Libiamo ne’lieti calici

by Dawn Corrigan

The only other member of the family to revisit its heritage in her music choices was Tommy and Shelly’s daughter Mary, who years later when she was away at college befriended a young woman who was an aspiring opera singer. When Doris secured a position in a small local opera company, Mary began to attend their performances, an act of loyalty that was tested not only by the performances themselves, which Mary, having no previous exposure to opera, found dull and incomprehensible, but by the food. The company performed at a dinner theatre, so each show was accompanied by a meal of soggy pasta, limp salad, and lumpy cheesecake. Mary sat through each one in a narcoleptic daze, the music an annoying distraction from her thoughts rather than serving as the heavenly accompaniment and source of them which is music’s purest role. Then the company performed La Traviata. Mary was swirling her spoon through a mass of rice pudding when they launched into “Libiamo ne’lieti calici” and suddenly she felt her own heartbeat like a knock upon her mind’s door.

6S

Dawn Corrigan once had The Wrong Idea. Her fiction has appeared recently or is forthcoming at VerbSap, Pindeldyboz, Monkeybicycle, The Dream People, Rumble, 55 Words, Defenestration, and 3711 Atlantic. Her nonfiction appears regularly at The Nervous Breakdown.