Act 1 Scene 2

Flashback to a time many years ago.  The morning sun rises above a pleasant mist engulfing the hermitage of renowned Zen Master Katsutoshi Iwasaki,  secluded in a mountainous region on the island of Honshu Japan.  Young Don Carlos Mateo Blanco III, his head cleanly shaven and wearing a simple robe, sits with his beloved Master sipping tea and enjoying the sweet smell of incense mixed with the cherry blossoms, the sounds of birds singing, and the joyful laughter of small children playing in a village nearby. A Shakuhachi flute improvises upon “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” faintly in background:

http://weissconcerto.com/audio/opera/Act1_Scene2/Twinkle_Flute.mp3 

(Many thanks to David Solomons for composing and performing these improvisations)

Little does Young Don Carlos know that today marks the culmination of his training, his expulsion from paradise, and the inevitable return to his homeland.

Master Iwasaki: Jumping Bean…

Young Don Carlos: Yes Master?

Master Iwasaki: What is this in my hand?

Young Don Carlos: A painting sir.

Master Iwasaki: What kind of painting?

Young Don Carlos: A water color of a mountain.

Master Iwasaki: What mountain is this, Jumping Bean?

Young Don Carlos: Sir, it is Mount Fuji.

Master Iwasaki: It is much more than that! Do not insult me—have you learned nothing besides how to get a free meal? Look deeper, Jumping Bean!

Young Don Carlos: It is…beautiful.

Master Iwasaki: Yes!

*** long pause ***

Master Iwasaki: What else do you see?

Young Don Carlos: Symbols sir.

Master Iwasaki: Do you know what they mean?

Young Don Carlos: Yes Master, I do.

Master Iwasaki: Truly? Do not lie to me! Have you taken them to heart?

Young Don Carlos: Master, they are my soul, closer than my own breath.

Master Iwasaki: Fake! Charlatan! Fool!

Young Don Carlos: My beloved Master, the wind might blow itself away, the stars might twinkle themselves out, the ocean might drown in itself, flowers might lose their fragrance, and the sun might fall from the sky, but having lived the truth of these words every day for all these years I shall never forget them.

Master Iwasaki: Aahh!!!

Master Iwasaki hands the painting to the young Don Carlos.

Master Iwasaki: Speak these words now Jumping Bean!

Young Don Carlos: “When Love is Deep, Much can be Accomplished”

The Master smiles and his eyes emanate the kind of joy that could melt a thousand hearts like pots of ghee in the noonday sun.

Master Iwasaki: Excellent my son. You are ready. Now go.

.

.

Nurtured_by_Love

When I listen to Mozart, he seems to envelop me in his great love.  Mozart’s love for mankind is not merely a pious kind of love that points to hope in the next world through religious ecstasy: “All right, Life is sad. But if there is love, see how beautiful life can be.  The sad life that we all must live—let us go along together and comfort one another.”

This is what Mozart says to us, and I affirm it with all my heart.

—Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Act 1 Scene 3a

Advertisements