Sempre libera

Felicia stands on top of Priscilla, the queen bus sailing through the desert. A silver frock and eyelashes to die for. Violetta sings through her and the back of my neck tingles. I become the walls of the Orchard theatre, the red rocks of the Australian outback, the dust under the blue sky. I am a note that I can never catch. A soap bubble that got lost in the clouds.

My dad had the records of La Traviata. He can’t quite remember but I think there were two, maybe even three LPs in a black box. I can’t tell whether the box had a portrait of Giuseppe Verdi or whether my mind is making that up as I type. I remember being a kid when the living room was still a deep dark red and had a glass coffee table with chunky metal legs in the middle and comfy sofas all around. I remember sitting by the open box and trying to catch up with the few lyrics I could make sense of – “…misterioso, altero. Croce, croce e delizia, delizia al cor”.

It had been at least 30 years since the last time I listened to La Traviata. I put it on again yesterday and for a little while I was home, life was sweet, family was a simple thing.

If you still wonder why they say theatre is truly magical, there, now you know.


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