One thing about this seemingly endless and surreal quarantining during the pandemic for those of us over 65 such as myself, is that we are spending much more time indoors doing the things we’d ordinarily do in the evenings, and in my case, late at night. The days used to be filled with running here and there when the weather was nice because it’s just not good to spend a beautiful day indoors when you don’t have to. But now, and for most of the past year, I only go out for walks late each afternoon, or to the beach town 10 miles away where my brother lives. And even though we generally have beautiful weather here in winter, I don’t feel guilty staying in so much. I get a lot done, and one of those things is listening to music, including getting hooked on the YouTube craze of people reacting to all kinds of music. Or else, those clever algorithms pick out songs I was destined to watch, or listen to again when I had never really appreciated them before.
One good example of this is my discovery of the magnificent and angelic voice of opera legend Maria Callas. She was one of the most famous singers in the world in the 1950s and 1960s. There is an extensive entry on her in Wikipedia. As with my great musical discovery of 2020, Dimash Kudaibergen, it’s the music and the voice that count. It’s really always been that way for me. Music first, and lyrics peripherally. It matters not at all that I can’t understand the words in whatever language Dimash or Callas is singing in: French, Italian, Kazakh. The pure emotion in their facial expressions, as well as the sheer charisma they exude, absolutely mesmerize me. Dimash is only 26 m, but many consider him to have the finest singing voice in the world now, spanning six octaves. I have listened to his live performances countless times, and never do I get the least bit tired of them
I never was a huge fan of opera, but Maria Callas changed that. I’ve been familiar with her name all my life. But I never heard her sing, as far as I know. But I found a YouTube video of her performing “Casta Diva,” that mI can assure you I will be returning to it again and again. The songs of Dimash and Maria Callas have helped get me through the pandemic. They uplift me and help take my mind off this world of troubles.