The Artist and La Voce

“You are born an artist or you are not. And you stay an artist, dear, even if your voice is less of a fireworks.  The artist is always there.”

–Maria Callas

Sometime in the past month or two, this quote made the rounds on Twitter and Facebook – or at least, people I’m friends with shared it.  I like it.  I find it to be true, for many whom I know, and surely for me.  I don’t mean in the strictest sense – what I read is the implication that as we age the voice goes, though the artist stays.  I mean in the sense that one is an artist, regardless of age, state of voice, state of life.

Sometimes I am able to sing, sometimes not – but I often (always seems somewhat hyperbolic) have the urge to create, to express myself, to be an artist.  I write (blog, book, journal), I teach (helping others become artists), I cook (who knew I’d love creating meals so much).  The artist is always there.  Even if the voice is not.

My voice and I (yes, I refer to my voice as a separate entity sometimes) have an off-and-on relationship. She sometimes gets bored and wants a holiday from singing.  And I must let her – I find I cannot force la Voce to do anything she chooses not to do, much to my chagrin.  From just before Christmas ’til about a week ago, she was on holiday.  I made her work a few times a week – we have made commitments, and we honor them.  She goes along and does the job, even does a good job.  But she won’t be pushed, and she refuses (when she’s being stubborn) to do more than that – no hour-long rehearsals at home everyday to stay in working shape, no learning new music that’s not absolutely necessary, no singing ‘just for fun’. She doesn’t want to be stellar, and she doesn’t want to be a firework. She’s more a ground display…and she’s perfectly happy with that.  Until she decides that singing is fun again.  And then she wants to be the highest, most colorful, brightest firework you ever saw!  That happened Tuesday – Tuesday, she decided that she couldn’t be silent – I had made other plans, assuming that she wasn’t available.  But that’s another thing about la Voce – she’s kind of bossy, and if she doesn’t get to sing, she makes me miserable until we sing.  Kind of like a toddler who wants to go outside, and will bug you and bug you and bug you until you bundle them up in six layers so they can go play in the snow for ten minutes.  But for her – that ten minutes is worth it!  For me…it’s worth it, too.  I’m glad she’s back.  I missed her.


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