Friday, 28 December 2012

Ewa Podles' Ulrica-Un ballo in maschera


Magnificent contralto Ewa Podles in Verdi's Ulrica (from Maschera). What a marvellous, amazing voice!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Russian contralto Galina Baranova sings well below contralto C

Another marvellous video I have been listening to a lot. This Russian contralto Galina Baranova is very rare; much like the Polish Ewa Podles, Baranova can easily sing below contralto C (c; C3). I have a CD of her 'Romances' and it is one of the CDs that usually plays throughout the day. Galina is very underrated as well; she deserves a listen (or two!) and some recognition, as she is a very rare voice that may fall into oblivion one day due to the coloratura craze.

Mayr's Medea in Corinth with Marisa Galvany

Marisa Galvany in the title role of Medea by Simon Mayr. Galvanising performance (pun completely intended), low notes, focussed middle, ringing high, taking the final 'discernerĂ !' up an octave up to a high d'''! 

A Soprano sfogato with 3-octave range from low E (in an aria written for Malibran) to high E (numerous occasions, notably in I Puritani and another scene from Mayr Medea), Galvany is a very underrated singer. The coloratura craze was as eminent in the 1960 and 70s as it is today, with people preferring 3rd class coloraturas such as Renata Scotto over true sopranoes sfogato such as Galvany. (Apologise for the coloratura bashing...) 

This particular aria got me through that EEG on the 23rd (coincidentally the birthday of Edita Scooperova-erm, Gruberova), as well as a particularly noisy location with a lot of sensory assaults (I shall not go into detail, let's just say that I had a meltdown before the Galvany came out). Galvany is quickly becoming more and more admired by me and others. With that being said, Bravissima Marisa!!!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

EEG went well!! Oh yeah, and Galvany.

SO I went for my EEG exam today.

It was extremely fortunate that I had read many positive experiances (especially the one at Facing Autism) with EEGs and autistics. These I used as inspiration to get me through the exam without incident.

It worked!

Normally I would be pulling at the monitors and caterwauling like a banshee attempting to get away. Then about 10 or so (because I am 2.1m tall and infantile autistic) would have to hold me down so I could not run away, and it would have turned into a meltdown with a flurry of SIB.

But not this time. Equipped with a stim toy (and Galvany's rendition of Medea) I went in. Although I was caterwauling softly the entire time, I sat still (aside from mild partial seizures that caused me to twitch uncontrollably) and was almost completely calm during the process. Lucrezia stood wide-eyed and pointing, as though in disbelief. 

So-a round of thanks to Harold and Conor at Facing Autism, as well as to the supersoprano Marisa Galvany and her astounding range. If not for the aforementioned, I could not have made it.

Friday, 21 December 2012

And Then There Were Three...

Today I finally went home from the hospital after I had a grand mal seizure on the December 18th that lasted about 115 minutes in length, followed by another one that lasted 92. Although my seizures have always been this long (even longer) they haven't been that frequent. 

The following day I had 5 grand mal seizures (one nocturnal) each around 78-96 minutes. I could not sleep and was severely irritable and had meltdowns so severe they had to put restraints on my wrists so I could not get out of the bed and/or hit myself. Everyone was in a constant state of fear, as no one knew when I would snap and fly into a rage. 

On the 20th I had 6 grand mal seizures and 3 tonic-clonic-tonic ones. Lucia forgot to time them but we know that all were well over 120 minutes. I literally seized all day. The exact thing happened today. So far I have had 4 severe grand mal seizures over 120 as well as a small partial one lasting about a few seconds before lapsing into an over 180-minute long tonic-clonic-tonic seizure. My body is tired; it has done nothing but seize hard, violently, for hours at a time, I constantly have postictal spasms that cause me to fly off into a meltdown; I was so spastic that I choked whenever I attempted to eat or drink; I have a weird feeling in my hands no amount of flapping would get rid of.

We depart for our house, my seizures unable to be controlled by even hospital staff. 

On the way, I had a seizure in the car. Since we arrived at the house far before it stopped, Lucia had to remain in the car so that she could keep me in the Seizure Safe position (head held and body rolled onto its side) and so that Lucrezia could run off into the house 30 minutes into it. (She's new.) This one again lasted over 180 minutes.

Once inside, as if on cue, I fell again into a seizure. This was to be my longest one today so far; it clocked in at 196 minutes.

That's when I got scared. That long of a seizure can be deadly.

These have always been long, but never this frequent. Today's total amount=7.

Three of these were super-seizures. This is not good.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Seizures as far as the eyes can see


3 of them, two of them over 60 minutes long.

The shortest (a complex partial/myoclonic) and second longest (grand mal of course) occurred within seconds. The stand-alone one was a tonic-clonic-tonic seizure (these are now my most common ones) and I vomited both times. I was lucky not to have any huge meltdowns, I had little energy, I only got a little agitated by the phlegm and vomit that spewed from my mouth during and after the seizures. This happened yesterday as well.

When they were finished, the shaking in my right leg increased. I drooled a lot. I need rest.

Lucrezia (she's a newbie, Annabelle's intern) got freaked out by the long scary grand mals and ended up running away, she could not watch (scared much? :)) and Lucia had my head on her lap (not to mention the fact she got spewed on) while the seizure(s) happened so I would not hit my head (we don't need more seizures now, do we?)

After the last seizure I was (hopefully) back to normal. Minor meltdown occurred when I got a bit overloaded at a Christmas gathering we attended (it was over quickly). Now I am energetic and SHALL. NOT. SLEEP (I fear nocturnal seizures) and also I am listening to Liszt (while holding my favourite sensory toys of course!) and his Dante Symphony.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

To the Edita Gruberova's Stans

This is for all of the Edita Gruberova stans. 

Yes, I know that you admire Gruberova.

And yes, I know that sometimes I judge Edita a bit too carelessly.

So on this new blog, I shall try not to bash Gruberova or any of her stans. (Youtube is a completely different matter.)

No more Gru-bashing on this blog, unless a queen or stan compells me to attack.

Hello and welcome

Hello all,

I am Maxwell van Simionato, a 38 year old  with severe Autism. I live with two carers Lucia and Annabelle (and a new intern Lucrezia), both of whom are avid opera-goers, and I sometimes follow them to performances by my favourite singers. 

I like to write about anything that comes to mind.

Aside from opera and , I also like Gardening, writing, and stimming.

I like to write about my experience with autism and seizure disorder, my favourite opera singers (which include i.e Marisa Galvany, Alexandrina Pendatchanska and Ghena Dimitrova), as well as opera in general.