26 November, 2010


How is it already the end of the month and I've only written 6 blog posts in November?
Kind of unacceptable.
Although I know it will only get WORSE! Because next month I'm on VAYCAY and COMPUTER-LESS for 15 days. You got it!
Well, I'm sure not computer-less, as I will have my handy iphone (thank you for working in the US I hope)...so I can check my email, but I ASSUME that all that bright SUNSHINE of the LEFT coast will not inspire too many blog posts...certainly none that have to do with singing.

19 more days until the airplane!

The video recording went well for the past 2 coachings.
I still have a LOT to make sure that I learn before 2011 gig-2 and gig-3, but I am NOT freaked, because I have SO many hours on planes to go over dialogue and opera translated into English. Plus, I still have 2 more months before that madness even begins. PLENTY 'o' time.

Right now I'm focused on my weekend-getaway out of Deutschland, which I hope will not be hampered by the light snow dusting we got this morning, or the forecast of more light snow tomorrow morning when my flight leaves.

23 November, 2010

legal eagle

I have a coaching tomorrow in which I PLAN to make a recording. Not just audio. Really, international competition? You're going to require us to submit dvds of our performances but ALSO require that we sign an AFFIDAVIT saying they are legal recordings?
Are ANY video recordings (other than professionally recorded dvds) legal?!
I mean, I'm CERTAINLY not making any money off of my youtube/website offerings, but sure, I guess 'legally', they are illegal.

I don't understand WHY though. I'm not making any money off of them. Or selling them. Or selling a certain 'production', 'costume', 'orchestra', or whatever else you could pinpoint as having a 'union' and being 'for sale' in a recording project.

Nope, I'm just selling my voice. But as a BONUS you get to see me ACT too! and sometimes that can make a huge difference!
Who wants a queen of the night that stands there and looks completely terrified when the high F's roll around? Or when that long Alle Bande phrase comes up and you're dying for a breath?

And what about that high F I added into the end of Una voce poco fa that I'm singing WHILE waving around the 'love letter' (again, not looking like a deer in headlights, but looking like I'm actually completely enjoying what I'm doing?..which, DUH, I am!). Added to the general 'acting chops' displayed throughout....

And how about the clips that I have of Oscar that show I can be 'masculine", and ok, yes, I added a G into the Olympia aria too- but-- you should KNOW that I look like a KNOCKOUT as a spray-painted golden robot-doll.

No, really. There IS merit in requesting these videos for a competition that I'm sure will get TONS of applicants. But you HAVE to acknowledge that ALL the video clips are illegal! Unless you happened to be in a dvd project with a super famous production or singer-- in which case, you're PROBABLY not applying to an UNDER THIRTY vocal competition to make some mulah on the side!

That is all for today.
And so, tomorrow I'll be recording my 'legal' video of arias (with piano- BOO, with no costumes- BOO, in a small rehearsal room and not a big hall/onstage- BOO BOO BOO), so that I can apply to this competition 'legally'.

21 November, 2010

2 days a.o.k.

Friday and Saturday were pretty good in terms of musical productivity.
And then today came.
Today when it's already 1pm and I just got out of bed.
Well, just re-wind to ONE month ago, and you'll get the point.
I hate days like these. Days when I know that if I have to sing, it will take extra long to warm my voice up. And days that if I don't HAVE to sing (for a performance), I absolutely won't.
Maybe I can at least memorize some dialogue. Later.
First, I need some chocolate.

17 November, 2010

hurrray for singing!

Wait, first let me say- HURRAY for waking up!
Yes, it's true-- for the past two weeks I have not gotten out of bed before noon. SOMETIMES I was awake before that time, and checkin' out the interwebs. MOST times I would wake up from about 7:30-8, then fall back asleep around 9:30 and sleep straight through until about noon, THEN check the internets until 2pm (all in bed, of course).
Which means, I wasn't eating, drinking, OR doing anything, really (besides, obviously, let me state ONCE again..being on the INTERWEBS) until well past the mid-day.

In my defense, however, I was HUGELY productive in the wee hours..between about 11pm and one a.m.
Printing out music, reading about music news, competitions, singers, what's going on, and then my normal blogginess/nytimes/facebook/email combo.

Yes, I practiced (out loud) twice. And both times I wrote about how I should do it more often.
Funny how once you get around to doing something that you so naturally always DO, it's a lot of fun.

So- today- practice!
An hour and twenty minutes of singing fun arias and lieder and oratorio!
I did about 15 minutes of warming up before switching to my 'standard' "am I warmed up aria"- Durch Zaertlichkeit.
If I can sing this WITH EASE, everything is fine.
Well, I did.
And so,
It was.

Then I did some Doll song action, some Rosina, some Debussy and Strauss lieder, followed by Zerbie (just the aria) and finally looked at the new oratorio piece.

I WILL say I was vocally tired after that entire time- meaning, I felt a bit 'thick' in the super low (below middle c), but other than that, NOTHING changed, and I feel as if I could start singing again right now.
The low thickness is usually a warning sign that I've been singing very high for a very long time.
Which, actually is true- since I forgot to mention I sang crazy-high-contemporary aria as well, twice.

I can stay up in the stratosphere long enough, but then coming down, I always feel the need to belt out a good ole Gershwin tune in a 'jazzy' but supported style. Just to make sure that everything is still healthy, functioning as it should be, and EASY.
Most importantly- EASY.

And- today it was.
Good working session today even inspired me to MAYBE do a little brain work later- ie, still music stuff, but things that don't require singing.

15 November, 2010

attitude adjustment

Remember that time, say, oh, about FIVE days ago when I said that it felt so good to practice and sing through an entire role and that I'll be doing something like this every day I hope? Yea....then came the weekend..well, the almost-weekend (thursday), followed by the weekend (friday to sunday), followed by this morning (recovery from weekend).
No, I didn't go clubbing until 4am, I just had a friend and family involved kind of weekend that included much eating of french pastries (still baked in Germany so they were ho-hum), much shopping (not for me, but I got to judge others..always a fun thing), much walking about and seeing some sights while enjoying one of FF's possibly LAST mild-weathered weekends this season (since it's raining and freezing out now), and much talking (so much, that even if I wanted to practice last night or Saturday it probably would have felt a bit dry and crappy).
BUT I'm feeling awesome now- it's almost 4pm here which means I can practice (after the afternoon-no-noise-allowed time), and practice I SHALL.
Except first I have to finish my chocolate muesli.

11 November, 2010


I sang through next-next opera two days ago. The whole thing. And YAY did it feel good.
I mean, I love this role because it's so charming, light and fun.
The things to think about here are- I think I want some new cadenzas. The last time I sang this role I was a grad student, and doing everything by the letter in order to placate coaches and conductors that didn't like to ruffle any feathers with, oh, you know- artistry. In a sense that there were two casts and we needed to do as much alike so the orchestra would be ok, the staging would be 'equal', and the conductor wouldn't freak....
But now I'M the boss!

07 November, 2010

ready, set, go?

It has now officially been a week and a half since returning from previous-show, and doing last week's koenigin.
Should I ... get back on TRACK of 'doing things'? Instead of oh, sitting on my behind checking out the interwebs all day?

Last week I had an audition out of the country. Well, it took two trains to get there, so it wasn't THAT far out of the country. Still, it was the 'first' audition of the fall season, well let's just say of the November/December season for me.
And I did what I normally do.
Woke up, got dressed, lip trills in the shower, light warming up before I get to the theater, got to the theater, had a pianist that asked kindly/refused to play Zerbinetta (meanwhile- what's UP with that? I know it's hard, but it's a WELL offered aria these days, especially from the END, so come on guys, can you take a LOOK at it please??), so then I end up looking like the A-hole who has to go back down to the KBB office and scratch out my previously written repertoire list since this pianist didn't want to play the Strauss.

So anyway, audition went well- I think I spent more hours on a train in a 24 hour period of time than I ever had. Oh, scratch that. 29 hours on a train straight from Germany to Oslo in the winter of 2009 European audition tour.
Ok, so it wasn't 29 hours, but for the 10 minute audition turnaround, it seemed like a lot of hours on the train.

Also, someone (turns out it was someTHING) jumped in front of our ICE train. Which means- we stop for 2 hours while the police and ambulance are called, only to find out it was an animal, not someone who had written their last goodbyes and figured a train moving at 250km/hr was a good way to end it all.

Aaaanyway, yes, it's been a week.
I'm back now.
I cleaned the apartment today. Kitchen floors and EVERYTHING. Put my clothes away finally- no more suitcases in the hallway. And now, maybe JUST maybe I'm ready to focus on getting back to 'work'.
By work I mean SIS- self-imposed-study. Of course, I HAVE to do it seeing as how it needs to be memorized by February and then April and then October of 2011--(it, being- 3 operas).

I've said it before and will say it again- when you have NO time, is when you can do- and usually do- the MOST with your time.
And, sadly, I have.. a LOT of time.. right now.
And what do I do with my time?

So it's back to attempting to be my own taskmaster.