Vince Lombardi famously said, “Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”
Making music – in real time, in front of real people, without a net – takes many things. Skill, preparation, natural talent, dedication. But one thing might trump all those. Courage.
There are more difficult jobs, to be sure. We who traffic in the world of inspiration and ideas are lucky. Most of us manage to pay the bills and are spared true danger and physical exhaustion in our work. We are privileged. Our problems are, as my kids would say, first world problems.
But people get tired. And when they do, they should rest. If they can. For fatigue, as Mr. Lombardi says, robs us of courage. And if we are not courageous, the fire goes out, both for us and for our audience. So tend that energy wisely, folks.
Why is this on my mind? Because I leave today for a week to visit my son on the west coast and my brother in the Rockies. On the road and off the grid. See you again in April, with increasing frequency as we hurtle toward this next wonderful summer of opera.