Placido Domingo. Quiet, tranquil Sunday. Ah, me.
Last night, we saw our first Lyric Opera of Chicago performance of the season: Simon Boccanegra by Verdi. An appropriate story for an election month, dramatic and political. Two opera megastars were featured in the leading roles: Thomas Hampson and Ferruccio Furlanetto. The story and the music are captivating. (This performance was rather a disappointment, stiff and unimaginative. I much prefer the La Scala production starring Placido Domingo in the title role, even if his voice is not as resonant as a baritone.) The point is that Simon Boccanegra is a man who spends his life and loses his life in the pursuit of peace. The Italian political scene is characterized by vendetta, family feuds, curses, treason, and rebellion and peopled with villains. The story shows, though, that everyone is a villain. We all harm each other in one way or another. Forgiveness and reconciliation is the only way to make a difference. How many people must the Doge pardon by the end of Act III in order to die peacefully in his daughter’s arms?
This morning, I logged on to the internet and began a conversation with my blogger friend, Helen, of 1500 Saturdays. Her post was about brutal killings in Nigeria, titled “How did humanity get so lost?”. How do we respond to suffering, to the villainy that surrounds each of us? Which stories do we listen to; which do we tell? How do we make a peaceful Sunday in our world? Please click here to read her post, the links, the comments and spend some time considering your own response. “May all beings be happy; may all beings be free from suffering.”