08:11 PM
. * Re: Over the Rainbow Choosing2Liv   12/04/09 03:21 PM
. * Re: Over the Rainbow ScotCharles   12/05/09 06:39 AM
. * Alternative Therapy SDSoulSeeker   12/03/09 07:11 PM

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