It all started with a trip to Italy a few months ago. My husband and I were biking with a tour group through olive groves and picturesque cities. We saw that a wedding was taking place in a cathedral, complete with a teeny tiny car out in front with a huge bow on it.
We tiptoed into the back of the church and were surrounded by this celestial music. Strong baritone and soprano voices enveloped us in this incredible beauty, helped by the acoustics of the centuries old building. I was smitten. I resolved on my return that I would start listening to opera. Isn’t that what travel is supposed to do? Broaden our horizons? Take us out of ordinary, humdrum, everyday existence? Give us a push towards new experiences?
So, I was working at my computer, minding my own business and had my Spotify account on an opera channel. My son wandered in. He is 16 and our music tastes haven’t been combining lately. He heard this song, and it changed him.
We had to play it over and over, and the next few days he would request it be played again.
“This is amazing! I love it when he sings his heart out!”
I couldn’t remember why “Nessun Dorma” was so familiar to me, until my husband reminded me. “You know, it’s that guy on the talent show.” I looked him up and it’s Paul Potts, singing on Britain’s Got Talent in 2007.
My favorite part is when the woman judge gets teary. That’s what opera does to me too!
I was kind of surprised that my son was so taken with this song. I loved having this new connection with him. I was thrilled that it touched him like it did me so I kept listening to the opera radio station and one day, heard this song. (play the song at the 2 minute mark if you want the same trigger.)
It triggered a memory of a TV commercial when I was little. Really, isn’t that how we often learn about classical literature and music is through exposure to advertising? Sad but true.
Here is the hilarious Rice Krispie commercial from my childhood.
I played the opera song and then I showed Cam the commercial. That triggered another memory of an operatic commercial from the 80’s.
It is a little grainy and hard to see, but when the little kid belts out, “I TOLD THE TRUTH!!!!” I get goosebumps(goose pimples if you’re from England) every time. On my arms and legs. EVERYTIME!
Again, Cam would say, “Let’s watch that Mormonad again,” over and over.
This week, because of that Mormonad and something he did, I was able to say to Cameron, “Cam! You showed honor! Just like the kid who told the truth!” One of my favorite things I get to do as a Fierce Mormon Mother is to expose my children to amazing, beautiful things. I love how this feeling is captured in the 13th Article of Faith, written by Joseph Smith:
13 We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
It’s been a wonderful journey so far with my new love and my son, the budding opera enthusiast.