Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.
— Maya Angelou
Opera is where a guy gets stabbed in the back, and instead of dying, he sings.
— Robert Benchley
These are two of my favourite quotes about music — one makes me cry, the other laugh — I guess that sums up the range of emotions songs and stories stir up in me.
I attended a very cool concert this weekend at the Haskell Free Library and Opera House (a recurring theme this week, you’ll notice). The concert marked the return home of a local musician named Steve Bertrand.
The tiny perfect jewel of an opera house (in which the stage is located in Canada, half the audience in the U.S.) was packed to the rafters and Mr. Bertrand put on a great show.
He grew up around the corner, and recalled riding his bike past the building and dreaming of performing at the Haskell someday — and there he was, with three successful CDs under his belt.
At one point, Steve brought his high school teacher and music mentor up on stage for a few songs and stories, and it was a magical moment — a dream fulfilled — for both of them.
He told us part of the proceeds of the concert were directed toward restoring the historical structure. Like most investors, their building fund portfolio had taken a serious beating in the market downturn and the opera house had been in danger of *gasp* closing down.
That would be a crime against … music … and history. Steve told us that The Beatles had wanted to play at the Haskell Free at one point but some bureaucratic red tape stood in the way.
Even without John, Paul, George and Ringo, it’s still a truly special place and I bought a commemorative book at the library today to help keep their doors open and music playing.
What’s your favourite place to read? To hear live music? I would love to hear about them!
P.S. Here’s one of Steve Bertrand’s songs. Enjoy!