Last night was our last night of opera- Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. I had the privilege of leading the viola section, a great group of people and musicians! I have often mentioned on this blog and to my family and friends that I want to be in an opera orchestra someday. This experience definitely confirmed this dream! I loved every minute of working on this piece- even the moments when I was exhausted during the Act II finale. There is something so magical about a true connection between singers and the orchestra, which I felt for both dress rehearsals and all three performances. The audience was so wonderful and responsive. I will miss playing this great work but I hope that this is just the first of many times performing the Marriage of Figaro!
And today, I am thankful for viola. More specifically, I am thankful for the passion for the viola that allows me to spend 8 or more hours every day immersed in music and play a 3.5 hour long opera and get up in the morning, eager to play again. The more I play, the more I love it, and the more I discover about myself and the way God made me. There is sort of a weird paradox: I love music and the way I can express myself through it in a way that words can't. So when I am practicing, I learn more about myself and about my intrinsic worth as a human being away from the viola. Therefore I discover while I am practicing and performing that my entire identity is not found in the viola. Yet I love the viola and it is such a big part of me. I used to think that loving the viola and detaching my identity from it were two separate ideas that could never be true at the same time, but I see that they can be true simultaneously- a marvelous paradox.