The guys are singing “Pretty Women” from Sweeney Todd, and it’s been lovely to listen to but somewhat cool in affect. I talked to Seonho and César. “Look, you have to be singing about something, preferably something you agree on. If it’s not girls, it can be chocolate cake. Or a Met contract. Something you want. Something you like. But please: enjoy it together.” It took a few runs, but the third time I felt the unmistakable glow of artistic communion. And man, what a song. (I never asked them to share their subtext—an artistic no-no.)
“Look, ladies, this is rhythmic music. Vertical, Big band. On the beat. You’re a pair of alto saxophones”—and I belted out the tune in my best Charlie Parker imitation. “Now look, Mer, I know this is low in your soprano range, but give it whatever you got without stripping your cords.”
Natalie—a mezzo-soprano with a more potent low range—volunteered, “I could hold back a little so we could match—“
“NO, NO, NO! Nail it to the back wall, and bring her along with you! I mean,” I said, lowering my voice, “how many chances do you get to tell men to stop being such assholes?” A pause. “So hit those beats. Go for it.”
The day was over, and it was a wonderful day.