14 April, 2010

that was certainly....muchier

Vocally, my audition went great yesterday.
Although seemingly everything else was plotting to take me down.
First off, the pianist who had been informed of my repertoire previous to the audition, told me he wanted to use his own music for Zerbinetta.
Ok, fine, I get it. You make your own markings and page turns in a hard piece.
So. We start. It's SLOW. I"m thinking, ok, he just thinks the 'recit' part is slower. I"ll speed him up on the "eine kurtze nacht, ein hastiger tag"...but, no.
I speed up, he keeps plodding along.
2nd part- Noch glaub ich. SLOW.
I mean, I can DO it, I'm sounding DANG good, but still with the slow and the inflexible tempo! ok...
the ' so war' will be fast cuz I control it from the beginning.
So I start singing...and all of a sudden- NO PIANO?

oh yea, he had been 'told' I'd only be singing the beginning. Um, WHAT?
but he'll be happy to play the rest from my folder.

ok, so after that little random PAUSA we keep going. It's still damn slow and I try to speed him up again. But..it's just a timid piano player who is clearly not comfortable in this music.
Sucks, because I"m singing really really well, and I'm singing for a CONDUCTOR who obviously knows that this should be faster.

ANd I'm thinking--does HE know that I know that it should be faster? Does he know I'm TRYING to make it faster and this guy isn't budging at all?
If I were a more 'famous diva' would I completely STOP and re-set the tempo?
Is it somehow MY fault that it's two clicks too slow, even though I can still sing it well, it's just not 'in character' for the piece to be that slow?

OK, second piece.
He starts out SO SLOW again, that the conductor who is moving his arms from his seat, stops us, and wants to conduct the piece.
That's JUST FINE with me now that the pianist is going faster. And I sing it really really well again...
But again, I'm thinking- will I somehow be faulted for this? For not stopping and setting my tempo? For not "knowing" that it should BE faster, even though OBVIOUSLY it should be faster and I just can't GET him to MOVE faster!??!

All in all, frustrating, because the SINGING was so good and the pianist didn't 'screw up', but he also made it impossible to do anything about the tempo that HE set...making ME look like the screw up for not knowing musical 'style' or being able to take control of the situation.

I mean, in a 'normal' ie, sing for the AD audition situation, they would KNOW that the pianist was just...not cooperative...and would graciously accept what happened. Because, people know pianists in ny, mostly. And, if you get stuck with one that's not super super great, or had SAID that they knew your contemporary rep and then screwed it up, most AD's get that.
But here is a conductor who expects a performance from me. Yes, it was an audition, but also a performance.
And with no possibility of collaboration or even talking to the pianist before-hand...this is what he got. And that is frustrating to me and to him, I'm sure.

The more I think about how well I sang, the more I'm annoyed that the whole situation happened in the first place. Because I know I'll be judged by it. And not by the vocal and dramatic production that I offered alone.

1 comment:

SopranoAscending said...

Oh...I know the feeling. I have had the opposite happen. One time the accompanist seemed to want to kill me via Violetta prematurely. It was at Chicago Lyric. I was asked to take it from the cabaletta. This guy played it so fast that I was momentarily stunned. In those few measures, you have to decide, "Will I manage, or must I stop him?" I mean, this was the Lyric! They had flown me in for this audition, paid for my hotel. So I did stop him with all the graciousness I could, just as my coach had drilled into me.
He was nice, and seemed to understand my request. And then he took of again just as he had the first time. I did it. Nailed it. I was being tested. It wasn't until I left the room that I let myself feel pissed.
How we deal with these situations is part of the package, and I think it has to be practiced just like everything else we do. Non?
Best of luck.