Garden Envy and Social Dancing with Elena

Les Délices hosted our annual benefit event this past September. All the Pleasures was a celebration of the wonderful pursuits that make our lives a little brighter. Beautiful music accompanied delicious food and fine conversation at the Shaker Heights Country Club.

For this performance, Elena Mullins delighted audiences as La Musique from Charpentier’s Les Arts Florissants, sang about Cr├¿me Brulée, and she even showed us a thing or two about how to make mussel soup!

Elena is a soprano with-wide ranging interests. She is a specialist in historical music, with a DMA from Case Western Reserve University. She has co-founded two ensembles dedicated to Medieval music, Trob├ír and Alkemie. When she’s not singing, Elena is also a talented dancer, and has led the Baroque Dance Ensemble at CWRU. We asked Elena about how she likes to spend her free time.

If you were an 18th century person of leisure, of all the pleasures, how would you prefer to pass your time?

I’d be pretty happy spending my time dancing, eating, and walking in a garden.

As a 21st century person, how do you prefer to pass your time when you aren’t working?

I love spending time in nature and participating in various types of social dance. In our culture you have to seek out opportunities for social dancing, which is a little sad… I wish there were more communal music-making and dancing in 21st-century America!

Do you enjoy gardening?

I have gardening envy, but apparently not enough to do anything about it!

Do you enjoy cooking?

I do! It comes in bursts.

What is your favorite thing to make and what do you enjoy about it?

I rarely make anything that’s technically involved but I love hunting down good ingredients and figuring out interesting ways to pair them. Lately I’ve been eating a seeded sourdough toast for breakfast topped with hummus and fresh summer tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s pretty delicious!

Have you ever tried any 18th century recipes?

Heck no!

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