A year ago at this time, I was semi-comatose in Barnes Hospital, blown up like the Michelin man, with the surgical team advising that Andy be called home from Germany and discussing the option of a heart transplant.

And this week, here I am again in the Berkshires, as I was one week before my surgery last summer, singing opera choruses, this time with Stewart Robertson, a trrrilling Scotsman who is a delight to work with. Many of the same singers come to opera week, so it was old home week. We were in the same dorm, which I love (and Carol hates), with luxurious accommodations. Next year, we may splurge on a B&B.

It was a bad week for the Jews. We began with Saint-Saens' "Samson and Delilah," with Samson blind and in chains, and the Israelites under the domination of the Philistines. Then we moved to Wagner choruses. I've sung Wagner before, and I love the Ring and Tristan, but I must say that singing the Pilgrim's Chorus from "Tannhauser," while it brought down the house, to me brought visions of a Leni Riefenstahl Hitler documentary. We also sang the Bridal Chorus from "Lohengrin," and a chorus from "Die Meistersinger." We ended with an act from "Die Fledermaus," with ballroom dancers waltzing in the aisles during the finale. Chorus

It was the easiest music I've sung at the BCF, and one of the best times I've had there. Gilda and Sam, Nancy and Joel, Andy and his friend Stephanie all came up for the concert, and we also shared and blanket with the Spinats, the Hirschtritts, the Pages, and their friends, the Mollows. The Putnois came by with Debbie and Josh and Olivia and their hundt (German, of course, in keeping with the music). We saw the Barrons at the concert.

It was a very special week for me. To be alive and once again to spend the most favorite week of the year doing what I love so much... My voice got better and better as the week went on. I guess it needed a workout. By the end of the week, I had much more breath, and I could really belt it out once more. I missed being able to bike the way I used to, and I looked at my old bike maps with nostalgia, but I did bring my bike, and puttered around the campus. I do love singing and being in that place so much.

Making up for lost time, Carol made an elegant lunch and dinner when we got home. I publicly announce that she is the best wife I ever had.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work. Unfortunately, it's one of those Newport via the ferry days. Life is tough.