Bob Matros (engineer on the two recent CD’s) moved from Boston, Massachusetts to Colorado (Arvada, in particular) nearly two years ago. About two weeks ago, I got an email from him:
“Can you give me the name of that voice teacher you were recommending to Ashely?” he asked. “I’ve been thinking I could maybe use a few lessons myself.”
I wrote back to him, “Ironically, she moved to Boston in August.”
As long as we were more or less in the neighbourhood, Pony and I set aside a day to travel to Boston and look in on Gina Razon (the voice teacher, and opera singer extraordinaire), her husband, Karl, and their three-year-old daughter, Aria. We arrived at about 10:30 am, in time for a scheduled brunch. Gina and Karl are steadfast vegetarians, but Gina’s cooking can persuade you that this dietary choice need not be any sort of hardship.
After brunch, we set to walk about the City. Karl scored big time in finding a lovely and comfortable apartment that is in a prime location in what is called the Back Bay neighbourhood of Boston.
“If I could get up on the roof of my apartment building, I could throw something at the Berklee School of Music from here,” said Karl. In addition to being a stone’s throw from Berklee, the BSO Hall is in easy walking distance, as well as the Public Library, Beacon Hill, a few major parks, the Prudential Mall, and all manner of other interesting shops and amenities. Karl can walk about three blocks to where he works; making it possible for him to share lunch with Gina and Aria. Gina was almost apologetic about the fact that, since it was a Sunday, all the music stores were closed. Pony allowed it was probably better that way.
So we wandered and saw the Public Library (a beautiful, huge place, with an inner courtyard that offers a serene place to sit, read, think grand thoughts), the park where swans and ducks reside, the primary church of Christian Scientists (no really: it is apparently referred to as the First Church of that particular denomination, and it can easily stand up to many a cathedral), and much more. Towards the end of our afternoon outing, we stopped off at a place called Max Brenner’s; a chocolate shop and restaurant that apparently is also a well-known feature of downtown Boston. While most of our party opted for various versions of Hot Chocolate (rightfully so: it was a chilly day), I challenged the waitress to bring me the most chocolaty milk shake they could conjure. And they did!! I was not disappointed.
Although Gina had done reasonably well in Colorado (she had a good collection of voice students and had created her own opera production company), she and Karl had made the move to the East Coast to give her more professional opportunities. She and I did a bit of comparing notes, in that both of us had undertaken to make a push into new territory, as it were; in search of greater possibilities. Both Gina and Karl were finding Boston a good fit, while Pony and I were finding our new gypsy lifestyle full of pleasant adventures (and yes, a few challenges; but nothing that we couldn’t handle).
Come Monday, the plan was to head back south. But there was sort of a quest along the way.