by Suzanne Calvin

It’s time to remember how much we have to be thankful for and the Dallas Opera is no exception. Several of my co-workers responded to an email about the things that stand out for them, including:

“My daughter Marigny, my patient husband Zach, Abita Amber (beer) and being able to run” -- Special Events Manager Morgan Vaughn

“Always thankful for the Winspear Opera House and for all our patrons who make Opera possible. To be allowed to do “Billy Budd” (in Vienna) and “Boris Godunov” (in Dallas) back-to-back is wonderful.

“We all take so much for granted,” adds Music Director Graeme Jenkins.

From Jana Landin, Administrative Assistant to the Development Director: “Our beautiful office space, my family and pets.”

From Artistic Director Jonathan Pell: “My health, my friends and family and the Winspear Opera House.”

From Major Gifts Officer Nancy Torell: “I am thankful for all our wonderful donors and the health of my family.”

You can see a pattern beginning to emerge here, can’t you?

Well…If you don’t mind, I think I’ll add some of my own:

My husband is down-for-the-count with a nasty virus today. I’m thankful that ill health in his life is a relatively rare occurrence. 

My daughter-in-law is moving over the weekend and my son will soon follow. I’m thankful for the several years they remained here, after college, and the joyful lunches and dinners we shared.

I’m thankful that my cubicle looks out on blue Texas skies and several church steeples I can identify, and to know, in both instances, that God is near.

I’m thankful for the thoughtful and benevolent leadership of General Director and CEO Keith Cerny and the support of his wife, Jennifer, and his fine family.

I’m thankful for a job that feels more like a calling at a time when callings are many but job openings are few.

I’m thankful that my mom is still sharp enough to dispense sound advice and still independent enough (at age 85) to live life on her own terms.

I’m thankful for siblings, nieces and nephews who love each other. While we span the political spectrum, arguments about anything more serious than mid-term elections are unusual and completely civilized.

I’m thankful for the friends who understand that I’m a workaholic whose holiday cards, party invitations, etc. always go out at the last minute. Right after I finish this press release…blog entry…interview.

I’m thankful for every step I take, even when they’re difficult.

I’m thankful for olive oil soap, linen sheets, tools that make it easier to floss the back molars and a safe place to lay my head at night.

I’m thankful that the feral cat who lived on the roof finally relented and moved in with us, so we don’t have to worry about her anymore.

I’m thankful for the smell of cloves, the taste of cinnamon and curry, the color of our beautiful opera house, the voices of the Dallas Opera Chorus, the sound floating out of the pit after the orchestra has played its last note.

For the music that carries me through each holiday season: Ralph Vaughn Williams, Joseph Haydn, Nat King Cole, Mario Lanza and more.

I’m thankful for the sense of purpose in my life and the incredible luck of being born in a time and place that doesn’t seek to take that from me.

I’m thankful, perhaps above all this holiday season, that I’m not going anywhere and don’t have to decide whether I want a TSA pat-down or the “Full Monty” body scan.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and please remember us in your year-end giving.  There will be more on that later but, for now, I just want to say “thanks” for all you’ve done to bring and keep great opera in North Texas.

Now, go lay out the bread for the stuffing so it has adequate time to dry.

Suzanne Calvin, Manager/Director Media & PR

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