I sit in the bath listening to the beautiful voice of my opera singer wife accompanying herself on the piano downstairs. One evening I am treated to arias from Carmen and the next it maybe Madame Butterfly or la Boheme.
These concerts take place not only when I am in the bath. Sometimes when I am working she will start up. Suddenly it is as if Maria Callas herself is in the house performing. But her favourite rehearsal time is out in fields when she is on her own walking our whippet. Louise gets so wrapped up in her own world that she scarcely notices the look of astonishment on fellow walkers as they pass her by.
When we met Louise was singing for Grange Park Opera Company, and I went to see her in Bluebeard. Nowadays she practices for the day when we are all free again and she can perform again in front of a bigger audience than just me and the occasional walker.
One of these impromptu concerts was taking place when I was in my studio contemplating my next work. As I listened to her I decided to create three opera singers in famous roles. Louise happened at that moment to be singing one of her favourite arias, Casta Diva from Bellini’s Norma. What could be better than to make my first piece Maria Callas singing that wonderful aria? The second piece had to be Carmen, and the third I decided to have something from Wagner, so decided on the famous Brunhilde.
These pieces are just maquettes. I would very much like to scale them up to life-size sculptures to go outside. Hopefully that will happen one day. In the meantime I am continuing to enjoy listening to Louise tinkling on the piano and her sensational voice.