30 May, 2008

late night in my kind of almost new hometown

Well, even though I'm just about to leave the city for my next gig, I do have to say that living here for the past 6-7 weeks has certainly been interesting.
I don't quite think I'm NYC full-time material quite yet.
I've never really moved here with all of my clothes, all of my music, all of the things that it would take to actually keep me here, rather than retreating to 'the country' for the weekend to go through stuff in storage, do laundry for free, change up the clothes that I'm bringing back for the NEXT two weeks in the city, etc.

When I'm in the city and have a purpose, my days go by so quickly.
Coaching at 4? Well that means wake up, warm up, look at music, leave the house at 3 (because no matter where I am hopstop says it will take me 45 minutes to get where I'm going), get to the coaching (early), leave and feel exhausted in that great post-singing way, and then either get a 2nd wind for dinner with friends and a night out, or unwind for the rest of the evening and maybe even listen to my recording from the coaching and do a bit of musical work to continue what the day began.

When I'm in the city and it's a free day...that's a whole different story.
Well, what's a free day, really, when you have to memorize 410 pages by 13 days from now?
Ok, so it involves waking up leisurely, checking email, nytimes, other intl. news websites..and oops, all of a sudden I haven't eaten anything and it's noon.
Music time!
In order of what should be done:
Next opera, next opera next opera, new arias.
In order of what I prefer to do and have to pull myself away from:
New arias, other new arias, youtube, youtube, youtube, next opera.

This can last anywhere between 3-4 hours, I realize I"m starving but it's too early for real dinner, so then I start making calls to best friend from undergrad (hixxla) to see what she's doing that night and if I really want to drag my ass to bklyn and hang out or if by some miracle she'll be in midtown to eat SUSHI.

Early evening- realize I probably haven't been outside all day and that the lack of natural light will probably give me some sort of disorder in life.
Put the music down, walk outside to the park, see all of the 9-5ers in their business suits on their way home, avoid slow-walking-people on the sidewalk, attempt for anywhere from 10-20 minutes to walk to the rhythm of some section of the opera that I'm testing myself on memory- ie, the FINALE.

But in the past few days I've done interesting NY-y things--
Visited the Guggenheim to see Qiang's gunpowder and '9 cars' exhibit, a musical, the park, street festivals, green markets, uws brunches (ok those are a norm) a concert, and last night ---
Italian dinner, underground R&B band, East Village bar with great pop/rock covers and oldies.
Seriously? Did I just have a 20something sex-and-the-city-esque night out and get home at 2:30am? On a Thursday? Am I cool now?

Well, RIGHT now I'm just exhausted.

Maybe there is hope after all that when I move here a BIT more permanently in Aug/Sept. that I'll start to take advantage of the myriad activities and sights that the city has to offer. Feel a bit more like I LIVE somewhere, and not just like I come into the city for coachings or auditions or 3-5 days here and there.

28 May, 2008

things i didn't do yet today

1. Look at the finale (it's only 8pm, there is still AMPLE time before my reruns of law and order begin)

Thaaat's pretty much it, for things that count.

Things that I DID do today include:

Seeing "Curtains", the who-dun-it murder mystery with Niles Frasier and the wife from Scrubs and Debra Monk and a lot of dancers that looked way too skinny onstage.

Musicals, for the most part, just put a smile on my face.
This one didn't have any great solos or memorable ensemble sings, but it was an entertaining afternoon of good acting, great choreography, the occasional pretty tune (sung, somewhat NOT in tune many times--ouch), and a lot of new-broadway belting.

Oh yes, belting. My other favorite past time (shhhh). The belt has definitely changed since I was singing the Narrator in Joseph, Annie, Adelaide and Sarah Brown, and any other number of leading ladies that I spent time with in high school.
Of course, I sang the legit roles too...but the belting girls are so much fun!

It's now all high and nasal and weird sounding--like a little girl on helium with no vibrato whatsoever and pretty much just two dynamics- forte or whisper/talk-on-pitch

I don't get it.
I mean, I can do it--mimic that I am--but
a. it sounds horrid- unless you're actually supposed to be playing a teenager or ditsy blond (ie, Wicked and Legally Blond) (these girls do it right- and thank you Kristin C., for using chest/mix AND head voice)

b. it hurts my throat to listen to some of this stuff remember...that just a few years back...there was a time when there was this nuance to the belt. You still had a bit of vibrato, you sang with an open throat and it really sounded powerful when you got to the high D or E because that was full voiced supported belting.
So, I still believe that maybe ...just maybe...there are musicals out there with really gorgeous legit broadway singing, not to mention SONGS that are worth googling and youtubing however many years later just to hear the beauty of line and voice. The clarity of the words, the simple melodies that you leave the theater humming.

Maybe the musical I'm writing and will one day finish will bring it all back old school style :)

27 May, 2008

the countdown continues

Now I'm pretty good with everything except the finale of the show. And recit 7 of 8.

Finale- why do you have to be SO unlike the Act I finale?
Why are you composed in little fragments instead of lovely blocks of ABA'?

I shall conquer you.
Get ready. Cuz I'm bringing it.

25 May, 2008

catching up (woah...long)

It happens every May and every Nov./Dec.---singers are 'in town' for auditions or competitions so you catch up over long lunches, brunches, dinners, and outside of the audition room.
You talk about old times (ie, the program or summer or opera that you met in), you talk about what's going on in their lives (boyfriends, graduating, last show, music to learn) and then inevitably you talk about what is upcoming...and the 'business today' as it affects them.

I'm happy to say that among my group of close singer friends, I really believe that many of them will have a substantial career--or at least have the talent potential to do so at the point that they are now in their studies, performance, and careers.

It's interesting to track what they are doing (totally different voice types than me, so no overlap or comparison, really), and also where they came from and how many connections or contacts their different paths have led them through.

I met two friends today that I sang with two years ago.
FriendA goes to very-prestigious-nyc-program and has made many connections through the coaches, directors, and conductors that have come through there. She was just asked to do a workshop of an opera that will most likely be done with "northwest coast opera" in 2010 because she knew the conductor and director from her current-program.
She just finished another appearance at 'midwest opera' through a conductor she sang for in the program we both did 2 years ago, and she has some upcoming further connections to auditions and roles through this program as well as highly-regarded-west-coast-program which she will attend this summer.

In addition, she has a hell of a voice and smarts about keeping contacts and being in the know.

FriendB just won 2nd place in 2 very important competitions. She got an email from a high-up manager congratulating her on the win and asking her to send recordings (YEA!), and she is primed and ready to take on audition season by storm- IF said manager decides that he wants to work with her...either for real or as a trial run.
She is my age, and sings full lyric with the best of them...she's been the finalist for a number of high-level residencies, but never the one chosen. She studies with a teacher that has very important connections and will use them on students she thinks are worthy of them. She hasn't kept in AS much touch with previous conductors, coaches and program directors as friend1, and is a little behind in the 'business' of the business end of things.
But the recording that I just heard of her most recent role ..I kid you not..sounded CD perfect. I don't just mean you got a good recording. I mean..I actually felt like I was listening to a clip that I bought off of itunes for 99 cents...but she just happened to be singing the aria. Gorgeous musicality, beautiful line and voice. Really--she is ready for someone to invest in her.

So we talk about what MAY be upcoming, about WHO is getting the jobs that we want now, or WHO is getting the residency positions that we want now. And truthfully, there aren't that many names that are surprises.
Just as surely as the same names keep popping up as competition winners each year..like a big winning streak that creates buzz, there is another set of names of established, but a bit older, artists, that we want to be--or follow in the path of-- in the next 3, the next 5, and the next 10 years.

I have my list and they have theirs.

When you make your way out of the kiddie pool and take the swimmies off, all of a sudden you're lumped in with the singers that have been at it for 10 years and more. The singers that already have their 'hometown' opera house. The singers that have gotten some sort of great casting break--from a previous residency that they did that re-hired them for a substantial role, from a competition win with a promise of a leading role, from a summer program that wanted them back as a a mainstage artist. But the question remains--was it from someone that already knew them, or OF them---or was it really just ONE kick-ass audition from a brand new company?

My own personal story for this year and beyond:
Role1- knew me from my residency days.
Role2- didn't know me from anything besides a CD
Concert- didn't know me
Role3- knew me from my residency days
Role4 upcoming - knew me from a summer program
concert- heard me in a competition and residency
and up next:
Role 5 and 6- heard me last year once and hired me.

How much can a connection to a director or conductor do for you?
How much can a phone call from a manager that has a good relationship with a certain artistic director do to put you in the top running after a run-of-the-mill good first audition?

So for me from Fall07-Spring09 it's 50-50.

But I can't help but wonder and hope that there will be more.
I want to be busier. I want to know what I need to do to make the best impression, a better impression, any impression. I want to make sure that I'm not missing any opportunities to audition, any opportunities to stay in touch, any opportunities to do a workshop for something, somewhere--that may eventually lead to more contacts and connections and people that know about me in this business.
And all of that, I believe, takes a very delicate balance of being a 'friend', of being a 'colleague', of being a smart businessperson, of keeping in touch without seeming needy or brown-nosing, and of having a great confidence about you and your art.

Last night I ran into a dramatic coach that I worked with at the age of 16. Yes, at my first official "summer program" in New York City when I was still in HighSchool. She is a highly regarded coach these days, and I always saw her ads in ClassicalSinger Magazine and never had a personal email to stay in touch.
She walked by me and I recognized her and said hello--not knowing if she would remember me at all.
She absolutely did--10 years later--and it was amazing to catch up with her and reconnect.

I'm glad I said hello and didn't let her pass me by.

23 May, 2008

can it be?

Is it really possible that Act I is in my head?
That's 230 out of 410 pages--I'm feeling GOOD!
And the only things in Act II are:
recit aria quartet recit recit FINALE!
That is SO not a lot, considering I know Recit 1 and 3, I know the aria, and I just have to memorize the words to quartet and finale!

For the past 2 hours I've drilled ActI Finale, and gone through the rest of my ActI stuff. I have to take a break now, but I want to come back in...say...45 minutes and do Act II.
Wow, if I can actually feel good about this whole thing almost being done and in my head today, that would be really terrific.

It's funny how it just happens like that. Last minute. You don't THINK that you know anything, and all of a sudden, you can sing through 200 pages in your sleep.

Ok, Act II.
One really long and hard recit, a few interjections, a quartet that flies by, and a finale that I know the notes to, but not the English words yet.

I can dooo eeet.

21 May, 2008

i'm siiiiingin' in the rain...just siiiinging' in the rain

What a glorious feeling I'm (ballchange, ballchange) happy again!

Ok, so it just drizzled today. Yesterday was really the downpour.
But I had a great lesson today (totally made up for the shit one due to 'circumstances' beyond my control last week), and I'm inspired.
Not so much inspired to spend the rest of the evening memorizing English recit...
more like inspired to sing things that are going to make me a better singer. All the time.

I'm a total idiot and my minidisk player was on 'hold' while I tried to press record in the lesson...so...of course none of it came through.

But that doesn't matter one BIT because of how it felt afterward.
Namely, that I could sing for another 5 hours. 5 days. And it wouldn't matter because it was all so so so so easy.

NOT that I'd present this in public anytime soon, but this teacher and I agreed that in order to keep the voice in shape, Italianate shape, legato shape---that I should be working on roles that are 'stretch' for USA, and 'normal' for Europe.
And when I say stretch, I say that only with vocal 'color', not size, in mind.

The pendulum swings back and forth, as I've written numerous times before.
They'll cast a coloratura lucia one year and a lyric the next.
Either way, the singers have their strengths and weaknesses in the role in different sections.
But since I've already SUNG and performed a majority of these 'swing' roles when I was younger, it's not like I'm taking some step off the deep end here. I'm just revisiting music that has been in my repertoire and singing in a certain style to keep the growth going. The growth of warmth and comfort in the low and middle which I have been really happy to see developing over the past year, and the general line and shimmer in both legato singing and leggiero singing.

(sushi break....yummm)
I'm back.

Ok, so the bottom line is---hurrah for singing that makes me feel good again.

19 May, 2008

recit and more recit

Drowning in recit.
Haven't even looked at musical numbers for memorization purposes because I still need to solidify three more "chunks" of recit (meaning, scenes that I'm in, where there is recit for a period of a few pages, and not a musical number).
There are eight total chunks. Plus or minus one page here or there.
Typed out in font 11, single spaces, the amt. of recit that I have to memorize takes up 4.5 types pages.
I'm not sweating just yet, just really really hoping something sticks in my head.
Coaching tomorrow at 5 on as much as I can learn before then.
Hopefully it will be these 5 or 6 chunks of recit plus maybe the two arias.
Can't even deal with the quartets and finales yet.
20somethingish more days.
I can doooo eeeeet.

16 May, 2008

one ee and a two ee and a

Counting recit is so fun...
Especially when I know that eventually I won't have to count it but it will leave the indelible 'right' impression in my mind to eventually shape the phrase that I have to spit out!

Oh how quickly things can change when it's 'one day later' and everything is suddenly ok, back in balance, (although there's no more chocolate in the apt. at all).

Back to being useful.


Woke up at 8, warmed up from 9-9:30.
Hung outside the door from 10:03-11:40wheneveritwas that I sang..

Sang Zerb and they asked for Durch Z

Felt in general like it came out much better than anything did at my lesson yesterday.
There were some little things that, due to my 'state', don't happen and happened...meaning, breath things, beauty of things...
but overall, and esp. in durchZ, I think I gave a really good performance.

In the middle of the 2 verses I felt like I was getting so fed up w/trying to convince Osmin that he's a tool that I sighed, overtly annoyed at his inactions, or his crude actions.

See, when I'm 'in it' and 'feel it'...I think of nothing. Just what I'm supposed to be saying and doing onstage.
And those are the times when it is easiest to get anything out.
Including a damn nice E arpeggio down at the very end.

Can I please remember this?
Regardless of how miserable how I feel--that I'm still trying to 'be someone' that a composer and librettist and author wrote into a magical story set to music?

My accompanists always come out of my auditions and say..great job, you're so musical, etc.

I'm glad that I'm musical. I know that I am. I 'get' it.
What I need to work harder on is being musical combined with the overall beauty (not purity of tone...I don't manufacture anything)..just this consistent beautiful flow of air that sweeps from the beginning of the aria to the end mellifluously.

mmm, nice word.

I'm going to look into new rep. this summer if it kills me. I love my list, but...I just don't know how it's perceived.
Maybe I love it onstage, and not in auditions.

No, that's not true. I love it in auditions, too.

But I think something fresh and exciting could be great.

Already found what may be two possible new starting arias.

For now back to wallowing, advil, mint milanos, and emergen-C flavored water.

15 May, 2008


I feel like i should be Twittering or something..with this twice/thrice daily posting.

Audition: Sang zerb and una voce.
Rocked it out.

Take that.
And a bag a chips.


Don't keep reading if you don't want to hear about girly hormonal issues and singing.



What the F.
Felt totally fine yesterday. Was singing fine..bla bla bla.
Today I go in for a lesson, have a light, nice and easy warm up, and then all of a sudden, I can't sing right. Anything. The breath is bouncy, I can't center myself, I'm focusing too much on one thing and just not having fun.
There is no smile in my face, no bright eyes, just annoyance that it's not coming easily unless I push it in there.

I ask myself--what could possibly be going on?
I mean, I know it's around 'that time' but, to make that much of a difference that someone would say that I don't sound anything like I did the last time I was there and it was free and easy and light and bright and RIGHT (most importantly)...
GOD it just felt awful. Because I couldn't really FEEL what I was doing.
And then at the very end I found it again on some runs and high notes in Glitter and the end of Zerb...but still. How frustrated am I! Very.
And I have to sing a competition in 2 hours.


I think it's time for the 2nd shower of the day and to try and relax.
To be completely honest I think I also aimed to please a bit too much today with this teacher, since it's still a new person that I'm studying with, and I just can't do that.
Singing is fun. It's joyful. It makes me happy. I like being other cool characters. I like beautiful music. I like playing around on stage.

I just have to do what I know how to do.

14 May, 2008

in addition

to the lovely weather, nice walk, and kind-of-learning-things, I got to meet ACB for a pre-dinner pastry this evening!

Yay for fun soprano friends in new york city, reminiscing about 'conservatories', and talking lots about exciting futures and lives IRL ;)

Lunch is on me when I come visit WTOC for Strauss this summer!

29 days

It was a beautiful day in the city.
70 degrees, sunny, and perfect for walking from the UWS to Soho.

So I did the 60ish blocks down broadway, and then did some work on next-score.
Here's what I find about recits (Mozart, NOT Rossini)--
I get it. I get the direction that it's going, and also the pattern...but after doing so much Rossini, I want those clues that he leaves for you, that Mozart doesn't.
Mozart's recits seem to travel well with the actual words, the interjections, etc.
But when you're doing it in English, you don't have those Italian word, sentence structure clues, so you just have to plain ole' memorize the pattern(s).

Today I sat down and banged through Act I. So now it's one step further than sight-reading Act I. I know 2.5 pages of recit ALMOST memorized, but there are SO SO SO many more in Act I, AND II.
I think I can sing (ish) through the Act comfortably- ie, knowing what comes next, but not 'knowing knowing' what comes next...like, I don't know the whole piece in my head and where it's leading and how many times I have to repeat a certain number of measures and a certain number of words. But I can turn the page and sing the right notes.

And, BY THE WAY, why are FINALES the BANE of my EXISTENCE!??
A hundred pages again?
Give a girl a break.
This one is deadly because of all of the little interjections.
I know, eventually this will all seem like child's play.
Consider this the first freakout entry about upcoming-role, which, if I go back through my blog record, I'm sure I have for EACH role that I've had to learn.


13 May, 2008

the early bird (and fille du regiment)

uhh..wishes that she would stop waking up at 8am without an alarm.

What is this?
I have sleep to catch up on! I almost flipped my days and nights with the show last week, I saw the opera last night and only went to bed at 2am and here I am, wide awake at 8am.

La Fille du Regiment at the MET last night was amazing.
Before I talk about the performance I'll talk about how I got tickets.

Well, I unpacked and repacked yesterday, and I took an early train into NYC to locale-1 (where I'm staying for a few days before I move to locale-2 for about 3 weeks), and met D for breakfast (well, tea.)
Around 11:30 she had to get her car out of a lot at midtown and drive to NJ, and so I decided to mosey on down to the MET and see if there were any patron tickets returned (in the cheap section!). Obviously, there was only a ticket available for 285 dollars of whatever it costs to still not sit in the most expensive section.

So I asked about the rush tickets, and the woman said people were lining up downstairs.
WHAT? It wasn't even NOON yet!
Ok, so I took a look, and lo and behold, there were about 20 people in line already--who were planning on staying until 5:45 when the line moved upstairs and then get 20 dollar seats in the orchestra.

Well, I had my score, I had my ipod, and most importantly, I had a bagel and cream cheese from the local deli on 72nd with me, so I sat right down and decided that this would be as good a place as any to get work done.

I made friends with the nice russian ladies who came in from NJ to see the show. I made friends with the Lebanese-French woman who said she always waits for rush tickets (she had a comfy half-chair to sit on too--man, I needed that at hour 4 ish), and that she wanted to see JDF (she didn't know that last night's performance was sung by Barry Banks, the incredi-tenor), and we all made small talk.
Then I listened to the opera. A little.
Then I opened my score. A little. I may know ONE and a HALF pages of recit after 6 hours of not really trying at all.
Then I watched all of the clips I had on my ipod.
Then I listened to my ipod on shuffle and skipped through tons of songs that I wasn't in the mood for (isn't there some magical thing that the ipod usually makes great random playlists for you? well, it didn't for me!).
Then I stared out into space.
Then I stood. And sat. And sat with my legs crossed. And sat with my legs out. And stood again cuz my butt hurt from sitting.

and THEN I got my 2 orchestra seats for the show!!!
And OH. MY. GOD. was it worth it!

I've already said this before and I'll say it again, I don't care what you think of Natalie's voice, she is a powerhouse on stage, and the woman can't sing sharp or flat.
Every note is placed pitch perfect, motivated, spun, and USED. It's not just sung because it's there. She USED the note. Like an old-ex-boyfriend fling! USED I say!

Barry is one of my favorite tenors and it was such a pleasure to hear him sing something in addition to crazy rossini (Donna del lago), and something that was familiar and fun and he was SOOO cute in his Tyrolean outfit and his army outfit, and in general he's adorable. And he and Natalie looked and sounded fantastic.

Uh, 9 high c's? Yea--plus that amazing shimmering high D in Act III-- you rock, Barry.

I got to go backstage after the show (through the cool people door) and ran into another recent colleague of mine who is covering a show (I totally forgot she was doing that, and was happy to see her, and we may try to meet up before the end of the week when the run is over), and then was introduced to a few new NY-y music people, said hi to Barry w/a big hug and wished him well, and then was back here to my UWS home for a few days....(and..news of all news...it will MOST likely be my fall sublet as well!!! ZOMG--seriously? 10 blocks away from the MET? OH YEA!)

And now, since I'm awake for now reason and can't seem to fall back asleep,
I'm going to read the Times and maybe learn some recit. MAYBE.
30 days and counting.

12 May, 2008

packing fiend

Did I really just fit almost 2 weeks worth of outfits into one carry-on sized suitcase? YOU BET I did!!!
I have lounging clothes, going out clothes, looking cute clothes, looking professional clothes, PLUS an audition outfit and all of the miscellany that entails, my aria binder, my laptop (ok, that's being carried in my shoulder bag, but still), upcoming-opera score, AND a pair of black boots and tan boots and heels.
That better get me through this week and weekend at least...I wanted to pack all of my cute summer stuff, but alas, the forecast at weather.com predicts not-so-fun weather for this week..the high being somewhere in the mid-60s.
So. I don't know where I'm sleeping tomorrow night (yet)..BUT after that I'll be in ONE place! For a whole three weeeeks!

I've also calculated that from lessons and coachings alone, I'll be writing close to 800 dollars worth of checks in the next 3 weeks.
You know, it's an expensive business, but it's totally worth it.
That is how I learn. How I improve so that I can get the jobs that will pay me back that money eventually (ie Jan/Feb of 09).

That plus living in the city for almost a month will certainly hit the checking account a bit, but thankfully, the most recent operatic and concert performances will cover it.

Back to not falling asleep even though I have to get up in 6 hours.

11 May, 2008

closing night

Note to self- it turns out I CAN eat something besides a banana and three cheerios on performance days.
I was so so hungry around 6pm today after a 3 hour drive to the 'new venue' that we performed in tonight, that I had a juicy slice of cheesy pizza.

Dairy, carbs, the lot.

It was delicious.

Show opened at 8 and I didn't feel too full or anything! New preshow routine? haha..I HOPE not. Or else there's a good chance I won't fit my costumes by closing.

This evening went SO well. I felt nothing but comfortable, again, and I was happy that special family and friends could be there to see me (some to see me perform opera for the first time).

After the show, I was starving again, (of course) so I returned to the local pizza place for 2 more slices (yea, I roll like that).
It was almost midnight and the owner saw my flower bouquets and asked me what place was open around here this late that sold flowers.
I said that he could have them if he had just sung in the opera (jokingly of course) and he said that he hadn't had time to buy his wife anything for mother's day.
SO I handed one of my bouquets over and really made his night.
He even gave me a free Fanta in return.

But it was lovely to see someone so happy about..well, not getting in trouble for mother's day the next day! :)

It's way too late to write anything else, so maybe I'll fill in some details tomorrow.

09 May, 2008

The week ahead

I know, it's only Friday.
I still have to close the show on Saturday night.
But I still think about what's ahead.
And what's behind.

Audition this past week for some guys from across the pond.
Just general rep.
Zerbie as usual went fine, better than fine, etc.
Then I give them ALL my other rep. to choose from--DurchZ, Queen, Oscar, Marie, Glitter..and they choose--another German..Queen.
I mean, really
You don't believe I have the F's?
Oh, I beg to differ!!!

So I'm singing it. And then this weird thing happened. I was like, VERY aware of my singing. Instead of just being able to be in the moment and enjoy, all of a sudden, I was very present in my body and mind and it started messing with me.
DID I just sing that F right? Was that cadenza perfect? I'm on the next notes already but still trying to analyze whether the D was high enough.

All the notes were there, but I felt like my mind was racing about things, and trying to LISTEN for some reason, instead of 'just do it'.

I DID NOT like it!

Don't really have any general or specific feedback yet. But the crazy thing is, I know I sang all the notes right, and was 'artistic'/'musical' about it..but I still don't think..for whatever reason..that it was a good audition.

Even though I hit the F's?
EVEN though I hit the F's.

The strange feeling continued all day and my over-analysis continued as well...But I don't have a recording, I don't have any specific feedback of good/bad, and so I just have to deal with it.

All I know is that it better not happen again anytime soon.

Next week (after closing of the show):
REALLY REALLY going to try to see one of the last "Fille" performances...and since everything is all sold out and I don't have friends in high places (well, even though DO know the leading tenor, even HE can't get me tix!!), I"ll be sitting on the floor starting at noon or 1pm or whenever I get to the box office, waiting in that line of people hoping to be among the first 50 to get rush tickets for that same evening.

Maybe finals of the competition?
Another lesson.


(maybe the more I type that the more motivation I'll have for actually opening the score...)

08 May, 2008

press and performance

Oooh, a VERY laudatory review for the Rosina. I'm happy, and so is the new paragraph-long space it takes up on my website.
And tonight, the chance to see Dame Damrau kick some Constanze BUTT in Abduction at the MET.
Seriously, the woman not only has killer high notes, she can pianissimo and diminuendo the crap out of them too--not to mention the acting, looks, low notes, and everything in between.
It rocked.

Oh, and an audition today which I'll go into more detail about when I'm back with my own computer...but for now, reveling in the great performance of this evening.

06 May, 2008

i fail again

at sleeping.
2:45, I have to still pack for a few days in the city, and leave the apt. tomorrow by 10:30am.

I was a tech guru tonight, uploading, compressing, decompressing...in short, somewhere in the online universe, there are three new tracks and one new video floating out there, not connected to my name or likeness except by a single key word that gives VIPs full access to my audio and video footprints.


05 May, 2008

back to the day to day

On my to do list, or more like, ASAP list:

Send my checks to the bank
Pay my credit card bill
Deal with health insurance co.'s that keep raising their monthly price on me. UGH.
Activate the AmEx
Make sure I have enough cash (without having to go to a foreign atm) for my next few visits to the city
Buy reinforcements because the first three pages of Zerb fell out of my audition folder
Go to the post office and mail everything
Write many many many thank you notes for numerous goings on this past week
Iron my audition dress/steam it in the shower before Wednesday
Re-hydrate after a night of good friends and good red wine
Pack for 2.5 days in the city with the possibility of 'goings on' that need fancy/hot/fun/audition wear.

Weird, I just used goings on twice.


Back to normal, I suppose.

04 May, 2008

my first Barbiere

Yes, the time stamp is correct. 2:13am.
This has been one crazy week of dress rehearsals and performances, and I think that I am all the better performer, singer, and just normal person for it.
It was rough. The travel was crazy. The times were not the most convenient for rehearsing, warming up, and having to be really 'on' when called upon.
I did it.

Tonight I opened with a brand new character and loved every second of it.
I refocused during the car ride back (3 hours plus some heavy fog which made me a bit tense..enough to have to use the flasher lights while driving 40 mph instead of the normal 75...
Went through the recits in my head.
Went through the show order.
Hummed a bit, but knew that I was too tired to really warm up.
Rested for about an hour (meaning, checked my email and other online escapades).
Took a long shower and vocalized a bit.
Was still feeling lethargic when I showed up to the theater, but as soon as I was in makeup and hair suddenly I was psyched.
Psyched in a comfortable way. I mean, really. I have lived in this long enough. It's not a crazy concert where you have one rehearsal, one dress, and then the performance.
It's been 4 intense weeks of every day for 6 hours, doing, watching, perfecting, living in this new girl's body and her three gorgeous dresses, numerous fans, and updos!

I felt that tonight was really successful.
Bottom line- I just had fun. And a lot of it. This is a role where I don't feel like the entire show is riding on my shoulders. I have one of the two or three showpiece arias, yes, but it's not up to me to carry the show like you have to do when it's a Lakme or a Lucia... It's an ensemble show, we had the comic timing tonight, we had fun, we laughed, we deceived, we ranted and raved, and ran around the stage, and we did it together with a seamlessness that really brought some amazing energy to the singers onstage and off.

Wow. I really can't believe that it's over.
I mean, I get to do it again...but still. This is what this past month has been leading up to. These two performances, back to back, and then...and now...
now I have a month to learn the next role! EEEEK (haven't SO much looked at it this past month..I tried, really I did..but, there is plenty of time. Really. I'll just keep telling myself that).

Off to slumberland and hopefully sleeping in VERY late tomorrow!

03 May, 2008

note to self

two hours and 10 minutes before curtain:

don't be a JERK and eat like an idiot after one evening's performance when you have another one coming up the next evening.

I feel so full!

It'll be fine by the time I actually have to sing something substantial (ie, the aria around 8:45 pm)...but right now I feel like I could be in nap-and-carb-heaven for the rest of the evening.

oh, and ps---

part one down

nyc-ish concert debut--check.
ok, i'm not gonna lie. i'm listening to it right now...looking for those spots that i posted about before..and guessss what ? they're totes not there..yay for good mantras of breathing and thinking.

tonight was SO SO SO fun.
yes, i couldn't really eat today, yes, i had weird 'i'm not nervous but obvie, my body is' things, but you know what...
when it came down to it..
i freaking love this piece. i got to do it w/orch., my family and friends were there, and all in all, i had a great night.

plus now i can eat something.

night night

01 May, 2008

notes on the dress rehearsal

so making a singer sing for a 9:30am rehearsal is NOT the coolest, but that's how it happened today. One session in the morning and the dress rehearsal in the afternoon.
So I actually sang through Zerb twice this morning, then ate a light lunch, and then came back for a third round.

After the 2nd time (with twice on a few sections, so maybe the 3.5th time) of the morning rehearsal I could feel that I was beginning to grab a little at the top, meaning larynx position was compromised, meaning, I needed to calm down from the excitement of getting to do it w/orchestra!

Notes didn't suffer, but it could have felt more 'free and easy' as opposed to ...hmm..I'll say 'placed', but that's not the right word.
Just...careful...maybe...versus free and easy.

Dress rehearsal notes to self:
The section I think is most easy (so war), is the most hard for the orch. ensemble-wise. I had better pay attention to the Maestro's 2, AND have fun.
First section I love--free and easy with piano and orch coming in.
Noch glaub- watch some ends of held notes in the middle-high passag. like Ds and E's. I can very easily let them bloom and just as easily drive them a bit too much so that they sound flat at the ends of the pitch when I don't feel free and easy about them.

Things I liked:
My pianissimos, my TRRRRillls! Seeeriously, I have not thought about the importance of these before, but DANG! They are fun and I KNOWZ that I'm doing them Ree-aaally well.
My audible 'fun' 'acting' voice within my 'voice' 'voice'
My deutsch.

Things I didn't like:
Driving those middle notes as stated above.
The second to last notes of long phrases where all I care about, seemingly, is to get to the end of the phrase w/enough breath and therefore give up too much on the penultimate note and it's under or under-supported.

Places to watch out:
verwandt--LUNGEN (after that whole long frikkkin phrase)

noch glaub:
nothing? really nothing? I liked it all? YEA I DID!!!

so war:
ah's right before Das Ein Herz.
HERZ (first note)
sich SELber (sel)
2nd run DOWN of cadenza

als ein gott:
Gott (gefangen)
kam JeEEEder gegangen (the SLOWWWW part, approach from bottom)

Plans for the evening:
ZERO! Relaaaxxx because I am still exhausted added to the obligatory exhaustion from having to wake up early (AND my body waking up at 6am again..SO. NOT. COOL).