Social Musings: "Agua de la pluma"
Our written voice. Non-polluting, free, with a hint of home.
My brief encounter with the fear of prejudice
By Laura Virella | June 1, 2016
A while ago I had an intense friendship with someone who very suddenly decided to shut me out of her life completely. It was the first time I encountered this type of reaction/behavior from a person, and I handled it very poorly, insisting on trying to establish contact and apologize and clear the air. After much silence (and a few messages sending me to hell), I purchased tickets to a public event in which this former friend would appear, and out of the blue I got a message from her informing me that she'd call the police if I insisted on attending.
On the day that Greta threatened to call the police, however, I was unable to sleep. I suddenly saw all the labels that I effectively was in this current American Society. [Read more.]
Guest Post | Fraud Alert: The Mahler Philharmoniker Scandal
By Laura Virella | July 25, 2014
Jonathan Floril and Thérèse Mahler have built a little empire of lies, dragging nearly a hundred musicians into a fraudulent "Society" that provides neither education nor rightful monetary compensation. Falsely claiming to be a descendant of Gustav Mahler, the mezzo-soprano has teamed up with Floril, a pianist who spins his own web. Unsuspecting sponsors and students are told of his days teaching at The Juilliard School and The Metropolitan Opera. Days which, of course, do not exist. This year, however, a group of singers, conductors and instrumentalists have taken it upon themselves to stop the money-making machine in Vienna, Austria.
"I write this letter to warn against and denounce the fraudulent actions of the Mahler Philharmoniker Society and its Salzburg Voice Festival (http://www.mahlerphilharmoniker.at/ | Laxenburger Strasse 9 A-1100 Vienna, AUSTRIA | +43 (0) 650 366 2650)." [Read more.]
Invierno boricua | Boricua Winter
By Laura Virella | December 17, 2012
An unprecedented revolution has recently taken place in Puerto Rico. Our people, who have always been characterized by combating social and political issues with words and not arms, have organized through social media to create a more effective protest against the criminal wave that threatens to drown our society and, later on, to denounce and protest the hateful and intolerant rhetoric propagated by the TV show “La Comay.”
"After the Arab Spring, Comes a Boricua Winter," says the ABC/Univision article. I could barely contain my excitement. It seemed as though, after so much worrying and so much debating among many, Puerto Rico was in fact capable of setting partisan and political differences aside and seeing beyond the sociopolitical mess in order to address a purely social issue. [Read more.]
Dispatch from the New Puerto Rican (Diaspora)
By Laura Virella | November 30, 2012
I am a 31-year-old opera singer born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I am the daughter of two lawyers; the granddaughter of a doctor, a lawyer, a chemical engineer and a fashion designer; and the great-granddaughter of a dentist, two teachers and two entrepreneurs who founded and owned the Colmado Nuevo, Humacao’s oldest grocery store.
I am not an activist. I am not a politician. And I know very little about economics, business and handling money. But I come from a long lineage of educated people who believed in providing for the next generation a better life filled with more opportunities than those which they were given. I grew up privileged without knowing it. We were plain middle class, but every penny was spent on providing me the best education one could buy in Puerto Rico and affording me culture and art. More than that, every free-of-charge effort was made to supply me with curiosity, support, a sense of right and wrong, empathy, a sense of justice, a sense of power when it comes to self-realization, and plain common sense. [Read more.]