I love opera, bluegrass, burger joints and fictional detectives. Mostly, but not always, in that order. Formerly of Dunedin, formerly of Sydney, now travelling the world with the tenor in my life (Stuart Skelton) and blogging as I go.
Paving stones are unworthy. Let's do the thing properly.
I don't suppose now that I will ever know just how far my own personal devotion goes towards colouring the experience of Cheryl Barker in performance. I do know that I am not alone in responding to her with enthusiasm, affection and a certain degree of awe. My perception of her is that she is extraordinary; that she radiates a vitality and a generosity that I have seen in no other performer of my experience; that she is a supremely intelligent artist; that she is a taker of fabulous risks; and that, hand in hand with all of this, she has a voice which pierces immediately whichever little piece of my heart and/or soul it is that brings me to my knees and makes a devotee of me. I would be a fool to claim that this was in any way an objective perception. I don't want an objective perception. I have enough grasp of the facts of this art form to function as some kind of critic without, I hope, losing every shred of credibility; but when those reviews are done and dusted, the truth which remains is that somewhere along the line in the last two years, Cheryl Barker took hold of me in that mysterious way that opera singers occasionally do, and that she has not released me — nor, if I can help it, will I let her.
Something specific about her final Butterfly tonight. If I can find a way to write about it.