Illness Costs Chopin and His Companion, George Sand. Lives of the great composers of the past are often presented in the most impersonal way possible. You read about the composer, what he wrote and when he wrote it. You take for granted the fact that he may have lived his life in abject poverty. Illness, especially seems to be an ignored issue that is of little consequence in music history classes or in colleges and conservatories.
How Illness Costs Chopin and His Companion, George Sand
First who was George Sand? Surprise, not a man! She was more renowned than both Victor Hugo and Honoré de Balzac in England in the 1830s and 1840s. Sand achieved recognition as one of the most notable writers of the European Romantic era. She chose to wear male attire in public; as Police had issued an order requiring women to have a permit in order to wear male clothing. Finally, George Sand encouraged the arts in an unusual manner. She would become the lover of certain great male artists to inspire their creativity. Chopin was a primary example, along with Liszt.
An Unforgettable Chopin Story
Tad Szulc presented the following story in his book, Chopin in Paris. George Sand and Chopin travelled to Barcelona, Spain. Chopin had tuberculosis and hopefully sunny Spain would help alleviate his condition. George Sand wrote the following:
“when we left the hotel in Barcelona, the manager wished to make us pay for the bed in which Chopin had slept, under the pretext that it had been infected. Police regulations obliged him to burn it.” The incredible creative duo had to pay for the bed in full!
This gives life to the expression ” adding insult to injury.” Most people think of Chopin as a composer without thinking about who he was and under the conditions of how he had to live. I think this story makes his life quite tangible and invites sympathy. Finally, I think all should do their best to help struggling artists, actors and composers; or else, our culture could disappear.
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PATRA – Sung Through Musical
The last days of Cleopatra are filled with daring, intrigue, and love possibilities. When the villainous Octavian lands in Egypt to assert his victory over Antony and Cleopatra, Patra will do most anything to save her children and herself. She disguises herself as a hag; foretells Octavian’s future; takes a drug to commune with the dead; seduces Centurion Marcellus whom her drugged mind thinks is Antony; meets with Octavian; and initiates an encounter with a cobra. When Octavian tries to take advantage of her, she sings of love. Octavian exits without a word. He has fallen in love but tragically does nothing. The love-struck Marcellus offers her a way to escape. Yes, she dies but not how you think. Her death changes Octavian from lead to gold as he vows to become the man she would have loved the most.