In a little under two weeks, I will be meeting up with several of my former teachers and alumnae of the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus at the Cornell Club in Manhattan. If you know me at all, or you've been following my blog, you know that this choir figured prominently in my youth, imbuing me with much of the love, sisterhood, family, and self-confidence, not to mention musical background, that I have today. I still feel the pull towards them so strongly, despite the majority of the United States being between us, that various staff members ("aunties" and "uncles," as we called them) appear often in my dreamlife. I can never get enough of HYOC, or talk enough about HYOC, or thank HYOC enough, or for that matter get very far away from HYOC (not that I'd try). haha. I'm nearly 5,000 miles away and I still find myself getting involved with the newsletter and the alumnae website and so forth. Anyway. You can imagine my excitement. I adore these people.
So, why are all these crazy Hawaiians coming up to New York, you ask?
Well, I'll tell you. It's to support the debut at the Metropolitan Opera of one of their former protégés, Quinn Kelsey. Quinn will play Schaunard in La Bohéme, a considerable feather in his hat and a fabulous start to what I'm sure will be a long and quite successful career. Truly, all the amazing things they say about Quinn's voice cannot be repeated enough: "a fine, full and fluid baritone" ... a "major-league instrument" ... "a ravishing, honey timbered, plush velvet" voice ... et cetera, et cetera. The last time I heard him sing, he was a senior in high school (putting me in about 10th grade, I think), and already the man could blow most of the people his age out of the water. And now here he is debuting at the MET, holyshit, right?
Holyshit, indeed. So of course I am proud of this young man, just as every other person who knows him in the slightest is at this moment, I am sure. (And to be fair, despite years of being in HYOC together, I knew him only in the slightest as well.)
But can I lob the smallest of all complaints? I am more than a little put out that nowhere in the considerable press about him and nowhere on his comprehensive website was I able to find mention of his training with the Hawaii Youth Opera Chorus (except this Hana Hou! article, which incidentally is the magazine I used to work for, go Hana Hou!, you guys rock!). Look, it's really none of my business, and if anyone should have their feelings bruised, it should be the staff. So I should probably piss off about this. Perhaps the training is not mentioned on the website or in the press, but he's expressed his gratitude personally to them? I deeply and sincerely hope so. So take these words with a grain of salt, considering that they are just the opinion of a person who barely knows him gazing at the situation.
That small complaint lodged, I join the rest of the Hawaii contingent in joyfully toasting his success! YAY, QUINN! GO, QUINN!