Elaine Hudson (She/They) is a senior vocal performance major at Baldwin Wallace University studying with Nancy Maultsby. Most recently they performed in the role of Ruggiero in Alcina. Last summer, Elaine sang in the chorus of Tosca with Marble City Opera in Knoxville, TN and in the summer workshop program at the University of Tennessee as Dorabella in Cosí fan Tutte. Roles at Baldwin Wallace include Dido in Dido and Aeneas and Mélisande cover in Pelléas et Mélisande. Elaine recently performed as Cherubino in Le Nozze di Figaro. Elaine will graduate with a B.M in May. Elaine will intern this summer with the Great Lakes Center for the Arts as an arts administrator in Northern Michigan before relocating to Cincinnati.
Selections from Late Afternoon
Ricky Ian Gordon b. 1956
Jane Kenyon and Marie Howe
What the Living Do
Let Evening Come
Ricky Ian Gordon’s partner, Jeffery Grossi, died of AIDS in 1996. In his grief, Gordon sought to find solace in writers and poets that could describe the chaos and pain he felt. In 1997, Gordon became close with Marie Howe right before she released her book What The Living Do. Howe’s brother, Johnny, had also died of AIDS and the poem that I will be presenting is written as a letter to her brother. The poem is filled with gratitude and awe for the beauty of one’s own mundane life. Jane Kenyon and Marie Howe were friends, and Jane had sent “Let Evening Come” to comfort Howe when Johnny became very ill. Ricky Ian Gordon describes these poems as “elegies of grief.” Gordon also wrote that he thinks “of this as a cycle about friendship and shared work, as well as a container for grief. I…get to come at the subject from different angles – as one who is perhaps aware of [their] own mortality, one who is bereaved, and one who seeks to commune with the lost – to converse with the missing.”
With the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and all of the anti-trans legislation being pushed right now, I think the performance of this set is very timely. We still have so much to grieve and so much to fight for within the LGBTQ+ community. Me and my queer siblings’ lives are on the line and our identities are being used as political pawns. My hope for the future is that we can live in a world where when someone says “this is who I am and this is who I love” we not only believe them, but accept them with loving arms.