What a busy weekend! Renee Fleming was fabulous, of course. Mike was tolerable, though he did express a desire to hear her belch (figuring it would be pretty powerful, I guess). Renee was gracious and funny, and she came back for 3 encores, finally performing my favorite aria ever: O Mio Babbino Caro. (Okay, so I’m not a sophisticated opera buff; I just know what I like.) You can listen to a comparison of Renee and Charlotte Church singing this song here. I prefer Renee. Her voice sounds more mature to me. I also like Sarah Brightman’s version of the song.

Mike brought binoculars, as usual, and that always makes it more fun. Renee’s jewelry could light its own universe. She wears a diamond on her left hand that must be in excess of 10 carats. It was huge. Her gowns are custom designed for her, and she looked every inch the diva in the two feathered versions she wore. As I listened to her sing, I kept thinking of Bel Canto, which I read rather recently and loved. I later found out, through reading Renee’s bio in the program, that Ann Patchett listened to Renee’s albums and used her as inspiration for Roxanne Coss. Cool.

Though this has little to nothing to do with writing, I did think about characters while listening. As I perused the orchestra with the binoculars, I landed on this girl playing French horn. She looked young, attractive in a European cream complexion way, and totally bored with the singing. I began to tell myself a story about her. I may take it to paper at some point, just for the fun of exploring how she could be listening to, and accompanying, one of the world’s top sopranos and be so unmoved at the same time.

The other thing I did this weekend was attend a booksigning by Jennifer Archer. I’ll post more on that later, including a picture. Jenny and her husband Jeff are visiting Oahu from Texas. Jenny found out, just the day before her signing, that her book The Me I Used to Be is nominated for a RITA! We had a great time chatting about writing and other stuff. 🙂

Congratulations to all the RITA and Golden Heart nominees!