Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Angels of Venice: Maria

It was sunny on the day before my dress rehearsal. After I had my coffee, I decided to get out of the apartment and walk to the market and buy a few fresh vegetables and maybe some fish, then freshly baked bread and some pasta.
I needed to refill the fridge and get ready for a tight week of performances.
As I was coming out of the building, an old woman of small stature approached me.
She came very close to me and asked very politely : "are you the lovely singer who is singing Rosina here"?
"Yes" I answered, a bit surprised, as I still didn't realize how small the city is and how fast information travels over the little canals, as if the gondoliers were transporting news, headlines rumors and gossip from this part of town to another, at no time.
"gentila signora" she said " would you please be able to find me a ticket for your rehearsal tomorrow?.. I work at the hotel, right here, and would love to see the show".
I already promised my rehearsal tickets to someone else, but later that day, they called to cancel and Mrs Maria couldn't be happier to hear that a pair of tickets would be waiting for her at the box office before the show.
The next day surely arrived and like all rehearsals and performances do, this too came and went like a fast coloratura phrase.
When I arrived at my door, I found 3 roses awaiting me on the doorstep. On the pink paper wrapping them, big letters said: "BRAVA! brava! maria".
Maria has become a friend. Over the rest of my time there, I would meet her on the street, or at the store, and she would repeat to me the nice things her hotel guests have reported of my singing, and as she would tell me all that, she'd grin and be filled with joy and pride, as if she were my very own grandmother.


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