With the weather finally turning warm in Boston, I am starting to dream of the semi-leisurely days of summer that are right around the corner. Slowly my academic-year responsibilities drop off, and I have more time here and there. This is when I start to dream of big projects, some of which I might even accomplish! A few of these will undoubtedly be done, a few are just dreams, but it’s the right time of year for fanciful imagination.
An iBook on the French Revolution
I have been given a grant to write two iBooks this summer. They won’t be full length – just long enough to teach a unit in my classes. The first is on the French Revolution, particularly, of course, on its effect on the Catholic Church. The more that I learn about the Revolution, the more I’m convinced that the Church is still unpacking the effects of that era.
An iBook on the Papacy in the 19th century
Most of this will focus on the towering, influential papacy of Pius IX, but I’m also interested in Gregory XVI and Leo XIII. The role of the Pope changed so dramatically, in part because of the Italian Revolution, and also due to the wages of (you guessed it) the French Revolution. Understanding how the papacy came to be what it is today is impossible without and understanding of the changes in the 19th century.
A masterclass on “Dramatic Expression in the Sacred Aria”
The masterclass itself is not as exciting as where I’ll be presenting it: Assisi! I will be participating in the Assisi Performing Arts Festival for three weeks in July. Most of my work will be singing, but I’ll also be teaching this masterclass, hoping to help other singers find the line between expressiveness and stillness that is hard to find and that is crucial for the presentation of oratorio.
The role of Pamina in The Magic Flute
Also at this festival, I will be performing in The Magic Flute, in English. The role of Pamina is one I’ve wanted to learn for a long time, and I’m excited to have a reason to prepare it.
Missa Orbis Factor
A third major component of this festival will be singing with the Cappella Giulia (the Vatican choir) for their 500th anniversary celebration. I already know the Missa Orbis Factor, but I mention this as number five just so I can brag about singing at the Vatican in July. The last time I sang there was ten years ago, and the last time I was there at all was five years ago. I have the itch to get back to Europe, so this couldn’t come at a better time. I plan to keep you all updated on my adventures!
An herb garden
After losing last year’s attempt at urban gardening, I have high hopes to get it right this year. I’m hoping to put together a window box of cooking herbs and one of tea herbs, and to have a tomato plant and maybe even some edible greens. I make these claims realizing that it is mid-May and all I have so far is a pathetic basil plant I bought at Trader Joe’s. Any tips for container gardening will be much appreciated!
Vegetarian grill recipes
My sweetheart is a master griller, and somehow took a vegetarian girlfriend in stride. Together we have prepped panini and portobellos, grilled greens and experimented with eggplant. This summer I’m hoping to diversify our dinners, so please send me any of your favorite vegetarian grill recipes!
What are you doing this summer?
For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!