All posts by Jeffrey Carter

About Jeffrey Carter

University administrator, voice teacher, choral director, professor, singer, professional theatre music director, brother, son, uncle, Anglican, Scotch drinker, chef of moderate talent, NPR fanatic, gin aficionado, proponent of the music of Herbert Howells and Elgar and Vaughan Williams, pianist, composer, theatre geek, dog love & cat hater, author & blogger, world traveler, church organist, Anglophile.

Headed to NYC

I’m away for a few days to NYC.

After several visits during sabbatical, this is my first trip to the city in seven months.

And on this packed visit:

  • Manon at the Metropolitan Opera
  • Hadestown
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Big Apple Circus
  • Turandot at the Metropolitan Opera
  • En Masse (an Australian circus)
  • Spencer Jones’ workshop performance of Corner of Bitter and Sweet
  • some museum visits
  • and two more shows yet to be decided

Wednesday is a three-show-day!

Me at Times Square.

 

New Jewish Theatre

Saturday evening was taken with the delightful task of attending Brighton Beach Memoirs at New Jewish Theatre.

My voice student Jacob Flekier played the leading role of Eugene, and brilliantly.

This production runs one more weekend (and today as well). Neil Simon fans, and those who love to laugh!, should check out this witty, moving production.

Newjewishtheatre.org

MADSM

I’m in my final few months as President of the Missouri Association of Departments & Schools of Music (MADSM).  We held our annual fall meeting on Friday this week, at Mizzou.

The day was perfect in so many ways until the drive home, when in a five-mile stretch I witnessed three increasingly-ugly automobile accidents.  Traffic was moving very slowly east of Warrenton and west of Wright City.  No one appeared to be critically hurt, probably because traffic was moving so slowly because of the number of cars mangled by the side of the road.

I ended up arriving home 30 minutes later than planned, then deciding to take a nap, and then awakening an hour later than I had intended . . . and completely missing opening night at the Rep.  And standing up my theatre-going international friendship-family student.

That strange sensation of “Why does my clock say 7.45 and it’s still dark outside?”?  Yup.  That was me on Friday evening.  Even now as I write later in the evening, I’m headachy and groggy.  I guess my body needed some rest.

We got to tour the new Mizzou music building, still under construction.  And our discussion sessions were held at the new State Historical Society building adjacent to the Mizzou campus.  The daylight hours of Friday were a delight!

#Reminiscences: Autumn

Several years back, I wrote about autumn:

My love affair with autumn, though, dates back to Hannibal.  I remember walking around HLG and kicking up leaves on the expansive lawn.  I remember the smell of those leaves, and of burning them in big piles too. I remember the chill and crispness of that magical time on a college campus.  And I think that HLG and Hannibal and 5004 College Avenue is when I fell in love with autumn.

This time of year always brings about a certain wistfulness.  Days shorten.  Green gives way to brown.  Reminders of summer promises unfulfilled are all around.  So too the reminder that another circle around the sun is nearly over . . . another year nearly gone . . . .

Autumn reminds me that I shall never pass this way again.  Spring is hope; summer, joy; winter, promise.  Autumn alone is both sublime and melancholy.

John Donne said “No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”  The great man was right.

Hemingway wrote “You expected to be sad in the fall. Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintery light.”  The great writer was right too.

And therein is the paradox of this time of year.  We revel in nature’s grand finale.  In the promise of the holiday season.  In the satisfaction of wrapping the sun-cycle. In the scent and sound of leaves underfoot.  And we are saddened by the dying . . . of the leaves, of the flowers, of the light itself.

No matter, though. I quote the brilliant George Eliot:

Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.

The hummingbirds are gone.  The leaves are falling.  And all is autumn.