A great letter from a friend and a genius tenor (my Tristan in the 1996 Weimar Production)

From Hans Aschenbach

The fact is that there is no need to process any of it. Having a place anywhere, regardless where or what is still…just a place. What we carry inside is what our HOME is. It is the essential U-Haul. Everyone has the right to be miserable but the trick is keeping the misery at bay any way we can. A starving person is “one who is lacking of nourishment”. We are all starving of something. If you can feed yourself and the body is healthy for it doesn’t mean that the mind is free of starvation. A person who is hungry for food can still keep his mind under control or look for a bright light, maybe a coming meal. I strongly believe that finding the courage is the key, not the food. A few months ago I fasted for 10 days and felt great. I felt great about being hungry because it was my choice. Honestly, you also have the choice at this point, but maybe not the courage because you give yourself too many ways (or thoughts) to feed the fire of depression and that forlorn feeling. You don’t like the world? Get in that long line and be grateful that you don’t like the world. What a pity that would be. You can make little differences in your writings, you can influence through your work. Maybe it doesn’t change the world on a BBC broadcast but there will be individuals that can be positively influenced to listen or react. That is all that is necessary. You first have to be willing to see that. I believe you are in a place and time in your existence to achieve just that. Just realize that it is OK to question. Stop trying to process that which will change through courage and peace. Peace meaning the way you approach these demons. You already know what they are. Battle is half-won and the glass is half-full.
Speaking of demons. Today’s performance (getting ready to take off for it 5 kms away in Wiesenthal) Now…in the voice-over of Rod Serling…..”Picture yourself the director of a men’s chorus without talent…You are about to make an appearance in a small, but ugly German village…an afternoon soirée with other choruses, most of whom are intoxicated since it is a Sunday afternoon and have even less talent, and it is muggy and warm. You must be dressed to conduct…the chorus will be in shirtsleeves of graying white shirts and smelling of last year’s soirée. You are in a country where soap is still on the list of rationed articles experienced during the Second World War and later cold war. Picture yourself standing in front of a half-drunk German audience of Grandmas and ex-east-German commies with last night’s bratwurst still caught between tooth and gum…more likely…denture and gum solidified in the adhesive. You must listen to searing strains of long forgotten voices (oh how we would like to forget)…..Yes…you have entered….zee tvilite tsone.

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Hans Aschenbach

Hans Aschenbach

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