"This is the violet hour, the hour of hush and wonder, when the affectations glow and valor is reborn, when the shadows deepen along the edge of the forest and we believe that, if we watch carefully, at any moment we may see the unicorn."

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Down and Up the Lyon Street Steps..(and then down and up again)!

Suki asked if I would photograph the Street Sign the next time I use the Lyon Street Steps as my *personal StairMaster*.....so today, I did!  Come along as I go down 150 steps - then up - then down then....well, you get it!  A-ha-ha!

 At the very top..... looking out at SF Bay and Tiburon in the distant background.  (The white house on the right belongs to a former SF Mayor and current Senator.)

  The first two sets of steps are spaced a bit wider and are the *easy ones*...

 As one descends, the Presidio is on the left and lots of trees with changing leaves...

 On the right, some of the most elegant homes in our *poshest neighbourhood*, Pacific Heights.

Half way down (or up) ....just an elegant reminder of where you are!

Half Way Point

The second sets of steps are narrower, steeper....you must concentrate so you don't trip - especially on foggy, damp days!

More beautiful homes.... 

Pant, pant....almost at the finish!

The End!

You started in Pacific Heights....and now, you are in the Marina District!  In the distance, you can see the Palace of Fine Arts (home of my beloved Swans).. not going there today because....

 It's time to climb back up! (And then down and up once more!)  

Hope you enjoyed working out with me!  Suki, I hope you smiled at this post!

Love to all,

♥ Robin ♥

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Simple Gifts on Animal Wednesday

I thought I would share these photos of some of my Furry Ferals enjoying their new *Kitty Beds*.  My neighbour and I bought these so our Furballs could have some shelter since the owner of out building had all the shrubbery ripped out of the back yard...  (and this is where they love to sleep)...

No news on my house...the *invaders* have stopped - at least for now - and the building is listed on the webpage as *Sale Pending*....so the waiting continues.

Mr. Orange, Sterling and Smoke (in the other bed)

Sterling (can you tell by his glassy eyes he just had some catnip)?  And Smoke (in the back).

But, I have learned something from these cats....their world has been turned upside down...but they make the best of it... they are adapting, they are surviving... and this is what I also must do.

It's really the *simple things* in life that matter most... love, friendship, shelter and food...

I wish you all a Blessed Thanksgiving.  May you be surrounded with loving family and/or friends (two or four legged).


♥ Robin ♥

Friday, November 16, 2012

*Tosca*.....Diva Drama - for Real!

Last night, our final opera of the 2012 season opened: *Tosca*.  We are closing the season as we began it with *Rigoletto* - 2 different casts, except for the Maestro, Orchestra and Chorus...that's 12, yes TWELVE performances!  YIKES!  No matter which cast is performing, *MY* Team will be there providing coffee, tea, assorted goodies - and moral support.

Last night, (I was not in attendance), our opening for the first cast..saw the drama they show in mostly in films!  The *Tosca*, Angela Ghiorgiou, became *indisposed* at the end of ACT I...and was rushed to the hospital for *exhaustion* and de-hydration ..  (this is NOT an unusual occurrence for her)....BUT....the heart and soul of the story is that one of our young and very talented singers, Melody Moore, went on after a longer than usual intermission (and about 10 minutes of stage rehearsal)...and BLEW the AUDIENCE AWAY!  Oh yes!

I have loved Melody*s voice and acting skills since I saw her last year in *Heart of a Soldier*... I am thrilled she made a grand and glorious entrance for the Opening Night Audience.  Here are the two *Toscas* from their respective final dresses.

#1  (but only in numerical order)  Angela Ghiorgiou, Marcello Giordano, Roberto Frontali

#2 (But #1 to me)  Patricia Racette, Brian Jagde, Mark Delevan

Last, but not least, is the heroine of the hour, Melody Moore, singing in a concert performance at the Opera House last week (sans costume and sets).

  Brava Melody!  Last night, you shows the world what Opera is really all about - heart and passion!

JUST IN from one of the SF Papers

A star is born in 'Tosca' intermission

Grand entrance: Melody Moore, who took over the title role of “Tosca” mid-performance, dispensed with the evil Scarpia (Roberto Frontali) in San Francisco Opera’s opening performance of Puccini’s popular work.
Giacomo Puccini's 1900 "Tosca," one of world's most popular operas, has love, jealousy, political oppression, an evil tyrant, torture, murder, execution, a suicide leap... and great music.
But when San Francisco Opera's double-cast run of 12 performances opened Thursday, there was more: the diva took ill, the understudy stepped in, and a star was born. The young local favorite received an ovation that shook the walls of the War Memorial Opera House.
The full house greeted Angela Gheorghiu warmly in the title role when she appeared in the first act, a relief because she often cancels, although not here in The City. She sang well, but in an uncharacteristically subdued fashion.
After a longer than usual intermission, General Director David Gockley came out, and, looking stressed, announced that Gheorghiu was experiencing a sudden, severe attack of intestinal flu and being taken to the hospital.
Gockley said Melody Moore, a noted Merola-Adler program alumna, would take her place. During the half-hour it took her to get into costume, the audience milled around, buzzing. Adding to the drama was the fact Moore had never before performed the role.
The audience held its collective breath. Yet Moore appeared confident, secure and in good voice. When she sang her line to Scarpia, "I am not frightened," she was totally believable.
Another example of opera and life intertwining: When Scarpia sang "the diva is missing" (from the cantata being performed offstage), the audience burst into laughter tinged with stress.
Moore embarked on every understudy's dream, or nightmare, with ease and assurance. Her great aria, "Vissi d'arte" (I lived for art), came soon enough, and long, thunderous applause reflected appreciation and relief.
With "A Star Is Born" playing out center stage, it was difficult to pay attention to anything else. Nicola Luisotti's direction was uncharacteristically subdued in the first act, perhaps in deference to the situation, but the Te Deum soared (even with Roberto Frontali's just-good-enough Scarpia), and the orchestra was fine the rest of the evening.
Massimo Giordano's Cavaradossi was OK. He improved by the third act, but "E lucevan le stelle" (When the stars were shining) received only a smattering of accolades; Luisotti went on with the music, then halted briefly to allow the weak applause.
The opera’s alternate cast features Patricia Racette as Tosca, and another Merola-Adler rising star, Brian Jagde, as Cavaradossi.
On Friday, the company announced that Gheorghiu has recovered from severe dehydration and will perform at the scheduled Nov. 18 matinee.

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/entertainment/music/2012/11/star-born-tosca-intermission#ixzz2CQylXJUL

Tonight, Patricia Racette and Cast will take the stage...I think all will go as planned....but, perhaps Melody will be able to sing *Tosca* again - and soon!

Bravi Tutti to all!

Con Amore,

♥ Robin ♥

Monday, November 12, 2012

Monday in the Park

Ah, I am feeling better....no *Invaders* for five days....sigh... most of you have no idea how incredible it feels to NOT have strangers pawing through your home.... trust me, you would hate it and I hope you NEVER have to endure it.

On to brighter things...my mini-holiday from Opera helped a lot....and I was able to return to the final *Lohengrin* last Friday to enjoy.... now, we are in rehearsal for out final opera of 2012, *Tosca*.....my God....can we really have gone through the season so quickly?  I guess so....

The weather has turned cold (for SF)..high 30's in the morning, low 50's in the afternoon.... but, I HAD to get out today to enjoy the sunshine and walk amid Nature.  (My recipe for peace and tranquility..)

Here's what I saw today:

My *Enchanted Lake* where I saw the Red Fox...

Black Muscovies!  (Not the ones in Stow Lake.)

Brown Muscovies!  (Also not the Stow Lake ones.  Don't they look like they were waiting for me to take their photos?)

I did NOT place these flowers into this lovely Lilac Circle....it was all Mother Nature's doing!

Last....but, not least  a-ha-ha!  As we enter the *Tosca* rehearsal phase, I HAD to model one of the hats!!!!

I have missed posting to you all....but I was overwhelmed with stress and sadness....I am slowly climbing out of that well of depression....THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE UNDERSTOOD AND HELPED ME.


♥ Robin ♥

Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Few Reminders of Autumn

Although  I have *lost* my Galahad and still live in dread of what might happen to my home,  (*Invaders* STILL coming to poke and prod this week..), I have opted to take a few days off from the Opera as my emotional/physical *gas tank* was on empty.  Indian Summer has arrived...and it is slowly helping to restore my strength and faith in well....everything.  Chris and Bofie came through the *Superstorm* relatively unscathed...although the police did knock on their door and tell them to evacuate.  They live in a building about 100 yards from the Hudson...  the water came up to the windows of the first floor of the building (they are on the second)...and they didn't lose power.  I was relived to learn my  American *Sisters* - Lo, Suki and Mim all came through it... but, a lot of work needs to be done for those less fortunate...so many are now homeless and helpless...please give what you can.  This is a HUGE catastrophe.

I spent the last two days walking amid Nature....what this girl needs to help give her strength.  Here are some photos to share with you.

Saturday's Hike

Part of the Presidio has been *beautified*...this means chopping down hundreds of trees to make way for flattened paths for more people (less hikers - like Moi)!  I was relieved to see the old *Wishing Well* had been left intact!

Saw this lovely little one....does anyone know what species he is?  (Lisa?CS?) I shot this off-centre on purpose...just liked the dimension..

Not photo-shopped...this one red-orange leaf with the sun glinting off of it...pure magic!

  Sunday's Hike

To Stow Lake

Muscovy Ducks!  I love them... a year ago, there was only one....this big fellow..

But now, he has been joined by six others...including 2 babies....( we believe they were abandoned here in the Lake...but thankfully, all are thriving and healthy).


I send you all warm, loving Autumnal Hugs...stay safe, keep those less fortunate in your hearts and prayers...and donate what you can.


♥ Robin  ♥