Category Archives: Holidays

Live Opera at the Movies v. Live Opera at the MET

My Friends,

Ok, here I go again having to swear off never saying never. I have always shouted loud enough for all to hear (didn’t need a microphone) that going to the live performances of the opera at a movie house just didn’t cut it. But here I am in sunny Florida (Sorry my Northern friends) and missing several desperate-to-see operas. 

Well I get an announcement that Philip Glass’s opera, Akhnaten is coming to a local movie house Live in HD from the MET. Well I shortened my snobby nose, swallowed my boastful pride and bought a ticket. It was to begin at 1 pm and finish at 4:45 pm.

I alerted my friend Diana who dropped me off to be on call as I was pretty sure it would have to be brilliant to keep me in my seat all that time. Guess what? It kept me glued to my seat except for intermission bathroom breaks. 

My dear friends it was and is brilliant! I’m not sure it fits being labeled an 
opera. It belongs to a new category of music and song and story and dance and juggling. 

It is classical. It is history. It is dramatic. The music is as otherworldly as Glass usually is, but it is completely in sync with this era of an Egyptian ruler who created a new religion. A monotheistic one that worshipped The Sun God. Versailles came after the pyramids right?? Of course right!!

I had a perfectly gorgeous New York Cultural afternoon. The camera even gave me shots of NYC and the interior of the opera house. Of course, as I sat in my shorts and t-shirt I was not unaware of the winter clothing of the audience. They had my full sympathy. I am grateful to have been able to see an opera on my wish list. 

However… that being said…
For me it will never replace the live experience. I am not overly thrilled with all the interviews they use to fill the intermissions. It breaks mood. 
But Lynn (you are right) and all, I was and am grateful I was able to see it. And look forward to seeing Wozzek in January. 

If anyone wants to come to Florida to go to the opera Live at the Met at the movies, let me know and I’ll get an extra ticket. Sorry no popcorn 🍿But how about a soupçon of caviar? I drink it all day!!!

Love, Sally-Jane

Post Script…

My dear friends, I greet you this year at this time of the year and ask you to spread the joy.  We could either focus on the negatives as the media, social and otherwise appear to do, or take this opportunity to go to the Spa of Life to share the elixir of peace and goodwill to one and all.

I don’t care what you think or what you believe as long as it is in and with LOVE it will help in healing the world.

I have this funny feeling that this is the American Year of Denial.

Think about it…

If we deny the troublemakers and naysayers and fearful their usual space in our heads, I predict we are going to have a great holiday.

Right???  Of course, right!!! 

Sally-Jane’s Winter Wonderland

My Dear Friends,

Last weekend we got our first snow of the season in the Berkshires. I was not happy.  I did not want the first, second or any snow of the season. I was having a family party. Relatives were coming from near and mostly far to attend.

As the snow blew in, I did what I am accustomed to doing… I tried to control the storm. I held my hands up to the sky and tried to force Mother Nature to take her bounty back. She had the last laugh as she dumped five more inches on the town.

IMG_0719Karen and Bill, who had arrived before the storm began, and my friend Cindy watched as I tried to control the uncontrollable. Waving my hands and I shouted to the wind, “BAH!  HUMBUG!” (which is also the name of an exterminating service on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills)

When my tirade had no effect, I took a pause and looked around me.

IMG_0708Here I was in a winter wonderland –  the yard was decorated – a Mr. and Mrs. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer (his red nose winking and blinking, her direct from the beauty salon with curly shining hair ); Poinsettias, holly, a boxwood tree, greens, winterberry sprouting from places throughout the yard and on the porch. When the snow hit the lights, they sparkled like diamonds.

Suddenly I realized how blessed I am. The real joy was being with dear friends who also
happen to be relatives.  Like the air going out of a balloon my ego settled.  Yet again, it was not going to be “my will be done”.  I’m telling you guys it was only when I let go that  I was able to see the real beauty and feel the gratitude.   All of us booted, gloved, donned hats and ran out to play in the falling snow.

I was an octogenarian kid.  If you don’t believe me, watch this…

Santa Sally and her merry elves,Karen, Bill, and Cindy in a Winter Wonderland 

I was wondering…  if I can “let go” of what I can’t control, like the storm, like what children or grandchildren or friends or relatives wear or don’t wear and what utensils they use while eating (hopefully they will use something) and what color hair and body piercings and political or nonpolitical affiliations… I am not saying I can…  but IF I can… I think I might have a Happier New Year.

Wanna try??????

Love ~ Sally Jane

Ghosts of Christmas Past…

Hello my dear friends…a holiday update!

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On Sunday, December 3rd, at Storrowton Village in Springfield, Massachusetts, I shall perform a holiday reading from Charles Dickens’, The Christmas Carol as part of their annual Yuletide Festivities. I have chosen to read the chapter, The Ghost of Christmas Past.

Did someone just ask why I chose this chapter? Thank you. I was hoping someone would.

This is not to say I have anything against the present. I don’t. The present is filled with wonders. Sitting at my computer composing this missile…absolutely marvelous.

The wonder that I can put thought to page makes the present brilliant. In the present I am clothed, fed and sheltered. Fantastic!

So why not choose The Ghost of Christmas Present? Well, honey-bun, because I would have to wait until Christmas. But most of all because at this stage of my life, thoughts about Christmas from my past waft in and out of my present and I remember.

What a sentence. I remember.

Oh, yes, how great is that. In the present, I put one foot in front of another. In the past, I sit back and I remember. And this is what I remember…

A very long, long, time ago, I grew up in Boro Park, Brooklyn. It was a very mixed neighborhood. There were Christmas lights on one house and next door there were Chanukah candles.

I was raised in the Jewish faith. My family celebrated Christmas and Chanukah. Do not ask me why. I do not know. When I was younger, I thought everyone celebrated everything. Why not? I wanted to be on whatever line there was that was giving out the presents. Wouldn’t you?

Family Christmas

And then, one year, I received a rude awakening. I think I was in 6th or 7th grade. Before the holiday school break, the class Christmas tree was raffled off. I won! I was so excited.

I remember pulling the tree behind me from school all the way to my house. I ran up the stairs. Yelling for my mother to come and see what I had won. I dragged the tree into the living room. I should have known something was wrong. My mother was sitting in a chair. My mother never sat down in any chair. I was the seventh of eight and believe me when I tell you I never saw my mother sitting down…including meal times.

But there she was sitting in a chair in the living room. Our Rabbi sat in another chair.

That was the year I discovered Jews don’t have Christmas trees. To save face, my mother asked me to throw the tree into the garbage. Heartbroken, I did as she asked. The Rabbi left.

My mother went out to the garbage and rescued the tree. Brought it back into the house and into the living room. I was loaded down with many of the mixed messages parents impart to their children. This was one mixed message that did not add to my growing list of neurotic complexes.

Along with so many of my memories of Christmas past, this one is favorite. It is right next to the vision I have of Christmas mornings…

On the staircase, all eight of us lined up one behind the other, according to age, the youngest first waiting for Santa to call us onto his lap to take us to our nest of gifts.

Kimono Blue
Santa Claus, aka my father, 6 foot 2 inches tall (how did he make it down the chimney!?) dressed with a Santa mask that had seen better days, and a gorgeous blue silk embroidered Chinese kimono… did I say CHINESE kimono?… I did say CHINESE kimono. That was his Santa Suit.

Did I believe this 6-foot 2-inch kimonoed vision was Santa Claus? You bet I did! Like I said before if he was the keeper of my presents, I was a believer.

In the present and the approaching season to be jolly, I want to tell you that the world of possibilities still exists for me. Though, a 6-foot 2-inch kimonoed Santa might strain my credulity. But what is a belief about if it is not about being tested?

I believe. Now, where are my presents?

Love, Sally-Jane

YULETIDE AT STORROWTON – Sunday, December 3 at 2:30pm

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