Hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of you. Why?
You may remember several years ago I came to your apartment to sing for you, and you turned it into a voice lesson. You told me to open my mouth — wide. Drop your jaw, you said. Loosen up.
After that I started watching YouTubes of my favorite singers who up to now I had only heard on recordings. SEEING them sing, I saw that you were right. So I started opening my mouth to sing. At first it felt very strange, and I couldn’t sustain the line. And my high notes just didn’t work. But I kept at it.
It’s probably been two or three years since I visited you, but now you should hear me! Today I sang the entire role of Don Jose cover to cover, leaving out only the duet with Escamillo. You should have heard it. Even my wife couldn’t believe the change. I wanted to record it to send to you, but I don’t have the facilities for doing so.
Earlier this week I sang through Cavaradossi. Again, you should have heard the sound that’s coming out now. My high notes are easier than ever. Oh, and I sang the FAUST aria with the high C. Better than ever.
So, I want to say, mille grazie! Thank you, thank you. And you know what? On July 15th I’ll be 77 years old. I now have the pipes, (but not the looks any more)!
All the best to you and your family. I expect you’re up in NY State by now, so let me wish you a wonderful, successful summer.
This was my voice of old: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eSq6oe6U9DM
I wish I could record it today!
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Robert P. Mitchell
Designated Pastor, St. Jacobi Lutheran Church, Shohola, PA
Author; Retired pastor, former opera singer and manager at Scholastic, Inc. for 30 years.