Saturday, 26 February 2011

A Slave of Duty?

Richard Dean has written a wonderful poem that sums up why all of us doggedly turn up at Streatley week after week, clutching our scores and librettos:
A Slave of Duty?

Why do we spend all these days in a hall
For month upon month acting scenes to a wall
Learning each move, each word and each air
When we could be outside, on the Downs without care

Why do we think that the drama and speeches
That hark back a century ever could reach us
Or that sparkling melodies, clever and gay
Could even compete with the beat of today

Why do we believe that satire and parody
Cuttingly chosen to light social malady
Taking the rise out of pirate and peer
Could resonate now in a chord we can hear

Could it be faith that keeps us all true
Giving a well loved tradition its due
Could it be stardom that glints in our eye
And this just a way to reach up for the sky

Could it be habit, a hobby of old
Or a way for the shy to step up and be bold
A unfilled ambition, a tick on a list
Each opera so special it’s not to be missed

But I take the plunge for the joy of the new
For the strength of the team and thrill of a cue
To learn and to laugh, to fear and to strive
And to sing every note just to feel more alive

- Richard Dean

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