The most intriguing member of the cast is counter,
not revolutionary but tenor, his high pitch
confusing men and women he’ll encounter,
believing him to be a diva bitch.
GWH Last verse of Opera Stars


Let me obsess this verse. Let’s be a pain
In my own head, and say
Que tu me casses la tête
Avec tes vers, tes voix.
You’ve talked about the clear distinctive voices of the cast:
The bass, his booming blasting our eardrums
With direct thunder like a father god; tenor,
Like my poet, singing love, deception, loyalty,
And then
Shrilling and trilling into my limelit patch of sound,
Screeching like live wires. Every lobe and synapse sing along;
No sleep nor gushing water
Soothe my bat-filled brain.
Her softer sister, mezzo, plays behind
Her second bow, my aloe voice, viola, I,
Misplaced, misheard, cast as a jealous Eboli, a brooding Carmen.
How we wish,
Nous autres femmes, that offstage we could quick seduce
And quick escape
Barefoot into the clear aired mountains, wooed and slain
By many men. Passion, heated passion lit by fires
Within the brain and breast and death, the destined death,
Devouring confusion in a singing knife’s thrust.

Into this circus, sweetest Cherubino, trouser role,
Octavian, his mirror brother; Hansel, bewitched;
Then in a fanfare, the procession ends
With counter tenors, Britten, Handel, Monteverdi’s
Nero murdering, seducing and forgiven,
Blessed in sublime, satanic love
While we melt at his voice;
Roles beloved by fairies, priests and emperors,
Eerily piercing through my teeming cymbal din
And like my tenor poet,
Counter intuitive, divided, revolving,

by Linda Hepner

Comments (4)

wow. liked this one loads. al.
Dear Linda, This is an amazing poem. Great use of metaphor. Great lines. Superb writing. Best, Hugh
You are truly a star with this one, Linda. Congratulations on the depth (and high notes) of this work. I loved reading it. Raynette
Sounds like you are an expert on these operatic bitches Linda? I found this rather shrieky like the title implies. Extremely one sided too, but you would be after going through a whole lifetime with a superstar husband! Tai