This is not a “personal” blog….so I’m posting this, not just to let people know about a great woman’s valiant struggle and artistic legacy, but in the hope that someone reading it or listening to the clips might consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Foundation, which is doing such great work to help speed the development of a cure for a horrible disease http://www.alzfdn.org/It is with a very heavy heart that I write that Jeannine Morand, my beautiful mother, teacher, guru and dearest friend, had a very severe stroke last Monday. An MRI on Wednesday revealed that the damage was total and doctors say she will not recover.
She is now resting comfortably at home, basking in the warm love of her husband, children, grandchildren and friends, as she receives hospice care. We were told on Monday that she would not survive beyond a few hours, but she is clinging tenaciously to life, and is still with us a whole week later.Mom is approaching the end of her life with the same bravery and spirit with which she has battled Alzheimers for the past three years, and with which she fought, and defeated, breast cancer. Her loss will leave a huge black hole in our family’s universe.
For now, we are celebrating her life, remembering all the happy times we had, mom’s charm and intelligence, her very great artistry as a singer, and her beautiful voice.We know that, in the twilight state where she is now, she is still very aware of our presence, that she hears us and is interacting with us, blinking an eye here, moving her hand. We’re grateful to have this time, however sad, to say goodbye.
In the meantime, we are trying to get her artistic legacy up on the Internet, to share it with those who did not know her.Mom was a student of the great tenor, Bernardo De Muro, and sang with some of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, but was never one to promote herself, and she loathes and detests computers…. so I know that she’s having a good laugh at the thought of any of her videos now residing on Youtube, and other music being shared via email.
Here are two dreamy little clips (which will be accessible from this link for the next two weeks) from her pop radio program in Rome on RAI in the early 1950’s, when she sang under the stage name “Gianna Rendi,” while pursuing operatic training and an operatic career….We’re assembling more of her work and will eventually develop a web site and put more up on Youtube, but, in the spirit of celebrating a brave and beautiful soul, I wanted to share this with as many people, in as many formats/forums, as possible.