Dawn Pisturino's Blog

My Writing Journey

Be an Independent Thinker!

the-thinker

The Thinker by Rodin

In a world bombarded by information, where are the independent thinkers?

Where do the fresh, untarnished minds hang out?

Where does ORIGINALITY rear its beautiful head?

In a world deafened by conformity instead of individuality, the imaginative Creators of art, music, literature, and science are silenced under the dull roar of sameness, mediocrity, and

group think.

I will not be hampered by intimidation!

I will not be silenced by coercion!

I will not bow down to threats!

I will rise above the mundane crowd and be, above all,

AN INDEPENDENT THINKER!

Dawn Pisturino

February 7, 2017

Copyright 2017 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

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Concert for the Dead

Concert for the Dead image

Story by Dawn Pisturino

Artwork by Job van Gelder

Ariel knelt before the marble niche holding the remains of her dead older brother and placed a bouquet of roses in the stone vase. Six months had passed since the horrible night a drunk driver had taken Jonathan’s life. She would never forget.

“Coach Willis still talks about you, Jonathan,” Ariel said, tracing the carved letters of his name with trembling fingers. “Nobody’s beaten your track record. You were the best. You always will be.”

She pulled some sheet music from her backpack. “The opera club is doing Purcell this year. I got the lead role. I’m so excited!” She began to sing:

“When I am laid, am laid in earth, may my wrongs create

No trouble, no trouble in thy breast;

Remember me, remember me, but ah! forget my fate . . .”*

The haunting elegy echoed through the halls of the Great Mausoleum, bringing tears to Ariel’s eyes. As the last melancholy note faded away, the mausoleum doors slammed shut. The lights flickered and dimmed.

Icy panic clawed at Ariel’s chest. She could hardly breathe. Then a long, agonizing scream tore from her throat.

She ran to the entrance and pushed against the heavy metal doors. Locked.  She searched for an intercom or emergency button. Nothing.

“Let me out!” she cried, pounding on the door. “It’s not closing time!”

Voices whispered all around her.

“No!” she howled, throwing her weight against the unyielding door.

The whispers grew louder. “We’ll let you out when the concert is over.”

 “W-what c-concert?” Ariel stammered, searching the empty air.

“The Concert for the Dead.”

And then she saw them, gliding down the dark corridors, the eerie inhabitants of this condominium for the dead.

They crowded into the main hall, hundreds of them, the ghastly and the beautiful.

Men dressed in military uniforms soaked with blood, arms ripped away, legs shredded at the knees, and heads split open, eyeballs dangling from their sockets.

Women gowned in rustling silk, faded and torn, ringlets framing faces eaten away by worms. Pale young mothers with tragic eyes, carrying shriveled up babies in their arms.

Dead children glared at Ariel with menacing faces, their transparent fingers clutching moth-eaten ragdolls and time-worn teddy bears.

An orchestra appeared. Skeletons with shreds of rotting flesh hanging from their bones. The conductor raised his baton, and the slow, plaintive strains of a violin filled the air. He

turned and looked at Ariel with one putrid eye, motioning her to begin.

I know this song. I can do it. Shaking with fear, she dug her fingernails into her palms and began to sing:

“None but the lonely heart can know my sadness

Alone and parted far from joy and gladness . . .”**

She sang until the sun disappeared and the stained glass windows lost their color. She sang until the moon ran its course and the stars began to fade. Finally, her throat too parched and raw to continue, she pleaded:

“The concert’s over. Please let me go.”

Hushed whispers rippled through the audience. Then a lone figure broke through the crowd.

“Jonathan!” Ariel cried, grateful to see a familiar face.

Smiling, he extended his arms to her. “We don’t want you to leave,” Jonathan said, drawing her close. “We want you to sing for us forever and ever and ever . . .”

Cold waxy fingers tightened around her throat. In the background, the orchestra played a quiet requiem.

* * *

When the groundskeeper found Ariel’s body the next morning, he noticed two peculiar things. Her throat was purple with finger marks, and her hair had turned completely white.

Copyright 2011-2014 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

This story is dedicated to my daughter, lyric soprano Ariel Pisturino

Published in the November 2011 issue of Underneath the Juniper Tree. Read it here.

Published on Brooklyn Voice, February 2012. Read it here.

 

Concert for the Dead ill-Troberg

Artwork by Asheka Troberg

 

*“Dido’s Lament,” from Dido & Aeneas by Henry Purcell

**“None but the Lonely Heart,” by Pyotr Tchaikovsky and J.W. Goethe

 Happy Halloween!

 

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Video: Ariel Pisturino Performs Bach and Hindemith

Soprano Ariel Pisturino performing selections by Bach and Hindemith in her Lenten Recital on March 20, 2013 at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Glendale, California. Watch it here!

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Video Clip: SUSANNA’S SECRET

THE PRODUCTION WAS A BIG HIT, AND I’M SUPER PROUD OF ARIEL AND SCOTT FOR THEIR INITIATIVE, CREATIVITY, AND HARD WORK.

Good Job!

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SUSANNA’S SECRET

741236_10200175067315166_774457785_o735507_10200175067395168_1763698850_oARIEL PISTURINO (my daughter) and her friend, E. SCOTT LEVIN, recently formed CHAMBER OPERA PLAYERS OF L.A. Their first short production will be SUSANNA’S SECRET, a comic one-act opera written by E. Wolf-Ferrari in 1910. Originally written in Italian, the opera has since been translated into contemporary English. Ariel and Scott are both well-educated, highly-talented performers with the gumption and creativity to succeed. I am enormously proud of them both.

SYNOPSIS: A man who suspects his wife of fooling around discovers the real secret behind his wife’s strange behavior.

Starring ARIEL PISTURINO and E. SCOTT LEVIN. Directed by JOSH SHAW, Artistic Director of Pacific Opera Project.

BUT COME OUT AND SEE IT FOR YOURSELF!

January 25-26, 2013 at 8 pm

ST. MARK’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
1020 N. Brand Blvd.
Glendale, CA 91202
213-260-0007

performances in the Parlour Hall with reception to follow

ADMISSION FREE! Donations appreciated.

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

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John Lennon for President

I’m sick and tired of hearing things

from uptight-short-sighted-narrow

minded hypocritics

All I want is the truth

just gimme some truth

I’ve had enough of reading things

by neurotic-psychotic-pig headed politicians

All I want is the truth

just gimme some truth

No short haired-yellow bellied

son of tricky dicky

is gonna mother hubbard

soft soap with me

with just a pocketful of hope

money for dope

money for rope

I’m sick to death of seeing things

from tight lipped-condescending-mommies

little chauvinists

All I want is the truth

just gimme some truth

I’ve had enough of watching scenes

Of Schizophrenic-ego-centric-

paranoic-prima-donnas

All I want is the truth

just gimme some truth

* * *

GIMME SOME TRUTH

Copyright Lennon Music, from the album Imagine, by John Lennon

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Singing Versace

 

My daughter, lyric soprano Ariel Pisturino, was one of a few lucky singers who participated in a flash mob at the grand opening of the new Versace boutique in the Beverly Center Mall in Beverly Hills.

The singers had to dress and act like shoppers in the store. On cue, they began singing a well-known chorus from the opera “La Traviata.” They were given the red carpet treatment, the customers loved them, and Versace loved them. At the end of the evening, they received special gifts of cologne and perfume.

Ariel sang a couple of solo parts and got a lot of fine compliments. This was such a thrilling experience for her (and she got paid.) I hope she gets more gigs like this one!

And I hope the video ends up on YouTube so I can watch it.

This is my daughter’s website:  http://www.arielpisturino.com

Ariel Pisturino, lyric soprano

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