Paola Gonzalez is a doctorate student in voice at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. She is a sparkling, beautiful person both inside and out. Having her stay with us for a few days likewise turned out to be a sparkling experience.
We have had soloists stay with us prior to a concert before, but they have always been instrumentalists, not vocalists. Vocalists are a different type of guest.
Saturday morning, while I was tidying up the kitchen, I heard a bird trilling somewhere. Despite our cold weather, the birds that wintered over have started to emerge and more often when I step outside, I sometimes hear their chirps and trills. So when I heard the trills, I looked out the kitchen window at the dogwood tree, often a gathering point for several types of birds.
Seeing nothing, I listened for another moment, then laughed at myself. The bird was inside my house. The bird was Paola, warming up her voice a little with trills and runs.
Paola appeared a little later for breakfast and I told her my confusion. She blushed and apologized.
Oh no, I assured her. I loved hearing her. It is so different to hear a human voice trilling instead of a roll on the timpani.
Sunday morning when our upstairs bird began trilling, I smiled and listened with pleasure to the runs.
Paola and her fellow soloists gave two spectacular performances and I was at both. Sunday afternoon, with concert weekend almost over, I sat back in my seat and let the music wash over me. Paloa's voice soared to the high domed ceiling of the performance hall, taking sure flight.
It was bittersweet saying goodbye after the concert. Paola's thanks were as musical as her singing voice and we hugged each other hard before our songbird picked up her bags and headed back to Cincinnati.
|Several of the soloists from the weekend. Paola is the redbird third from the left.|