Twenty-six years ago this Nebraska girl landed in Tulsa, Oklahoma on a full scholarship to study music. With my violin and little else I was introduced to cowboy boots, fried okra, and my college roommate Nancy. Nancy was from Ada, Oklahoma and it took a while to catch on to her Southern lingo. She didn’t just intend to do something, she was fixin’ to do it. Soon I was fixin’ to do things too. After my first voice lesson at TU I became infatuated with art song and opera and hoped to make a career singing.
When I moved to Dallas, Texas to study opera I encountered a wholly different variety of Southern charm. Yes, some people wore cowboy boots, but Dallas was wealthy and cosmopolitan and full of big personalities. Classical music and opera were produced with flair. It was Dallas that taught me showmanship.
Years later, life circumstances and good fortune led me to Atlanta, a city that I have loved from the start and will never ever tire: magnolia trees, Civil War lore, and just as many transplants as there are natives. It’s a hub for business and the arts, an international city diverse and lovely. In Atlanta my musical obsession with opera and art song summited. I’ve had the opportunity to gig around the city and to work with the local opera as an educator and lecturer. I’ve taught at Emory University and Kennesaw State University. And I launched my career as a freelance writer, contributing to the most prestigious music publications.
But it’s easy to get into a rut. Work obligations, family responsibilities, and traffic made it impossible for me to pursue something I’ve also longed for…fluency in French. My music career has allowed me to study Italian, French, German, and Russian diction at length. I know loads of vocabulary in these languages, but never got beyond “Bonjour” and a few rudimentary phrases.
Now I’m fixin’ to embrace the French language. This blog will chronicle my French immersion while living in Atlanta, Georgia: my quest to speak French fluently while making my way through Gabriel Fauré’s songs, translating them, learning them, and investing in them musically and poetically. I’ll also chronicle my adventures in French grammar and vocabulary, gastronomie, and culture. All this from Atlanta. Allons y!