Queen of the Night

Six years ago my husband was gifted this thin, flat cactus shoot as a birthday gift. We were told it was a “Queen of the Night” and would bring us good luck if we could convince it to flower. A variety of cactus/orchid, the plant was known to rarely flower, and when it did for only one night between the moonrise and moonset. We cared for it. Nothing happened. After three years of dormancy we propagated a number of shoots from the plant and gave them out to friends, sharing the legend of the flower and wishing them better luck than we had had. Still, she remained hidden.

On August 22, 2022 the Queen of the Night revealed herself. In a stunning show of agency the slender plant gave birth to a bloom a foot in diameter that emitted a heady scent of sweet honey and gardenia. The Queen of the Night indeed! We danced with her, basking in her beauty. As the moon set she shrivelled up and died. A lesson in the rewards of patience and the brevity of life, I suppose.

Neu Im Ensemble: Ambur Braid

Bombshell Canadian coloratura soprano Ambur Braid, one of the great talents in her field, is about to begin her first season as an ensemble member of the Frankfurt Opera as Queen of the Night. We captured her portrait, published in Oper Frankfurt, in a window-lined east-end Toronto studio donated by the generous Jenny Burton, and ran the gamut of emotions from silly to stunning to sensational. You can see more of our shoot and read about Ambur’s many accolades on http://amburbraid.com/home/. xo