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Life is good

| Mother Nature was on her best behavior for the annual Opera in the Park. After weeks of cold and wind, the bright sun, warm temperatures, and gently wafting breezes were doubly appreciated by everyone.

Each year the Palm Springs Opera Guild stages a free concert showcasing young, up-and-coming singers performing a selection of opera's greatest hits with an occasional show tune thrown in for good measure. The concert officially begins about 2pm, but if you arrive then you've missed out on half the fun. In the morning there is a full rehearsal and sound check, while early birds check out the booths, stake their claim on a prime viewing and listening spot, and break out the picnics and adult beverages.

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My what big binoculars you have!

As usual, Phil and Réal were at the park at the crack of stupid (that is, 7am) to protect our turf. Phil always organizes a big group — sometimes 20 or 30 — requiring a lot of turf. Bob and I showed up about 10:30 bearing mid-morning snacks: fruit, coffee cake, and fresh coffee. Ken showed up about the same time carrying an enormous pair of binoculars, determined that this year he would see. He quickly learned, however, that binocular powerful enough to see the moons of Jupiter are of little use at an opera, save for those who have a fetish for examining people's nose hairs.

Just before noon everyone set out their contributions to the breakfast buffet, and of course there was enough for about 100 people. The champagne had been uncorked long before, of course. After the concert a self-described bag lady came along to gather up the left-overs, which she did despite our many cautions about eating food that has been baking in 100° sun all afternoon.

Then it was time for the show!

 
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Marco Steffani, tenor, and not hard on the eyes, either
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Douglas Carpenter, bass, currently studying at UCLA, and Joanna Foote, a soprano from New Zealand
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Sunmi Shin, soprano, native of Korea now living in Los Angeles, and Nicholas Zammit, countertenor, studying at UCLA
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Liam McLachlan, tenor from Australia, and Erin Wood, a "soaring soprano"
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Gabriel Vamvulescu, bass, who began his musical training in Romania
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Last updated on Jan 17, 2018

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