“Nessun Dorma” is an Aria (song) from the Opera Turandot. It holds a special place in my Heart because of its roll in my childhood…
My Dad was a fan of Pavarotti, one of the famous 3 Tenors, who has performed this Aria many times. From the 3rd to the 5th grade, my Dad did part-time maintenance work (after his full-time job) at my Elementary school and I helped him out. Every day after-school, once my homework was pau (finished) and I had a snack and spent some time with my Gran(dmother), I’d head back to school and get to work.
I can recall times where peers would be playing outside (I’d even get a few teasing comments) because my job was to sweep the cafeteria while Dad did everything else in the main building of school (Office, Library, Halls, and the dreaded bathrooms!). After a time, we’d meet and finish up the cafeteria and mop, then head on home. I grew to appreciate sweeping, mopping, and I started to grow a little more conscious of my actions as I saw what I dropped on the floor had to be cleaned up by another.
Once the work was done, we’d say hello to my Mom, who worked her part-time job in my school’s Business Office (also after working at her full-time job), taking over when Gran had a stroke. I have made cards for my parents telling them they were my first Super Heroes and it wasn’t just me being cute. Though I have not always understood them (or they me I’m sure!), I’ve always seen how great of Human+Beings they are and have learned so much from the model of their lives.
My parents have taught me to work hard, to do my best, and to keep going despite the challenges just in how they have lived and from what I have learned they have overcome in their own Journeys (thanks Mom & Dad, I Love You both!).
After saying bye to my Mom, sometimes eating dinner with her there, or heading home straight, is where the Opera began…
Many times, Pavarotti would be playing in the car. My parents both listened to a variety of music and I grew up with the sounds of the 50s through the 80s, with a good amount of musical mixed in there so it’s kind of fitting where I find myself today…
As soon as “Nessun Dorma” hit, my Dad would turn up the volunme , and we would both try to sing it. Neither of us know Italian but we did our best to harmonize and probably added a few random words that didn’t fit but sounded like they could (spaghetti being one of them…) and I just recall it being really fun and silly.
I have been told that I can be quite serious and I see that. I’ve laughed more over the years but seriousness is just a part of my Nature. My Dad can also be a serious one so the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree there. To have that experience of singing and being silly as a memory is very meaningful.
It’s funny in some way because today, my Journey has led me to to Hawaii Opera Theatre (HOT) and how serendipitous, our first production this season is none other than Turandot. I find myself putting all I’ve learned spiritually to the test. The main thing I’m working on currently (in addition to maintaining everything else that needs care): not worrying.
At the age of 30, I made a list of 20 things I’d learned in my 20’s that I wished to not repeat and I guesstimated I worried for about 7.5 years of that time. To find myself in arguably in my biggest role professionally to date, it’s a task to not worry, particularly since Life has only added more to my plate with each step of the Journey.
Recently we did a promotional event, a partnership between HOT and Magnolia store in Kahala, to promote the offerings and art of Magnolia while further advertising Turandot and our season. Quite a few people turned out for the occasion and over the course of the 4 hour event, a Security Guard popped by a few times to check on us…
This gentlemen had a soft smile on his face and asked me how things were going. As we spoke, he shared his own Love for Opera and began to sing excerpts from a few Aria that he had learned over the years. It was pretty cool and I was impressed to see someone teaching himself (was learning through YouTube) and working towards his Dream as best as he could. Whether he ends up on a stage or not, he did his best to share his Love for the art. He moved along to keep working and I got back to work myself.
Some time later I heard “Nessun Dorma” and this man had returned and was singing to a woman in a wheelchair. This lady is the Mother of one of HOT’s supporters and I heard it through the grapevine that she has been facing some health issues. Despite that, she had the biggest smile and I felt like her Spirit was glowing, as if to say: I’m beautiful.
And she was/is. She embodied a peace that I could appreciate. I truly believe the the end of our lives is merely a transition and the Soul lives on. This one looked as if she knew that though her body may rest with the Earth, her Soul surely would keep on living the Conscious Dream.
As I watched this gentlemen sing to a stranger, I felt myself moved, nearly to tears. Each day that I walk, I get a little closer to God and what it is that is Thy Will Be Done for if you pay attention, if you wake up to Life, the dance with God/Love, becomes clearer and clearer.
Perhaps that is why I’m drawn to “Nessun Dorma,” which means “None Shall Sleep.” Maybe it really is time that we wake up and see the beauty in this Life so that we can embody this same reflection within ourselves when we near the physical end.
I suppose each step will reveal more. At the very least, I enjoy to seek the beauty and meaning, for it is always there…
Mahalo ke Akua (Thanks be to God) for this experience and Aloha Ke Akua (God is Love) to all out there!