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An Aria A Day #3

‘Children will listen’ (film version)
from Into the Woods
Words and Music by Stephen Sondheim
Piano Narelle French

10th May, 2020

Opera Queensland presents An Aria A Day – your daily dose of opera from home. As a special treat for Mother’s Day, Ali McGregor performs Sondheim’s ‘Children will listen’ from the 1986 Broadway musical ‘Into the Woods’.

“Careful the things you say / Children will listen. Careful the things you do / Children will see.”

A message from Ali McGregor on Mother’s Day

“Starting this week was a slow, hard slog. The excitement of home schooling has worn off and my two children just want to get back to their school routine and their friends. Getting them to focus on work and step away from screens is getting harder every day.

It was at the end of one of these long days I realised, with horror, that a recurring case of head lice had returned to my 6 year old’s messy hair. After the dreaded treatment, comb through and wash off she was beside herself. As I carried her, soaking wet and crying into her room I stepped firmly into a present that our new puppy had left on her bedroom floor – just as I realised I also had to strip the bed and change the sheets.

I had hit peak mum.

Singing this song at this moment, which I didn’t know before this week, felt raw and vulnerable and out of my depth. Which is how I feel as a mother most days, especially now as we fumble our way through this new normal. But as the cliche goes – I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there who also feel they are walking a tight-rope between moments of existential, puppy poop-filled crisis and moments of utter joy and love. It’s a precarious place to be.”

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