As a neurosurgeon for more than 40 years, Dr. Bernie Stopak of Potomac performed hundreds of surgeries on the brain. Now, at age 75, his latest "operation" is related more to the heart. His newly released CD is a personal and intimate song collection reflecting his own journey through the intricacies and emotions of love and relationships. This CD is titled "Operation Love."
Stopak has been involved with music his entire life. A D.C. native, he played clarinet and saxophone as a 12 year old in the Redskins Marching Band. He sang in his synagogue choir, performed in theatrical productions in high school and at the University of Maryland, and played in a band throughout college. He also sang at the White House, Constitution Hall, Mr. Henry’s, the Shoreham Hotel and other venues. In the meantime, the talented musician graduated from UMD, completed medical school in southern France, married and raised a family, and became a renowned neurosurgeon. Throughout the years, he released the stress of a long day in the operating room with songwriting, performing and perfecting his easy-listening crooning style.
Music brought this "singing surgeon" closer to his patients. "Many times the audience would be filled with patients and their families," said Stopak. "And I gave each of my patients my CD while they were recuperating in the hospital."
"In 1987, I released my first album ‘Remember Me,’ with the help of Stef Scaggiari," Stopak said. "Scaggiari is a friend and professional musician who wrote the musical arrangements and accompanied me on keyboard and piano. This second CD, called "Operation Love" was the result of realizing that I had 35 – 40 original songs and prose that I had written over the years. I was able to pare down the songs to 22, and when I put them into chronological order, I realized it was really about my own personal journey through life and love."
Song titles include, "I Love You Oh So Much," "I Never Get Tired of Looking at You," "Someone Easy to be With," "Lost in Love’s Limbo," and "Precious Love." His songs are jazzy and rhythmic and filled with messages from his heart to another’s heart.
Scaggiari adds his own personal jazz rhythms on the piano and keyboard. Between songs, Stopak explains the process of falling in and out of love. At first, he was "Dreaming of Love, Love, Love." Then he finds her "after a year of introductions, letdowns, blind-dates, fix-ups, E-Harmony matchmaking — finally, this is it and ‘You Are the One’." "Island Love" speaks of their first vacation, and "Window Shopping" describes the fun and romance of shopping in New York’s finest boutiques. But the romance starts to fall apart, and Stopak introduces his series of "Saloon Songs." Perplexed, frustrated and foolish optimism follow and "You Write Your Song" is a "final poignant lament summation of dreams and feelings that don’t always come to their fairytale ending."
"Operation Love" is sold on iTunes and through Facebook. It can also be purchased at www.berniestopak.com and at www.CDBaby.com.