17 December, 2011

Counting Down

Home sweet home feels wonderful so far.
I still haven't gotten over weird jet lag issues- for the first 4 days I woke up at 4am, stayed awake and activity-filled until about noon, then crashed for the afternoon, and then, of course, couldn't fall asleep well at night, -- so I woke up at 4am again.
But last night I KIND of slept from 12:30am - 7:30am...
Kind of.

I have to report to my next 'first' rehearsal in March.
Learning the music for next-opera is just going to be a challenge.
There, I said it.
I already put my tabs in, marked the score (even though I have no real 'words'), translated the few words that I DO have, and have TRIED to even circle leading clues as to what note I come in on before most of my entrances.
Have I mentioned that this is a totally modern piece that I don't even know how to categorize? There are a FEW patterns that I can recognize and work off of in terms of my part, but, they are few and far between.
And sometimes modulated by one 'major' or 'minor'- which really means...there are NO patterns.

Umm, maybe I should stop blogging about it and actually try to LEARN it.

Thing is, for the audition last year the house already sent me the 'hardest' parts, so I know that about 10 minutes of music is already done and done. And I don't recall it taking me SO LONG to figure it out for the audition! I mean, I just 'got on the ball' and did my thing.
Which is precisely what I have to do now...
Oh motivation, can you please come knocking down my door in the next 3 weeks?


11 December, 2011

day of the final show, y'all!

Matinee. Today.
Packing. Tonight.
Airplane. Tomorrow.

That is all.
It's been a really really amazing experience here. Making my debut in this 'important' theater...can't say enough about how much fun my colleagues have been, how nice all of the staff have been, and how much I've really enjoyed my time.

And now- on to the next BIG project.

One more to go- and I've had insomnia since about 3am.

03 December, 2011

4 down, 2 to go!

It's my last week here!
So far our performances have gone really really well. Last night's Friday audience was the most into it since opening (to be expected of a weekend crowd, I suppose?), and this weekend my parents AND cousins are in from out of town to visit ME!
Can't complain when the majority of my day today will consist of eating a great brunch, walking it off by window shopping, and eating a great dinner.
NINE more days until I'm on an airplane HOME.
TWO more shows to kick some booty on.
Bring it.

20 November, 2011

day of the show, y'all

Ok, so it was last night, but I still need that title, every time...obviously.

How I spent my day- woke up around 10, at 1 had a HUGE brunch with my 3 amazing friends (one who flew in from NYC to see me and see the show!), felt full for the ENTIRE day and proceeded to chill out for a few hours. Around 4pm, got in the shower, lip trills, slowwww warming up....5pm had everything packed, hair dry, coat on (soo cooold!) and my 10 pound bag which included a curling iron, nice clothes, high heels, 18 full size chocolate bars and various cards, banana, apple, protein bar, water,...you know the drill.
Oh, and the score.

SO- arrive at the opera house, drop the cards and chocolates off, into makeup, into costume, LAST MINUTE STAGING CHANGE so three of us were required to meet with the dir. and asst. dir. to go over what they wanted us to change at 30 minutes before curtain.

And then... it began!

I had fun! :)
I think we all did really well, the energy was good, the audience was laughing AND moved (I could see the first row on the monitor), and that is how it should be!

After the show we got all dolled up for the opening night party- and we had like a 'red carpet' of paparazzi pics to take with donors and other board members. Then a HUGE dinner at 11pm, and then introductions and thank you's from the general director.

Even in this smaller role, we got much admiration, lovely feedback and comments, and I got genuine positive commentary from our maestro and director, which to me, is what matters most- that their vision of the drama and music was achieved through my acting and singing. So, there you have it.

Now, to repeat 5 times with the same success and get home safely :)

17 November, 2011

final dress and 2 days off

Hurray! Two days off before the opening on Saturday night.
Final dress in the afternoon was a bit strange just because we have NEVER performed the opera at night~ And all of our performances besides the last matinee are- at night!

So the energy may be different, since we're all used to showing up at 11:30 for our makeup and hair calls...
and now that gets moved to 5:30/6.

I'm feeling good about it.
Let me just reference that old theater saying about no small parts, only small actors, etc. etc...
I think my small part in this show is totally cute! There is a reason for me to be out on stage, I make pretty music for a very short amount of time, but I'm TOTALLY ok with that. I have seriously just about zero pressure, and I can just have a nice time singing and enjoying the music.

In some ways, doing things like Oscar, Olympia and other 'supporting' but possibly scene-stealing roles (I would put Queen in here since it actually IS a short time onstage and you can steal the show easily)...is very much enjoyable for me at certain times.
I can just relax into it and not feel like I need to carry the whole show.
Of course singing Marie or Zerbinetta or Lucia is just as exhilarating, but that's a whole different KIND of pressure (good nervousness) than doing these smaller parts.

So for now, I'm happy that I have 2 days off. I'm excited for opening. I'm excited for the days off I have BETWEEN shows (this stretches over the next 2.5 weeks!), and I'm looking forward to spending some more time with friends and family in the city before returning to Dland.

13 November, 2011

tech week and career stuff

Today we had our piano tech...called at 12:30 for hair and makeup (1.5 hours before the show), ran the show/teched the show from....2 until SEVEN.
Yyyyeaaaa.... it was a LONG day.
People were having slight breakdowns all around because it's pretty frustrating to think that you're going into a 'run' but then being stopped in the middle. Numerous times. For whatever reason. Also, when your 30 minute break (which is actually during the intermission of the show) has a makeup and wig change...you don't EAT all day...
so, yea, I had THAT going for me.

By the end of the day those that hadn't either burst into tears, inappropriate sarcastic laughter and back-talking onstage, or silent raging in a corner, had also had just about enough when the staging of the BOWS was going to take us past 7pm.
We had 2 minutes left in rehearsal and luckily the stage manager was noticing everyone's... just... exhaustion from the day- and we were released.

(For the next 30 minutes of getting out of hair/makeup/costume).

The GOOD thing is at the end of this LONG day, I went to dinner with two of my colleagues and just LAUGHED for three hours straight.

These girls are lucky and talented enough to be at a place in their careers where they don't really have to 'audition' anymore for much of the work that they have (and might I mention they have offers through, oh, 2017ish!). They've made a name for themselves as young and reputable singers from two very notable young artist programs which they were involved with in the past few years...and added to that are managed by two of the 'big name' people in the business.
They are in a place in their lives where things are pretty set for them for the next few years. They're not scrambling to try and find regional auditions or sing for mainstage roles in summer programs where just a few years ago they would have been considered young artists or go to Europe for an audition tour...they are pretty much learning whatever rep. is coming up next and packing for the next gig- which takes them through the next few years.
And besides being some of the funniest AND nicest people I've hung out with on gigs, they have the PIPES to back it up.

What I see around me with where they have come from and the opportunities they now have makes me wonder if I should have stayed in the young artist/resident artist game just a bit longer.
I'm not sure if it was the opportunity to sing small roles and cover big roles in big houses, or the visibility of them having the chance to sing for EVERY manager, EVERY artistic director that came through to see the productions, or the way that their respective programs were really supportive of their 'next' move once they graduated...
But somehow, they landed these top people immediately who backed them 100% and continue to do so--even during dinner the text messages and emails were rolling in about future gigs, calls that were being made on their behalf, and upcoming offers.

I guess I've always thought of myself as a go-getter. I gather as much information as I can about upcoming opportunities or seasons, and if I can do anything about it or find any previous connections or current connection, I'll try to use that information. Whether it's an inquiry email, an 'update' email, or an email passing along the information to the people who are 'more' in the know and can make calls on my behalf. But I do wonder what it would be like just to be on the receiving end of such transactions/calls without having to dig and 'go-get'...and perhaps be on that receiving end precisely because of a certain residency or young artist program that had enough of a 'name' to get the ball rolling.

I can't obviously pinpoint whether it was their residencies, competitions, their voice types, or their current managers who are the main reason that so much work is rolling in. OBVIOUSLY if they didn't have the talent to back it up, none of this would be happening.
But there are MANY talented singers ... some of whom this type of thing happens for, some of whom it does not. And I'm wondering if there is one major factor that contributes to the phenomenon or .. whether it's just - who you know/who the managers know/ timing/ relationships with GD's, etc...

I also can see that I'm starting to make a name for myself across the pond- in a not-so-unknown house at that...and I really wonder whether or when that may lead to a time where, simply based on the level of house and role that I've sung, that would be 'enough' for a 'call to be made'-- and that I could possibly get offers from US houses and houses abroad-- to just 'do' a role..in, say 2014/15 or something like that.

I mean, of course I'm never just going to rest on my laurels. I always WANT to know what future seasons are, whether there is anything for me to sing OR cover, whether I can just do an 'informational' audition or 'reminder' audition and get my voice known out there in opera-land both in the US and abroad.

I'm feeling pretty comfortable with the rest of the work I have through next December, but after that is a big ole' question mark. And of course, being in a gig in November/December this year pretty much cuts out any chances of auditioning for companies that are heading to NYC during that time.

Kind of the same situation as last year. Work is GREAT, but, at some point I also have to be available to get MORE work through auditions, right?
And how much time is TOO much time that has passed without 'reminding' people that I'm still around, and hey, I have some really good work both in Europe AND the US!

I certainly don't have the answers. What I do have is a set of pipes that I believe in, that the companies that have hired me believe in, and the will and want to make this art form and this passion into a hopefully ever-evolving and ever-satisfying career.

07 November, 2011

moving to the stage

We haven't had an entire room run yet, mostly splitting up detail work on Act I and Act II over the past 4 days or so, but tomorrow we move Act I onto the stage.
I only have a few entrances with minimal stage business, but I'm assuming we shall go forth and 'tweak' until it looks perfect, and then do the same thing with Act II on Wednesday.

04 November, 2011

it's all in the details

Left hand a little higher, this look comes later, baroque gestures with specificity... I do like getting a more and more detailed and refined look after general staging is complete, and that is exactly what's happening this week.
I'll take it- AND my unexpected day off tomorrow.

29 October, 2011


6 days and the entire show is staged!
We still have a week and a day or two in the room and then we move ON stage- PLENTY of time to explore and expand and really get comfortable.
It seems like this is super fast, but I'm glad to know what I need to be doing this early on so that now only little tweaking and detailing will be done...so for the most part- feeling good about all that!
I EVEN have another day off on Monday- whatever SHALL I do with myself?

27 October, 2011

Oh and ONE more thing...

BRIEFLY, I want to write about age-ism in the business.
The wunderkinds who somehow get hand picked between the ages of 20-23 for major young artist programs-- who knows where their careers will go. They are guaranteed good summer gigs or residencies for about 4 years.
I've seen it go nowhere from there and I've also seen it lead to national roles in A level companies across the US.

The doldrums of age 25-28 when it seems like everyone is JUST a bit older than you and more experienced than you and getting the jobs you want and the summer programs you want-- and realistically, who would hire a 25 year old Lucia when there is clearly enough choice to hire an established (read, most likely over 30 year old) who has experience in the part- so as not to 'take a chance' on someone young and untested in a regional house whose job it is to get the audience coming back to see a 'favorite' and keep on giving money and support to their city.

The 28-30 'do all the competitions'/have to get a manager/am I too old for young artist programs phase-...
Answer- no, you're not too old because they STILL take SOME 35 year olds, SOME of whom are managed, who are clearly there singing at a level 'beneath' their normal mainstage role work during the YEAR for the 'name' the 'connection', and the mainstage auditions at the end of the summer.

OK, now to lying about your age. For whatever reason.
Some managers don't care. Some houses don't SEEM to care since SO SO SO many people are doing it (after they turn 30 they somehow stay 30 for about 2 years)...competitions DO care and often require birth certificates and copies of passports to make sure you are eligible...

But here's a little tip, to the liars in this age of savvy google ninjas:
Do not lie about your age to my face, or online anywhere where I can clearly see it!!!
It takes me just ONE little google search to see the previous competition you did that lists your age in JULY of 2009. It takes me another little google search to find out when your bday is (actually, I know that from facebook anyway). And it takes me about .5 seconds to do the MATH, and know that you are older than a 'certain' age that you are claiming to be.

If anyone else cares to find this info. out as well- they can.

Of course, I'm not going to do anything about it except wonder why you're feeling the need to lie in the first place. Does it make people feel better to not be 33 years old? To just be 30 for a while so everyone is 'extra' impressed at the success that they've had so far and they're 'ONLY' 30?

I mean, we've all worked at this for at LEAST 10 years. At least since freshman year of college, if not way way earlier...
Shouldn't we be at a level of professionalism ten years later where we are proud of all of the myriad programs and preparations that have gotten us to a certain point?

Just sayin'.
Oh and Pls.Dont.Lie.About.Your.Age it's just way too easy to find it out for realz.

day off....

Rehearsal canceled via phone at 8pm last night.

Why not buy some shoes downtown today?

Done and done.

26 October, 2011

right place, right time

I know this will come out all mysterious sounding as well...so just consider it a post for myself if you don't get it.

Had circumstances been different, I would currently be where I am, but not in the same capacity.
HAD I been here in that 'other' capacity, would this recent news and change be relevant to me?

I can't think about the would-have-maybe-been's at this point.
I am so much happier with what is coming up for me.

I can't imagine life any other way than what it is right now, and what it will be in the future.

It IS a bit zen of me, but everything does just happen- (and I won't say 'for a reason', because...I'm not LOOKING for a reason in the future to justify the present).

SO. Let's just say that I know it's a change. I know it MAY have affected me, had things been different. But they aren't. They are what they are. And so far I'm taking everything in stride.

Staying happy, walking every day, did yoga a few times (actually, I think I'll do it right now again!), and feeling great singing and staging.

24 October, 2011

the travel post and first day of rehearsal

Ok, 8.5 hour plane ride that began with one of the longest 'check luggage line' that I've ever been in. Amazingly, due to "German efficiency", said line which wrapped around 5 times PLUS had people hanging off the end after the red tape ended, I only waited for 16 minutes (yes, I timed it) before my suitcase was tagged and on its way to the final destination in the US of A.

The plane was sold out and so I was thankful for my aisle seat. HOWEVER- Lufthansa, you have totally failed in entertainment choices on this flight.
FIRST off we didn't have individual tv's. Really? That's something I expected from old United airplanes that fly across the country, but, on an international flight? No tvs in the seats? Really? Come now.
Even if I DON"T get have a touch screen and have to wait every 2 hours for a movie to start on one of the 8 channels available, I've almost ALWAYS have tv in the seat on international flights. Thing is, it's not that I'm a movie junkie or anything..half of the time I've already seen them already, but it makes the time pass SO much more quickly!

Ok, so no tv Lufthansa, PLUS- you decided that for the first TWO hours of the flight the entertainment option on that tiny flip down tv every 10 rows was: FORMULA ONE RACING and a program on SOCCER GOALS.
I KNOW it's Germany and everyone is all hot and heavy over Sebastian Vettel and their soccer teams...but..realllllly? There ARE women on this flight, you know this, right? I'm PRETTY sure women even outnumber men in the world population. Who thought it was a good idea to have the first two hours be an interspersed map of us flying over the UK and Iceland with our ground speed and temperature, and then man sports?!

So THEN the captain came on and announced that our two inflight movies (TWO? It's almost 9 hours in the air! What about the other 6.5 hours?!) would be: Mr. Popper's Penguins and Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Really.
I'm sure ALLLLL of the multitudes of 8-12 year olds on the flight (read: NONE since it was not a holiday weekend or school vacation) enjoyed those!

Ok, bottom line, NOT entertained means I literally watched the minutes ticking by for 8.5 hours.

Secondly, man sitting in the middle seat next to me from Morocco- it's NOT ok to put your pillow, jacket, LEG and half of your SELF onto MY seat when I happen to go use the restroom or get some water from the galley!
I know you cleared it every time I came back, but really?
In addition, you could pay a bit more attention to your personal space generally, since you fell asleep with your head just a bit too close for comfort to both myself and the poor guy sitting in the window, changing your position about every hour and breathing VERY heavily.

Thirdly- Lufthansa airplane food is usually decent. But, your late afternoon snack was a puff pastry filled with paneer and curried vegetables- yea, INDIAN FOOD- spicy, gas-causing Indian food- which made for some interesting final hours around the lavatory areas.

Oh also, but I can't really complain about this because it was too cute- there was a couple with an 11 month old baby 2 rows behind me. If they were sitting, the baby was screaming. So they had to stand up with the baby in a sling the ENTIRE flight and thus we all learned that the baby (Natalya) was just adopted from Russia three days ago and the parents were still 'getting to know her' so didn't know how to really soothe her yet..hence the uncontrollable crying while sitting down. At any rate, it was sweet and a lovely story that had a good ending for the life of a child (we hope!), so I didn't mind it. Plus, babies really aren't THAT loud when compared to the roaring engine of a 747...or whatever kind of NON-TV-BUSTED airbus or Boeing I was on!

OK, fast forward to landing, being picked up by two best friends with balloon that said 'welcome home' and a flag of the US on the background, unpacking, Italian dinner, trying to stay up as late as I could and finally falling asleep at 10pm.

What I was expecting: First call- intro. to the production and first music rehearsal. Second call of the day- start staging- that maybe I wouldn't be called to since my character only sings in Act II and is 'part of the staging' in Act I.

What actually happened: First call- intro. to the production and oh, wait- two of our leads and the director are still not in town, so we will begin STAGING Act II.
So we staged the first scene I'm in!
Then had a break for lunch, and in the afternoon was called to the musical rehearsal with our conductor.
Everything went really smoothly, but it's just odd that we're starting with Act II since that means I'll work very hard for these first few days, and then basically be blocked into the whole show and be doing 'run throughs' from a very early point in the show.

How I'm feeling- um, exhausted.
It's 9:24. If I can make it to 10pm again and then zonk out in bed without waking up at 4am I THINK I'll be over jet lag tomorrow.

First days are always more draining than usual too- it feels like you're singing for your bosses who hired you over one year ago- and you're hoping they still see and hear in you today what they saw and heard in you last year or whenever the audition was.

Ok, enough musings for this evening.
Where are my PJs?

21 October, 2011

yoga and packing, continued

Remember when I thought all those clothes lying on the bed could easily fit into one checked bag?
Riight- turns out sweaters take up more room than I thought even after you squish them to the max. I don't have the luxury of vacuum sealed bags here!

So I downsized a bit, but I'm still pretty happy with everything that I've managed to fit in my ONE bag under 23 kg that I'll be checking.

It's winter people- think of the scarves and boots that I'm leaving behind!

Also, I've done some nice yoga for just a bit in the past 2 days...no class, not the video either, just me, quietly practicing for about 25-30 minutes.

I feel very relaxed after it and DO have to remember that this makes me feel good, even though my first instincts for relaxation are staying exactly where I am, on my comfy chair, under a blanket, with my computer open to the endless world of the interwebs.

I haven't closed the suitcase yet because there is always that last minute outfit that I will most likely need to wear tonight or tomorrow night 'on the town' that I'll also want to include on Sunday morning.
In addition to the laundry that is still on the drying rack waiting to get toasty from me cranking up the heat.
Yes, we have a dryer, but it's in the basement-- too cold this morning (2degrees) to walk down there and put the clothes inside.

I think that's enough talk about suitcases over the span of this past week.
I'm just 'extra' excited for this whole process this time around...and hope everything goes smoothly.

19 October, 2011

starting to think about packing

...7 weeks. COLD Winter weather.
Sweaters aren't heavy, per se, they're just bulky. But then there are the boots. And the 'winter' coat and the peacoat. And the other items needed to keep me warm such as layers and did I mention sweaters?

I took everything out today, tried some stuff on again, and put the 'first cut' of clothing on the bed. I can probably fit it all in, but I really don't feel like over-packing to the max, plus I'm going to the US which inevitably means that I will shop because it's cheaper than Deutschland.

So, I need the 'first day' outfit, the 'if there's a party/donor event' outfit, and then mostly just my normal rehearsal outfits- plus a lot of sweaters. I HOPE they don't crank the heat up because that would mean that in addition to wearing a sweater that matches whatever pants skirt or boot the occasion calls for, I have to wear something UNDER it that's still appropriate to take off.

I know, life is tough, right?

Will probably start putting stuff in the suitcase tomorrow.

THIS time I'm ONLY bringing current-score and next score, and I'm not even sure they'll make the cut into the airplane carry-on...maybe just check it all. I'm going to watch movies the whole plane ride anyway, right?
Gadgets: kindle/ipod/iphone/mac and chargers.

I'm going to see how LITTLE I can pack for this gig, even though it's on the longer side. And I'm fully aware that the odds of coming back with a SECOND suitcase are very...very high.

18 October, 2011


WHY have I been slacking on yoga for the past 2 months? I got my walks and my other forms of 'XorSize' in, but sheesh, I just did a SHORT online video and I feel so-- relaaaaaxed and good! I mean, this is a duh moment, but just - duh.
Noted and noted.

17 October, 2011

up next.

Had my final performance of the opera this weekend. Everything went very well again- can't complain. No trouble with dialogue, everything went smoothly, etc. etc.
NOW I get to think about NEXT week!
One week from today I'll be reporting to the first rehearsal. Most likely music run-through.
At some point this week I'll think about packing. Doing laundry. But what's great about my stay this time is I'm among friends- good friends at that. So I don't need to worry about there being food in the fridge, or having forks, or toilet paper the first day of my apartment rental.
I just arrive, take a nap, stay up as late as possible, and wake up the next day for my first rehearsal.
I'm excited because this is 'big', but I don't feel the usual pressure since I'm not singing the leading soprano role. I'm actually looking forward to just making a good impression with what I have to offer, and then just taking it easy. I am lucky that in this location I have many friends who are already here and want to spend time with me, and family that's nearby and flying in to see me this time.
I'm ALSO happy that I won't be spending the entire 7 weeks away...from someone...who WILL be coming to visit me for the last 2.5 weeks of the show. I mean, how awesome is THAT?!
I really just have a 30 day count down and there we're together again!

eating healthy, not eating late at night, walking 20-30 minutes a day, getting fresh air, feeling positive and good, relaxing, getting good night's sleep.

Will really try for them all-- to remain as positive, calm and happy as possible for the next 'big' job.

13 October, 2011


Hey there motivation, what's up?!
I've been the good little singer in the past few days,
reviewing upcoming opera (it's all there), getting a jump on upcoming-modern-craziness for the spring, and ALSO for the first time in a long time submitted a new recording to my manager.
No, not just a bootleg video of audio of an aria I did in performance or at an audition, but this time something for concert work.

It's something I've always been interested in doing and find fun (not to mention the ONLY 2 or 1 day of rehearsal required for most gigs), but I just haven't done that much. Which means I don't have that many contacts/conductors/promoters/organizers who know me by name as the person who can sing this kind of stuff.

Whether it's oratorios for around Christmas-time, or concert works that are by modern composers, lieder or any other kind of small ensemble collaboration, it's definitely a departure from 'opera'. And yes, I do love being onstage in a character, but here I get to make a 'musical' character and still remain myself.

In some ways challenging because it's more 'me' in front of the audience rather than me getting to be NOT myself as a character in an opera which is a great distraction from nerves/audience/whatever else.

I'm always thinking forward, or trying to! And even with some big stuff coming up non-operawise in the next few months, I'm trying to keep being the go-getter that I always am in terms of auditions, opportunities, and hopefully performances in future seasons.

11 October, 2011

note to self

(yes, if you are of the right reader generation here you should be thinking of Norm Macdonald's SNL antics with that mini recorder because of the title)...

Today is a 'big' day...one that I hope ends with a lot of FROSTING and possibly some candles as well.
But three months and one day from today- well that's a whole different LEAGUE of BIG day.

That is all.

09 October, 2011

note to the people on the train

Why did you think it was a good idea to bring hard boiled eggs as your choice of lunch on the train ride today?
It was NOT a good idea. When you took the shells off of those eggs the entire train car smelled of rotten eggs/toilet.
Thanks a lot.

07 October, 2011

one week at a time...

Opera this weekend.
Opera next weekend.
Flight to the US end October.
Rehearsals/ 6 Shows.
Flight back to Deutschland middle December.
I know, I know, this all shouldn't seem like such a big deal.
It's the 'norm'.
But for reasons that so far shall remain UNBEKNOWNST to you...it IS a big deal to me.
Staying energized physically, in good voice, mentally prepared, and looking forward to kicking some booty.

03 October, 2011

oh, hello again

It's October?!

It's definitely not feeling like autumn here, what with 30 degree temps and sunny weather for the past week. But hey, I'll take it- knowing that my NEXT singing destination is going to be anything but warm in the winter months ahead.

Umm, this week I have a concert, this weekend I have an opera performance, next weekend I have an opera performance, and then I leave for Next-Gig-Abroad!


The music is learned for everything- what I'm more concerned with is my lack of much progress on upcoming crazy music for the Spring season...
But I know that once I'm in total work mode at next-gig that I will get on that ball.

In terms of fall auditions- the tally is a big ole' zero right now.
Haven't heard from two local agents regarding any local opportunities, nor from my managers in the US about anything I can sing for here.

This is kind of a bummer since I am here for this month and was hoping to sing for..well, someone/anyone.
Also since my next show will take up all of the 'choice' US audition dates of November and early December, I won't be able to do any other auditions unless they miraculously take place IN next-opera-city in the US (doubtful but .. who knows).

And so, there goes fall audition season.
Let's hope the Spring offers up a bit more variety.

27 September, 2011

all better

Well that was an annoying 6 days of stuffy noses and overuse of tissues.

I'm feeling much better now. Maybe it also has something to do with this SUMMER weather which has reappeared! Yes, exactly a week after I put all of my summer clothes away except for 2 last Ts and a few 3/4 length light things, it has gotten HOT here. And by hot I'm talking 29/30- the type of LOVELY summer weather that works for bike rides, long walks, outdoor swimming...

I started marking up my score for upcoming-modern opera, putting the neon colored tabs in on the pages that I sing, marking beats in pencil.
This piece will definitely be a challenge simply because I haven't done much of this kind of music before.
All I can say about it is that it's modern. It's not "atonal" per se, but instead has these 'indigenous' sounding patterns to it that aren't really in the 'classical or romantic' categorization of music. Or anything 'modern' that I've heard for that matter. It's only modern because the composer is still alive and he may or may not be coming to our rehearsals and/or shows so I had better make sure I am doing it perfectly!

22 September, 2011

head cold or allergies

It's that most wonderful time of the year when the season changes over ONE night.
It had previously been warm enough to sleep with the windows open every night of the summer/early fall, and then all of a sudden, BAM! Apparently it got super cold at night, because I woke up with a nose full of congestion and a not so fun cough.
The cough went away in a day but it's now day 3 of blowing my nose and I do not want to start resembling RUDOLPH...it's not the season- YET.
I don't know if it's something in the air like the COLD weather change, or if it's actually some allergies, but basically this happens for a few days every time the season changes in the fall. It can either turn into a nasty bronchial thing that I have to deal with, or it just feels like a sneezy headcold type of week for me.
Here's hoping for the latter.
In the meantime, I'm eating soup, drinking EmergenC, and eating pineapple.
Oh yea, and having fun with a Nasendusche. It's what it sounds like.

18 September, 2011

another opening another show...

NOT in philly, boston, or baltimo'...

But still. Woke up early this morning. Ate a bagel. Drank some OJ.
Warmed up in the dressing room. Got my hair and makeup did.
Went through ALL of my German dialogue and attempted to think about what kind of phrases I could say during the improvised 'heated discussions' that I must have onstage.
Speed-sing through Act I, and then it was time to begin.

I do have to say that I'm SUPER proud of myself for not messing up ONE thing in German! I mean, it really could NOT have gone any better improvisation-wise as well as memorization of NEW dialogue 5 days before opening-wise.

So- YAY for me!
Now I know that I can do crazy German opera on SHORT and REVISED notice.

I didn't make much use out of the 3.5 hour train ride home, but I will soon have to.
Upcoming MODERN-CRAZY opera must be learned WELL before the end of the year so that by that time I'm just 'practicing' for memory sake, and not banging out notes.

Next-Opera is already there.
Now to find some Fall Auditions in Europe!
Here's hoping I have time to fit SOMETHING in.

16 September, 2011

dress rehearsal...aka..."BO"

On Tuesday we had our piano tech, and wednesday was our orchestra dress for the show that opens on Sunday.
Umm, in the piano tech we pretty much had to tech the whole show, so we skipped the singing unless something was going on.
And in the orchestra dress we pretty much skipped all the dialogue or anything that wasn't musical, so stuff didn't really get 'tech'ed and there was no improvising German dialogue for some final practice for me.

Compared to final dress weeks in the US where the pressure is ON because it's the first time you're in the theater, the first time in costume, the first time in the new 'vocal space', the first time with orchestra, lights, etc...
Well, it was extremely more relaxed (to a surprising level on my part, since I'm used to tech rehearsals taking forever- like 6-11pm or later..until we FINISH), and on both occasions when we were called from 5-8pm, we finished at 6:55.


Because that's how they roll in Deutschland when they've already done the show, apparently. The stagehands and tech people know what they're doing and when, the orchestra has played it before, and so, only for the sake of the new people do we 'kind of' run through it to give us a chance to see how it MAY be.

At any rate, it is a pretty cool feeling knowing that I learned this piece and was staged into it in about 5 days. IMPROVISED GERMAN DIALOGUE INCLUDED.
Yea. I'm serious.
I get to IMPROVISE in German. A fight between 2 characters. 4 times. 4 different subjects each time. Thanks.

If I can do that, I can do ANYTHING!

10 September, 2011


Had dinner tonight with 6 musician friends..some of whom are fest here.
Even though all of our collective experiences are quite different, there are some things that never change- seemingly- no matter what level you are on.
Everyone wants to be one more level above what they are. We are all still fighting, doing our best to hopefully be noticed by that 'next level'.
No matter how big or small the house you are singing at, whether you are fest or guest, something hilarious or egregious is just waiting to surprise you around the corner.
And so, whatever our individual process is, we all have to find ways of dealing with everything. Some through laughter, many through sarcasm, for some people it motivates them to work even HARDER to get to that next place...
But most of all, we were all THANKFUL for currently having jobs in the arts in this economy.
Being rich in artistic experiences...not necessarily monthly netto pay...is what was keeping us all happy.

09 September, 2011

so far...

I know MOST of the new dialogue that has been thrown at me.
We have blocked all of Act I and the beginning of Act II, and I actually remember what I'm supposed to do even after getting just one or two 'go's at it.
It's been strange to only have rehearsal from 5-7 or 5-8 every night, and sometimes not even use all of that time for blocking (there is a LARGE children's chorus in the show so it takes time with them), and it's also strange to me that on Tuesday and Wednesday we will be doing this onstage as run-throughs COMBINED with first-tech (where I have to get up on a large DUCK that moves on a rotating stage, as well as a wooden horse...don't ask).
But even with those surprises for next week,
I'm feeling pretty good about this.

We have our orchestra dress on Wednesday and then a few days off before the performance. I will go home in between for 3 days and then come back for the show. (Hoping they don't throw any last minute rehearsals in there).

I'm in a contemplative mood lately...there are other things I'd like to share here, but can't yet, or ever, maybe.
I suppose this opera world is just too small and you 'never know' who is lurking here to be completely honest...not sure how I will deal with that in the near future, but I do like to write my thoughts down about everything. And I know that SOME of the things I say here are informative for other singers looking for advice or just wanting to know about my own experiences.
I think THIS experience in particular (that I would like to write about) is something that should not be missed by the future-singers and people in the business out there...but, it just can't be said here and now.

Until then, the thoughts are still all there, and I will try to recount them in as much detail at SOME point in my life.

07 September, 2011

treating myself

I'm currently in a 10 day rehearsal period for a Wiederaufnahme ... that's when a show has already been done by another cast in the previous year (OR TEN), and you get to be plugged into it super fast and then perform it a few times.

I got a great deal on my hotel, but unfortunately didn't look THAT hard at the tram SCHEDULE...assuming that in all German cities the trams will run until 10pm or 11pm or even midnight at about 10 minutes apart.
Well, NOT tram #14 or tram #2!
No, 14 runs until 10pm, but after 7, it only comes every 20 minutes.
And #2? Well that one stops completely at 7pm!

And then there's my rehearsal schedule.
Until 8pm each night.
Which means I either get home after 9:30 (if I wait for the #14 and then walk 5 blocks)...

OR--- I can do as I have done for the past 3 days and what I will do for the next few---take a cab.
It's 10 Euros each time in the evening.
I know, I know, not that big of a splurge compared to what I could be buying or splurging on (ie, a hotel in the center of the city that's bigger than a breadbox with GOOD wifi connection and not one that is lost every 5 minutes)...
But for me this is a splurge. A luxury. It saves me 45 of commuting in the dark and changing trams to buses with late night schedules. And for just 10 Euros...I get a free breakfast at the hotel, so I can consider it even.


05 September, 2011

First rehearsal

Just like the first day of school again, except I've been here already!
Umm, remember that time when the theater double-confirmed on the phone which version of the dialogue I'd have to learn for this show? Yea...those 5 pages of memorized dialogue all nice and neat in my head?
Out the window.
This is frustrating for me, obviously, because I can't ad-lib or improvise THAT easily in German (I mean, really not that much at all). I have to know line by line what my entrance is, what word cue to take, etc...and this production seems to revolve around the fact that the previous people who did it didn't follow the dialogue very closely.
So the souffleuse (that's the prompter) has three versions of what to prompt, and most often the tenor will say whatever he wants anyway.
I'll be sitting with my score out this evening until tomorrow's evening rehearsal.

Otherwise, it's one of those shows again..where I'm being 'plugged' into a production that has been done before, dvd and all.
So yes, I have the dvd. And yes, once I get the RIGHT version of the dialogue I will get to figure out how to make it my own.

I sure hope all that happens within the next 15 days.

31 August, 2011

5 days, 5 pages

I have to memorize five typed out pages of dialogue in German by Monday evening at 5pm.

This isn't something I've been procrastinating about-- it has basically been an open-ended question that has yet to be replied to by email or phone for the past month since the theater was on vacation.
And now, finally, a reply.
I knew there would be SOME dialogue, but I had two versions, one super-cut, short and improvised, and one lengthy, lengthy and did I mention lengthy? version.
And so, I'll be spending all of my time in the next few days...attempting to smash this dialogue into my brain. Yes, it can be done and I've done it before on a bit of a smaller scale with the last minute Koenigin Eingspring plus extra dialogue a few months ago.
But now that I actually have the whole opera easily memorized in my head musically, I was SO looking forward to just a tad bit of a break before 'work' starts on Monday...
Can I just take one LITTLE moment to be a kid and say "but I don't waaaannnnaaaaa!" here?
Ok, there. That's over and done with.
Now that it's 11am and I've been online since 9am I think it's time to close the computer and begin some memorization work.

26 August, 2011


You know you've had an amazing vacation when the text you printed out and the photocopies of those few pages of dialogue and music that you wanted to study on the plane, in the car rides, and at the beach go completely unopened.

Had to give up one audition which was a bit disappointing due to last minute scheduling, a complete lack of pianists who could play my rep, one who wanted to charge me 75 dollars plus a rehearsal, and the last minute planning of it all while everyone was on vacation (last 2 weeks of August). Really annoying that I was THERE and couldn't do it...but hopefully next time. Was not about to pay a competition entrance fee to someone who couldn't guarantee me a great Zerbinetta or anything else for that matter.

ONE more week of rehearsing in my head, on my walks, and in my kitchen.
And then I'm off to the races again.

16 August, 2011

wait, just one more thing...

Remember when I said I'm going on vaycay and not writing anymore until I get back?
Well there's just one more thought that needs to be 'thought out'. Just a little.

'Tis the season, where summer YAPs end. And some singers (like the ones in Santa Fe) get the chance to re-audition for next year (if it was their first year). Some singers find out SUPER early what likelihood they have of being 'all set' for next summer.

OH SUMMER PROGRAMS!! I Love you and I don't love you at ALL ...all at the same time.
Granted, I haven't done a summer program since 2006. Followed by singing mainstage as a principal artist in a summer program in 2007.
And no, I haven't auditioned for any summer programs in 3 years, either.

But yet again, I'm seeing colleagues who I have sung with in the past (SIX years ago at a year round apprenticeship, and so on, etc), who were OLDER than me back then, are (obviously) STILL older than me now ...and they are singing in summer programs. As young artists.

I know, I know. It's a tough business, bla bla bla...connections, la di dah.

But it seems like some programs have just turned their apprentice programs mostly into what seems like summer programs that hire professionals who are managed, who already HAVE regional and national and possibly international careers...but these singers still 'apply', audition on the one of many 'city' dates for the 'apprenticeship' or fellowship, move somewhere for the whole summer, have master classes, give concerts, get housed, sing leading roles in the operas... and it's no big deal.
They may be treated like professionals during their summer. But I'm pretty sure they're also still getting the individual meetings about future repertoire, headshot, resume, etc. as if they were still 'working' on getting a career in the future.
And, if they're all over 30 (by MORE than a few years)...what are all the 22-29 year olds doing?

I'm not saying EVERYONE is over 30 at the programs, but looking at the very top tiered summer programs, I see some names that stick out- colleagues that I know from our 'years' in the YAPs (mine being in the past, theirs seemingly continuing).
And the roles that they were assigned at said YAPs for the summer- are not roles that one needs years and years of vocal dramatic development for.
No fully dramatic soprano or wagnerian tenor.
Just plain old 'cutesy' roles- even MT- that could be done by any budding young talent.

And so I wonder why the 'young' and 'ready' talent was not chosen, and instead a perhaps 'safer' 'managed' singer was picked. Is it because the company has been burned before? Did they take a chance the didn't pan out on a singer who just got their Masters, had done two small YAPs previously, but just didn't cut it one summer?

But if young artist programs are out there to 'propel' you into getting management, making contacts, by maybe giving you mainstage auditions or by having agents come to the mainstage productions and see you in leading or supporting roles, why am I seeing more and more colleagues that are 30-35 years old, managed, singing 3-5 mainstage shows a year plus professional concerts-- doing 'YAPs'?
It seems to me the only they place they would 'propel' themselves in this situation is to be hired, again, as young artists by maybe the top 3 or 4 YAPs...or the same one they are in now...for the next year.
To again, spend the summer as one who, by definition, is still in the 'grow and nurture' phase.

Is it just the money? Or, the summer gig?-- since the US doesn't really have a regular summer opera season besides these summer programs? It's something I feel a bit removed from since I haven't continued in that summer rat race to see 'how high' I can get to in the summer young artist food chain--
Will there be a Merola, Wolf Trap or Santa Fe in my future?
I know those are three very different programs in terms of how much mainstage time each young artist gets versus the kind of roles (leading/supporting) etc...
But still, if those are still 'the big names' that people throw out there, I can throw them out too.

Well, this Fall, once again I'm EMPLOYED, which means- no time in New York between late October and the 2nd week of December...perfect timing to make a debut at an important opera house, right? PERFECT in a sense that it looks great in the bio and resume and no one in New York that is casting for next season or the next will know about it.

And of course, I DO have time in the summer (my current performance schedule is booked in a GOOD way until Mid-May and then again only in late August), so I could feasibly have applied to ...something...

Back and forth I go.
I thought that by the time I reached a 'certain' ..ahem...age (which I HAVE NOT REACHED YET!), that I would be 'aged-out' of most of these programs and of course, when I was younger, I assumed (correctly) that I would only be having a mainstage career (which I thankfully and happily, am!)!

But as the age limits creep higher and higher or disappear altogether...I can't help but be somewhat enchanted and giddy at the thought of an entire summer among 20-30 apprentices, FULL time music at all hours, coachings, lessons, preparation, and just that whole 'total' musical existence (which is VERY different than 4-6 weeks on one production)..and what a summer like that could mean to me.

NOW I'm off to pack for my vaycay.

15 August, 2011

on the ball

Nothing like an upcoming audition to get the ball rolling again.
I practiced (and practiced WELL) for the past 4 days. I'm not sure what aria I will begin with, but, lately, I'm into the oldie, but goodie- Fire Aria.
MAYBE? I have never started with it. But- it's short and sweet and then they can pick WHATEVER they want next, right?
I have already sung Zerb and Marie for this same company 2 years ago, and DurchZ about 3 years ago, I believe.

I like auditions while on 'vacation', because I am always so relaxed for them. It doesn't end up being my whole day (because of course there are better things to do on vacation than get super hyped for an audition and let it control your entire day).
I get ready in the morning, walk in, sing, and then I'll be on my way to a southern beach resort for a 2 day jazz festival.

Not bad at all!
Ciao for now...be back at the end of the month.

13 August, 2011


Thanks to two awesome friends, I now have digs in upcoming-opera-2 city.
That's one less thing to think about.
It's not walking distance as I had hoped, but, since it will be the beginning of winter in a very 'windy' city, I think that I probably won't want to walk that much anyway.

This week we're going on vacation which will be more of a huge extended family and in-law visit (that's what happens when your vacation destination also happens to be the place you grew up that has beautiful beaches, amazing food, and great people all around).

I can't wait for sunshine and very very very hot weather compared to what we have here everyday for the past 3 months.

It's crazy to think that VERY soon after we get back I will be back in 'work' mode. But truthfully, I think I get so much more done when I am more busy.
When I have a schedule, and I ONLY have one hour to learn the music for the next opera, or to practice this or that, or to get in some walking/biking time, it gets done.
When I have the entire DAY to do all of those things...well...let's just say I do a lot less. And a lot more time is spent on the interwebs.

Like today.

But I will stop that now. It's almost noon and time for breakfast! Then to clean the apartment, plan dinner for our guests visiting tonight, make the guest bed up, did I mention clean the apartment? And hopefully be practicing or 'thinking' of my words during that entire time. Oh yea, and getting some physical activity of some sort in as well.

10 August, 2011

things I should be doing instead of being online all day long...

Since I made such good progress on opera1 memorizing, I felt the need to not do anything yesterday.
Actually, I did warm up for about 20 minutes and do a speed-sing-through of opera1 and opera2. Not paying attention to whether I made mistakes by double checking in the score. Just going on memory and seeing what came out.
And actually, it was pretty ok!

It has been a cold and rainy summer, and in between the downpour yesterday I did take a one hour walk and shockingly, listened to music OTHER than upcoming-operas.

Today is actually starting out sunny, so I MAY just try and take a walk sooner before the dark clouds roll in again.

The thing foremost on my mind right now? Trying to find a sublet for my next gig.
I want to be close to the opera house. But that means being downtown and paying a ridiculous corporate furnished housing fee of between 2500-3thousand dollars a month (I'll be there for 6 weeks).

Googlemaps SAYS that the theater is walk-able from another studio I saw on Craigslist that is a possibility for me-- but a friend of mine that lives in said city says I will NOT want to walk that every day (it's about 1.5 miles, maybe a bit more).
My other possibility is subletting at a friend's place- huge, gorgeous, grand piano-- but, a 15 minute walk to public transportation, a 15 minute subway ride, a 5 minute walk...multiply that by however many breaks we have during the day, and I'm pretty sure I'll start to hate the commute. HOWEVER- there is ANOTHER singer who will be there at the same time, VERY close by- and have a CAR!

What to do, what to do.
Bottom line is, I don't want to spend a lot of money on rent.
That is just silly.
But I also don't want to sleep on a FUTON for 6 weeks.
Decisions, decisions.

I still have time, and actually I DO have free options (not for the entire period) from friends and distant relatives...which makes me even LESS willing to spend a whole lot of cash on housing.

But I would obviously feel more 'settled' if I knew where I was going to 'settle' in 2.5 months.

07 August, 2011

opera dream catcher?

Last night I had a dream that went somewhat like this (from the bits I can remember):

I was hired to sing a leading soprano role. I think it was Lucia.
It was a last minute hire, to make the single cast a double cast. Everything else was single cast.
I came prepared having already sung the role.
Only to find out some of it was in English.
And in the first entrance there was an 'additional' aria that was in English that was sung to the tune of Che gelida manina. And then there was another inserted aria in Italian (Caro nome) at some point.
I knew the director, but he was doing a different production than the one we had done together (Lucia a number of years ago). In ADDITION to which the other Lucia (a singer I DO know in real life), had already rehearsed for two weeks, but every time she did it and then I went up to get my turn and did what SHE did, the director changed what I was doing.
And he said that she was doing it right and I was doing it wrong.
Over, and over, and over again.

And then EVERY time I opened my mouth to sing Lucia in Italian, something in German came out (right music, wrong language). And EVERY time I was supposed to do the 'translated insert aria' Che gelida, I sang in Italian instead of English even though I had written the English on a 'prop' that I could use.
And I never got to even GET to the Caro nome because the director kept stopping me and changing my blocking.

Any dream interpreters want to tackle THAT one?

06 August, 2011

SIS summer progress

Had a lovely mini-vaycay before my REAL vaycay coming up in 2 weeks.
Which meant that yes, even though I brought the words that I need to memorize, I was really walking around a beautiful German city, getting a full spa treatment, having lovely meals in the park and lovely meals inside while the rain poured outside, and generally relaxing instead of memorizing.
HOWEVER- I DID memorize on the train ride home tonight.
Which means that for upcoming-opera1 I am ALLLMOST all memorized besides the FINALE and some dialogue.
Upcoming-opera2 is all there in my head word-wise. It's right. Because of the 'trio' aspect of it, I need to keep practicing it for memory sake and for accuracy so that when the other two actually join me I won't be messing up.
Upcoming-opera3 has been listened to once. But I really do have PLENTY of time for that.
I think.

02 August, 2011

shhhhh...out it out

SO many things are swiiiiirling around my brain right now, and I can't talk about them to anyone!
And for once, they actually have nothing to do with my singing career or an offer from this or that company or bla bla bla.
Except...that they DO have a lot to do with WHERE said singing career travel contracts will be booked ... FROM ...
So if I'M not the one moving internationally for MY job... then ...
2nd international relocation in just over 2 years?
Mum's the word.

And, really, no, I don't know yet. And no, it's not an offer...yet.

Let the googling begin.


31 July, 2011


For the super-contemporary-sounding-and-composed opera that I have upcoming, I broke down and bought a recording made in 2003. I think it's actually the only one that has been made. I usually NEVER buy recordings until I'm finished learning and memorizing a role-- then just to see how other people did it stylistically, etc. But this time, when I received the score about a month ago, I knew I would have to listen to it to 'see' how it sounded.
The way the score is composed, it's pretty much impossible for me to play anything in the orchestra, just my vocal line (since there are, oh, about 20 notes being played at the same time EVERY BEAT), and the WAY the score is composed is also modern (ie, sometimes there are not 5 lines to the staff...awesome).

The good news- the notes that I thought I would previously have to pull out of thin air- DO have a mild support beneath them, and most likely won't be that hard to figure out in the 'sound-wave' of that particular beat.
The not-so-good-news- the actual entrances (beat-wise) are totally random and I can't (yet) hear a pickup or a 'cue' per se).
All of a sudden- OH, that sounds like a super high soprano, oooops, aaaaand there was the entrance. (2 measures ago).

I don't think I'll be listening to it much before doing a full score breakdown, notes, beats, how many PAGES I have to learn(!), but at least I'm a bit reassured that (hopefully) my brain won't hurt toooo much from learning it all.

28 July, 2011

distractions abound...

Mostly in the form of my Kindle, which I bought back in April and have used on and off on long train, plane, and car rides, as well as sitting in sunny parks under a tree reading 'the classics'.

Umm, even though I had no internet for the past 3 days I managed to get about zero memorizing work done- due to my Kindle.
What?! Lord Jim is really good! And I'm 73% of the way through!

It's 5pm now. I WILL practice tomorrow afternoon.
And tonight, I WILL memorize one more piece from upcoming German thingie.

Good news is, everything that is already memorized-- is there! Forever! (Well, at least until the show closes). I can walk around saying it without taking a look at the paper, and it is RIGHT and I have no blips or skipped words or 'little' words that I am prone to messing up or exchanging with another 'little' word.

24 July, 2011

the week ahead...

Things to repeat mentally: Just because the weather feels like it's November, I can't go outside and do any physical activity except yoga videos indoors, and I have been wearing the same sweatshirt from my University days for the past week, is NOT an excuse not to practice.

I am doing PRETTY well, but definitely not putting in as much effort as I could these past few dreary days.
This week I'm spending some time in Munich, and maybe the change of scene (ie, not inside my apartment in my pj's or workout clothes all day) will help me learn things. Like for example, German dialogue. And other important things that I need to have learned by September 5th. And other things I need to have learned by October.


19 July, 2011

No Peeking

Today's practice session started with a nap. It was 3:30pm and I suddenly got super tired (probably from ExOrSize-ing for an hour and then not drinking enough water/fruit juice combo after it), so I decided to take a 30 minute nap until 4 - the end of 'quiet hours'.
That turned into getting up groggy at 5pm.
BUT I warmed up for about 10 minutes, and then sang through ALL of Zerb.
And tried to test myself to see how much is memorized 'for real' and not 'for fake'.

I had to peek three times in the first act for some short little recit lines, plus a good chunk of that first aria/duet still needs to feel more comfortable before I can do it without the score.
Three times in the 2nd act for short recit-y things.

That's not bad at all. I can work on the sections I peeked at most likely by typing them out and carrying them around with me for the next few months.

I'm doing the same for upcoming-German-Opera and am making SOME progress, (ie, first 3 numbers learned/memorized....5 more to go).

Have I mentioned I don't like the memorizing part of all of this?
Off to walk around the block with my typed out recit in hand.

14 July, 2011

grey day

Yesterday's practice session was very productive.
Nice warm up, easing into going through all the music for upcoming-German-opera1, followed by singing through the entire role of Zerb from beginning to end.
And I felt great during and after.

Today I tried again- same time, some different music (again, upcoming-opera1 and then Najade). It is cold and grey outside. Yes, it's the middle of July. And it's COLD. I'm currently wearing a sweatshirt, and have been all day. When I walked outside for all of 10 minutes today, I wore that sweatshirt plus a layered rain jacket and I was STILL chilly.

Does the weather affect how well I can breathe? How motivated I am to keep practicing?
As I look out my kitchen window (where I was singing this afternoon), I just kinda don't FEEL like it. My energy lags and I just feel like sitting down, or taking a nap.
I know I'm not tired. It's just that I haven't seen the sun all day long.

Can it please feel a little bit less like October in foggy Londontown and a little bit more like a nice warm summer in the French Riviera?

Maybe then I can be a bit more productive vocally.
I did spend more time today going over dialogue and watching the dvd of the piece that I have to learn in a 'hurry'...so at least I did something.

13 July, 2011

chipping away

Forgive me, interwebs, for I have sinned- it's been 7 days since my last blog post.

Things have been PREEEETTTY busy around here...in a totally good way that YOU don't get to know about (yet!). Muahahahhaha.

I decided to do that upcoming role after all, so I will be mostly spending the next month and a half cramming the German from three upcoming operas into my head.

So far today I've typed out the words to the musical numbers that I have to learn from upcoming-opera-with-a-lot-of-dialogue.

It's 3 pages single spaced. That's just for music. And does not include repeats, since I write x2 in the .Word document whenever that happens.


Also, yesterday I typed out Zerb Act I words. Up until the aria/duet. That takes up one page single spaced, and I'm happy to say that with a LITTLE prompting/cheating sometimes, I can pretty much get through it all.

In about 7 minutes when it's no longer 'quiet hours' here (4pm), I will start singing and see if any of that typing has gotten magically into my head.

07 July, 2011

SIS summer

Ok, I think I've been on a 'break' since the competition and many auditions this past month for long enough.
Time to get back to SIS- self-imposed-study.
Well, this time it's not so self-imposed as much as necessary for learning my upcoming roles.

So far I've gone out walking a few times with an opera playing in the background of my headphones (really not as much fun as my 80s and early 90s playlist), I've spent a few afternoons either just going through words and looking at the score, or, tonight, actually trying to write the words down from memory.

So far I think I'm doing pretty well and am in that horrid 'memorization' phase where it's not really useful for me to sing with the score open anymore, because I SHOULD be testing my memory, but it's just so TEMPTING to sing with the score open, because it feels good.

Zerb Act I - memorized all of the little recitative lines. Need to memorize the aria/duet still.
Zerb Act II - Memorized all of the 'singing' parts- quinetet/aria/quintet, but NOT the little recitative lines while Ariadne is complaining (much fewer, so this is ok).

Najade section one- memorized probably/kinda
Najade section two- worked on tonight and mostly memorized but could use some more practice since when I sing interjections in a trio it's tougher to test my memory.
Najade pretty section x3- There is a ONE sentence word change in the 2nd time around, and once I remember to do that, all will be well.

NOW, to OTHER upcoming things--
I received the score to crazy-modern-opera 2012, and as expected, it's crazy in a not-cool way.
Like, not as fun as the Tempest, and definitely not as FUN as modern-opera-from-April which I THOUGHT was going to be SO HARD to learn and in the end, I did spend a LOT of time on, but by the time it got to performances it felt like a piece of cake.

Will this happen every time I have a modern piece to learn? I will hate it, and the grueling painstaking hours that it takes me to dissect and understand the POINT of the freaking composition (yea, it's COOL to only use three lines of the staff instead of 5...and just write some squiggly lines and symbols with no words and no rests marked...and have to learn how to sing that over ACCOMPANIED, MEASURED orchestra). Thanks.

And in addition, I received one more score in the mail for a maybe-project that would actually be happening BEFORE both of these next things.
It's not HARD musically, but it's a pastiche of a composer's work strung together into a short opera, and it has A LOT of German dialogue. Let me repeat... a LOT. Like, probably more 'words' in my dialogue than 'words' that I have to sing.

And what's more, because it's coming up so soon they sent me a dvd of the production and guess what? Ze Germans, as always, have totally AD LIBBED the dialogue in the majority of the show. Which means I can't follow the score, and which means I don't really know what to learn, because if I say a line that is correct and they jump around or skip something, I'm done. My German is good, but not THAT good that I can improvise WITHIN an opera with specific dialogue.

So I still have to decide about this one. I WANT to say yes, because that is who I am.
I say yes to all the jobs that fit in my schedule. They are new opportunities with houses that I have not sung before, or they are opportunities to come back to an opera house, do them a last minute favor, and hope that they remember my name when the BETTER roles come along.

I'm pretty sure you'll find me tomorrow...trying to learn that dialogue.

02 July, 2011

winning versus #winning

Remember that time I didn't get past the 2nd level of that major international competition?
The news I got yesterday regarding two maybe THREE possible jobs (one totally confirmed--AWESOME role in 2012 that I've always said I wanted to do "eurotrash style while doing gymnastics and singing on my head", which actually may come true!) is just SO, SO, SO much better. One confirmed, one waiting for confirmation within two weeks, one other offer and an email OUT of the blue from an Austrian agent who heard me FOUR years ago about another job that I'm being submitted for.

Uh- yea, I call that #WINNING.

Not that I was going to have SO much free time in '11-'12, but this is filling out rather nicely.

30 June, 2011

home sweet home

Well, I made it to the 2nd round, sang well, and then didn't get chosen to move on.
That's quite alright since I flew home today in time to have dinner with my manager who is in Europe for 2 weeks for numerous meetings with big opera houses...which of course I'm hoping will lead to some nice introductions/auditions/work for me (as a member of the roster who lives abroad and in these people's 'backyard') in the future.

What can I say about competitions? Most of the ones I've been in I have not won. Some I have. The majority of the time, I see clear political/teacher connections with who wins and who is on the jury and who has the most buzz around them that summer or season. Some people win competitions. Some people have steady work.
I'll take steady work, please.

I am home now and hope to NOT have to travel for the next 2 months at least.
Took a shower in my own bathroom, used my nice soft towels, wearing my favorite warm sweatshirt, and relaxing in MY OWN BED.

29 June, 2011

round 1 (well, 2 really)

Since I already made it through, this round is actually considered the "Quarterfinalist" round..even though it's the first one to take place abroad with all of the individual city-finalists.

I went to sleep early, woke up early, had a nice breakfast, warmed up in the shower and in my hotel room (thankfully no knock on the door asking me to stop vocalizing at 10:30 in the morning).
Took two outfits to the theater- my audition outfit (normal black tight knee length dress) and another silver dress (also knee length) that was a bit more dressy.

You really never know with competition, but I was really surprised that almost EVERYONE there decided to wear FULL LENGTH gowns - for the FIRST round! Really? We have three more to go and then a final concert- did you bring 4 gowns with you?
Anyway, that was a bummer. Because I like my 'normal' audition outfit..and while this silver dress is snazzy, it makes me feel more 'cocktail' than 'stage audition' - even though it's very pretty.

My time to sing came and went, and then about 20 minutes later I went onstage, announced my name and my piece, and began.

With competitions, you really just NEVER KNOW. I'm in a German-speaking country, that does a LOT of German opera, and the Intendants and Jury should ALL know Zerbinetta- the high notes, the low notes, what it should sound like, etc.
I didn't start with Queen because of everyone's personal opinions about how dramatic it should sound.
I didn't start with Glitter because although it's a showpiece, it doesn't show a 'beautiful voice'...just a lot of good acting.
I didn't start with Una Voce in F because I assume the mezzos will.
I didn't start with Olympia because it's 2 verses, and I think not as interesting as the Zerb.

So- that leaves me with Zerbinetta.
Of course, the pianist was NOT excited to play it. When I said let's just have fun, she was like, you have fun, I'll be concentrating on the notes.
And so, let's just say I didn't get the strongest support that I could have from her, but still nothing close to a train wreck.

I sang it well, as I would in a normal audition. Felt good about it even though it took the pianist the first half of the page (from so war) to get into a nice rhythm with me.

And now I wait. Until 8pm when they put up the results...will number 25 be on the list?
We shall see.

Either way, I did this competition in 2007 as well, and I already know- it has nothing to do with me or my voice. As usual in most competitions- they are all looking for something... I may not be it that day.

27 June, 2011


I met a singer today who flew her from SOUTH AFRICA to do her FIRST competition ever!
It was kind of cute how she wasn't really sure which aria to start with- and when I said sing what you sing best or what you have always gotten the best feedback on, she said, well I love all of my arias.
Awww- cuuuuute!
Don't we ALL love all of our arias?
She also was visibly nervous about everything being said in German first, but lucky for her, they repeated everything in English next.
We all picked our numbers (the lottery for the order in which we will sing), and she got number 6- out of 159! So again, nervous and not quite sure what to make of it...
I'm number 25- which I'm happy about because I really wanted to sing on the first day of heats- WERE I to be selected for the next round, it would make a lot of things that have been pre-planned a lot easier.

There was another singer from Australia (living in London) who also seemed to be there for the first time (and with her mom! CUTE PEOPLE, CUTE!) and both were so chatty and wanted to know about the German audition process, etc., so I just shared my 'realistic' stories and views of the business, both in Europe and in the US (as the S.African singer had been accepted to a Master's program in the US, but wasn't given any money and was deciding whether to go or not), and I hope gave them some good advice.

I remember being 'new' to competitions. I never thought of them as nerve-wracking or anything like that, just another audition. But you DO quickly learn that some repertoire works better, some outfits work better, sometimes an ATTITUDE works better (I don't play into that one, but I know a few who do)...

And so, we're off. Tomorrow I have a rehearsal with the pianist, and Wednesday I'll sing around noon.

26 June, 2011

on the road again

Tomorrow morning I have an early morning one-hour flight.
I'll be singing for a competition this time.
And it's one of those where you get there, and have to get through a bunch of rounds before the final- and of course, they only tell you at 9pm every evening who makes it to the next round.
So- I could either be back here on Thursday, OR I could be back here on Friday, OR Saturday, OR Sunday, etc. etc. you get the picture.

That makes packing a little bit stressful.
I have my normal audition outfit (which I most likely will NOT wear for the first heat- I'll go a little more upscale, but still knee-length). I have two knee-length 'fancy' dresses, and I'm contemplating taking a full length gown IF I make it to the end or nearing the end.
Arrghhh..shoving those huge gowns in my bag is just NOT going to make me a happy camper.
DHL? Fedex? Deutsche-Post anyone?

24 June, 2011

24 hours of crazy part 4


I arrived back from London after a rainy/sunny/rainy/cold/warm day and a half.
I had yet again, NOT the best airport ordeal on my flight over-
in short:
1 flight cancellation and missed connection,
2 overbooked standby flights,
and a two hour delay on my actual rebooked flight (6.5 hours in the airport later), and my one hour flight to London arrived.

I guess it was better to fly direct in the end than through copenhagen, but that time in the airport was definitely hectic as I was running from one Lufthansa gate to the next seeing which possible flight would have room for the standby passengers.

Audition was good- sang Rosina and then was asked for Zerb from So War.
The hall was lovely, but they were having issues with the volume of the piano (which was in the pit and under an overhang)- they didn't have whoever is usually backstage to set a monitor level so pretty much all of the singers didn't hear a note of the piano while they were singing, only when there was a musical interlude in the arias.

Anyway- I thought it was fun and I did a good job. As always, we just have to wait and see.

I am really hoping to do as little as possible this weekend.
I'm flying to Vienna on Monday morning for ONE last week/few days of crazy-- a competition and hopefully some coachings if I can fit them in.

22 June, 2011

the wrong side of the street. again.

In a few hrs. I'll be flying to London (via Copenhagen)...to experience about 32 hours of British accents (hopefully this one will be easier to understand than in Glasgow), maybe some fish and chips (after my audition?!), and looking the 'wrong' way down the street before crossing to see if a car is coming.

Until I have to leave the house in approximately 90 minutes, I will be cleaning it, packing, remembering to take my PASSPORT this time (!), and printing out the google maps of where I have to go.

Oh yes, and my 'working session' yesterday was approximately 25 minutes of singing with the conductor in the room, as well as the original two people who were at my stage audition, and a pianist.
Same 2 short excerpts. And then he was like- ok that's all I need to hear.

Uh- ok.

So the purpose of that 2 hour and 45 minute train ride was to stand in a little rehearsal room with you just so you could make sure that I can decrescendo on a high F and crescendo on a high G?
You're welcome :)

I don't know when they'll make a decision or if they have 'working sessions' with any other singers that they liked after me or before me. Either way, I sang it well so that's all I can say about that.

20 June, 2011

working session

Tomorrow I have to get on a train and do a 'kind of' audition.
I already sang one audition for this company, and they were impressed enough to ask me to come do a working session with their asst. conductor/director.
That's never happened to me before, so I don't really know what to expect.
First of all, this is a modern piece, which I have never sung, nor do I have the score to. Just two short excerpts which I learned for the audition last month (and quickly forgot--which is what the train ride is for tomorrow).
Secondly, if you liked me and my high notes enough in the audition- what more is there to test?
Whether I can sing those high note AGAIN? Whether I get the 'musical crazy/modernity' of the piece?
My German?

I'm just not sure.
It's in a room, not onstage, so I'm certainly not dressing up audition-style or anything.
But again, it's like a mix of 'cool' and 'd'oh' at the same time-
Cool that they liked me so much that they want to work with me again---
D'oh that they didn't get the 100% YES impression from my audition to just hire me on the spot for a crazy super modern weirdo piece of music.

And I get that. What I'm HOPING is that they may be bringing in one or two other people that they are SURE are singing the show (probably current fest people)...to maybe do some of the other parts with me? I have no idea.
I also don't know how long this will last.
I mean- a 2 hour high-g singing session, or what?
Will I be on a train for 2.5 hours, sing for one, and then immediately turn around to go home?

Tomorrow will tell.

18 June, 2011

ANOTHER note about queenie and an EINSPRING

Dear Director of Magic Flute from 2003, you aren't at the opera house anymore, but last night I had to learn your blocking and staging for your Queen of the Night from your 'vision-2003' production because I did my first 'real' German Einspring!
That means that I got a call from the theater at 6pm on Thursday with the questions- where am I, and am I available to sing on Friday?

And so, at 11:45 today I had a costume fitting (they requested my measurements from previous-long-term-German-Queen-gig and had already altered the thing for me!), at 12:30 I watched the dvd, and from 13:00-13:30 I had a room rehearsal with the assistant director and the conductor (who was ALSO new that night and had NEVER worked with the orchestra before because he was AUDITIONING himself! To be the conductor next year!).

Ok, so then I get to see the set shortly before the show opens. And, oh dear director o'mine, you decided it would look "TOTALLY AWESOME" if the Queen sang her first aria from BEHIND A BLACK SCRIM ALL THE WAY UPSTAGE IN A PICTURE WINDOW!!

Really? I mean....rrrreeeaalllly?
First of all, I'm fine with singing stuff totally upstage. That wasn't the issue. It IS a bummer when you know you want to make a big splash with the first queen's aria and you're one MILLION meters away from the first row, and so you KNOW that the orchestra will be pounding out that B section no matter how well I support and carry and ping, and .etc.etc.

Secondly, your 'blocking' involved making 'pictures'/still images of a Queen with 'red' in the background. Soooo...I'm wearing a red dress that looks like a blazing half sun and WEIGHS a HALF TON (I could have fit three ME's underneath the span of the skirt). And you want me to simply look right once, look left once, make one hand motion and otherwise look straight forward and be a stone.
Ok then.

Now let's get to my FAVORITE part. The BLACK SCREEN in front of me which made it utterly impossible and I mean this was on the verge of scary-impossible to SEE the conductor. Both in the PIT and on the MONITOR to the top left-- all I could see through the black was a tiny gray/white image of a BODY, but certainly no stick waving or anything like that.
Not something they really prepared me for or told me about...would have been nice to know that I couldn't see anything AND I can't go by sound since I'm a good 50 feet behind the orchestra pit.

So in the first aria I was frozen not because of your genius staging, but because there was literally no way that if I moved I could keep any kind of focus on that gray blob whose body language I was attempting to follow.

PS- I HAVE sung behind scrims before- both for Queen's first aria and in Barber of Seville before Rosina's first aria-- however for some reason, the lighting and, oh, the fact that I had REHEARSED with the maestro numerous times before, made singing and not seeing no problem at all.

Other than that moment of realizing- ok then, I'll be singing the B section in THIS tempo and let's hope he goes with me, because I sure can't go with him--- everything was great and fun and did I mention fun?!

The 2nd aria had extra dialogue that I hadn't had for 2 years plus a few extra lines that I had never had for Queen before. So I had to learn that on the fly. They even had a souffleuse there (prompter), but I didn't need that and I just did my thing and then sang the aria and stormed off to a lot of applause!

Then I got to hang around, as usual, for the anti-climactic last death-quintet, take my bow, and head home on the train.

It was a really fun day. I don't know whether I'd like to do this type of thing with a LONGER role where you really have to make sure that you remember EVERY thing new about the new staging that is being thrown at you...but it's so easy when Queen is only onstage 3 times.

And so I say- bring it on! This month has been totally awesome in terms of last minute things coming up. And even though I'm completely exhausted, I have the weekend, I'm relaxing, and will be as good as new for next week's travels!

16 June, 2011

ps a note about queenie

Hey there Mr. Opera Casting Person!

You got to judge me yesterday, but now I shall judge you, ok?

When the feedback I get is "sang it amazingly, her queen didn't seem 'evil' enough", you, my friend, lose 2 points.

If you think that ANY director in their right mind would ever tell a queen "you're angry/evil" in EITHER the 2nd or the first aria, you are wrong.
Yes, the COMMON FOLK who think of the opera characters as 'good' or 'evil' can say that yes, Sarastro is 'good', and queen is 'evil'. Therefore when they hear the aria, they think 'mean', 'angry', 'evil'.

But if you'd stop and pay two quick seconds to the WORDS and the DRAMA of the piece, you would realize that the queen is just about anything BUT that.
She is SAD, defeated, SOMEWHAT vengeful, longing for a daughter whose capture has broken her heart and made her vow never to be in the company of a CERTAIN man ever again. She is actually power-LESS (as her power was taken away by her OWN HUSBAND and given to SARASTRO). She is mustering every last strength she has and HOPING that her pleas and sighs will convince a. Tamino to go on a mission FOR her, and in the 2nd aria she feels BETRAYED and sure, is 'angry' at her daughter, but is also trying to get her to DO something to her arch-nemesis.


Minus two for you there, my friend. But thanks for liking my high notes anyway.

15 June, 2011

24 hours of crazy, part 3

Today's post is brought to you by the letters: K, L, and M--
Since I've spent a better part of the past 18 hours in airplanes flown by KLM.

Firstly, who came up with the name Fokker for an airplane? Because hearing our pilot say that we'll be flying this City Hopper flight in a Fokker 700 in a "Netherland" accent (ie, Swedish Chef to me) definitely brought out the giggles.

Ok, so yesterday I had to fly to Glasgow for an audition. I booked my flight last week, and since everything this month seems to be happening last minute, I paid a pretty penny for it.
Except that there are no direct flights to Glasgow, so I had to fly to Amsterdam first.

First flight was 7-8pm, next flight was 9:05-10:30pm...
Except that APPARENTLY I have the worst airplane taxi karma EVER---
Because even though our first flight (the fokker) landed at approximately 8:05, we took a little tour of runways A through Z, to get a lay of the land, see the scenic winding rivers of the countryside, THEN park a million miles away from the gate, THEN have some fool forget a SPY novel on the plane, so that the bus to the terminal couldn't leave until someone had claimed it, and THEN arrive at the terminal-- the terminal that was MOST far away from my CONNECTING flight which was now clearly into LATE BOARDING.

As I'm running through Schippol Airport at 8:42pm, I am thinking:
a. I'm not amused as this horrible layout of one 'choke' point and then breaking off in every direction for different terminals.

b. WHY THE HECK do I have to go through ANOTHER passport check AND SECURITY SCREENING?!?! I JUST GOT OFF OF AN AIRPLANE! Have I somehow acquired bomb-making materials in the past 52 minutes since being screened in Germany? Was THEIR metal detector not good enough?

c. Running sucks.

d. Usually Asian business men are my go-to people to stand behind in the security line, but this time, really? WHO DOESN"T KNOW that you have to take the laptop OUT of your bag, OUT of it's case and put it BY ITSELF in a bin through the Xray machine by now? Really? WHO?

Ok, so I make it to gate B24 and-- surprise surprise!!! We have to go through ANOTHER security machine! Yep, xrays and all...(that's three times in less than an hour and a half).
I'm the last person to board the plane, but since I don't have a roll-on carry on it's fine- no need to fight for overhead storage.

Flight to Glasgow is fine- oh, and let me mention (TAKE NOTE, AMERICA and your CRAPPY NO SERVICE DOMESTIC AIRLINES) that on BOTH of these flights, one of which lasted UNDER one hour, I was PLEASANTLY offered TWO free snacks (savory and sweet), and had drink service AND duty free cart choices (had I wanted to spend 8 euros on a Toblerone).

Arrive in Glasgow, and hey Toto, we're not in a EU country anymore.
I actually had to fill out on of those forms saying why I'm here and where I'm staying...and stand in the FOREIGNER line!

It has happened to me now both in Glasgow and London at immigration-- I'm asked why I'm there, and I say for an audition with xyz opera house, and of COURSE I look like crap. I mean, I'm wearing ripped jeans, sneakers, a university hoodie, hair in a busted up high bun so that I can lean my head back on the airplane seat without getting a headache, bright orange backpack stuffed with audition clothes and my music..looking a MESS, and I have to tell them I'm singing an audition at this prestigious opera house.
The double take is kind of priceless.
But they let me into their country.

A 22 pound cab ride later (I don't want to think about how many Euros that actually is to drive 14 kilometers), and I'm checked into my hotel by 11pm.

Next morning- wake up early but stay in bed watching BBC in ENGLISH! Eventually take a shower, do some lip trills, check out, walk 4 blocks to the audition location (I'm there super early since I had to check out by noon, but the audition wasn't until 2:30).
However, due to scheduling, I'm asked to sing earlier- and FIRST!
Hurray- at 1pm I sing Queen2 aria, then asked for Queen1 aria.
Both of which I rocked.

NOTE to ... whoever cares to read this and is in a position on the 'other' side of the table.
Umm, when scheduling an audition for an opera company in a big hall with a grand piano- you MIIIIIGHT want to make sure that the piano is TUNED properly from TOP to BOTTOM- because...when an auditioner is singing Queen of the Night and has to hit High F's as WELL as low F's in the span of about 2 measures, and suddenly the left hand of the piano comes trouncing in halfway through a cadenza which you are otherwise ON PITCH for with the RIGHT hand of the piano...yea...that's not a good sign.

So, I finish my audition, get in another cab and 20 pounds later, I'm enjoying a 10 pound lunch of chicken and chips (I couldn't do fish 'n chips...too risky for an airport restaurant plus having to fly on 2 flights immediately after that).

The rest of my flights were uneventful, as I had plenty of time for my lay-over in Amsterdam this time (except that I'm an idiot and forgot that I had to go through one million security checks again and I bought a bottle of WATER which I had to CHUG half of and pour out the other half of in order to get to my gate).

I arrived home around 11pm, tired but glad to be home.
HOME for 5 more days before another round of travel.

09 June, 2011

24 hours of crazy part 2.2

We last met at midnight on Tuesday night, as I was attempting to quickly fall asleep so that I could wake up 5 hours later and drive to city B for an 11am show.

Woke up at 5am after not really sleeping (come on, this is obvious now...if I have to wake up early/with an alarm and there is stress involved, I will NOT SLEEP at all).
It was POURING rain.

So from 5:20-7:20 my better half drove and I tried to doze, from 7:20-9:15 I drove.
We arrived at the OperWohnung, I took a quick shower, got dressed and HOPED that I was still warmed up from the night before as I left for my makeup call.

Picked up a bagel with shmear on the way (the ONE city I DON"T live in that has a GREAT US style bagel place..ugh..although, I guess it's a good thing otherwise I'd be many kilos overweight from eating bagels everyday).

Arrived to my makeup call bleary-eyed and with last night's eyeliner still on.

Finished makeup, attempted a warm up, notes were still there, so I waited backstage for my entrance, did my thing, and then raced back to the apartment.

Drank some water, went immediately to sleep.
Woke up at 4:30 in the afternoon feeling awful and dehydrated.
Slept another hour.
Chugged water, ate an apple, packed up my things to move to a good friend's apartment for the evening (since I had to STAY in current-city because of: a MAINSTAGE audition on THURSDAY! Even though they already hired me for Queen, they needed to hear me for something else specific in the near-future)
So- walk to my friend's apartment and get some air, feeling a bit more relaxed but still exhausted.
From 6:30-8:30pm, sit on couch and drink water and read a David Sedaris book to chill out.
8:30- pasta and veggie dinner
10pm- SLEEP
7am- drilling outside the window wakes me up but I feel totally rested.
7-10am stay in bed and relaaaax and drink more water.
10-11:30- shower, get ready, do a few lip trills

12- show up to the opera, warm up for 30 min. feeling GOOD.
Check into KBB, rehearse briefly with the pianist, sing the audition (zerb/oscar), get on my train HOME!

LET ME JUST MENTION that the CRAZY of other singers definitely tried to RUB OFF onto me today.
There was an American baritone there for an audition. Clearly trying to be calm cool and collected, and clearly nervous.
Mentioned backstage that his throat feels dry.
I offer him a ricola- he's like can I take two? You're so nice..that's exactly how I would be in the US, not everyone is like that.
He continues to freak about his music and try to shake everyone's hand that passes him by and introduce himself (even though they are all stagehands--and I know this because I worked with them this past week).
He is first and sings some big baritone thing that I don't know.
Walks offstage and is like- that felt good. it was good, right? I mean, did YOU think it was good? I thought it was good. did you hear my voice shaking at all? could you tell? and i'm like- DUDE, first of all the 2nd person is SINGING RIGHT NOW. 2nd of all I"M ABOUT TO SING! Let me do my little stretches and silent lip trills and stop freaking out about what you JUST DID!

So yea, the crazy tried to overtake me...but I would not have it.
I was just quiet, nodded my head in agreement, and did my thing.

24 hours of crazy part 3 includes MORE AIR TRAVEL on Monday and Tuesday.

07 June, 2011

24 hours of crazy part 2.1

Tuesday 9am (after a crappy night's sleep in a foreign bed in an OperWohnung): Get up and get ready for an 11 am performance. Realize around 9am that I have forgotten my passport. And that I have a FLIGHT from German city A to German city B at 2:45. Call Lufthansa. Get assurance that if I have a COPY of my passport and a German driver's license (which thankfully I DO have), I SHOULD be ok.
12:20- starts POURING rain in city A. I get on a train for the airport.
1pm-2:45pm FREAKING out at the airport because if my flight does NOT leave at 2:45 and arrive at 3:40, after which I have to get in a car, drive for another hour to reach city 2, I will NOT make my makeup call.

Freak out includes:
Think about renting a CAR and driving for 4.5 hours through the pouring rain. BUT, I had time at the airport...do I just GET in the car NOW and maybe make it even though I have to drive through horrid weather, OR do I take the chance that it will clear up and NOT rent a car, but WAIT for the plane? If the plane is late, it's already too late to rent a car.

OK so as I'm watching the rain PELT the runway..I'm waiting and waiting...and FINALLY- the SUN!!! here comes the sun! doot 'n doo doo!!!

Plane arrives, gets emptied, gets cleaned, we BOARD it AND leave ON TIME!
And we LAND! ON TIME! Except for taking that SILLY bus from the plane to the terminal- why do I always have to be on the flight that parks at the FARTHEST possible spot away from the terminal? Thanks.

Get picked up by the husband and his family who are coming to see the show tonight in city B for the first time (no pressure or anything!), AND get to the theater in PLENTY of time to re-warm up, eat a sandwich, get into makeup, feel totally exhausted, and still rock out my last queen of the night in city B.

Part 2.1 continues RIGHT NOW- as I have to get back to CITY A tomorrow before 9:30am.
I am back at home, and will have to get on the road at 5am.
Yea, it's 11:40pm right now.
Wish me luck with that whole energy thing tomorrow please.

04 June, 2011

24hrs of crazy part 1

This segment will be continued this week and next--but for now:

Last night- Koenigin performance until 9:59. Run off stage, wait (im)patiently for the wig to come off, having already half stripped in the makeup/wig room but holding everything up around me to remain decent, get the costume off, get the street clothes on, RUN to the hauptbahnhof and make a train at 10:10PM so that I can be home by MIDNIGHT.
Why midnight? Well, from 12-12:09am, pack my music for audition tomorrow, find my audition outfit and heels, get my bag ready and my water bottle filled, so that I can SLEEP from 12:10-5am.

Sleep like crap (obviously, because I have to wake up early, and whenever I have an alarm set for super early I never sleep well), wake up at 5am in the middle of a horrible dream that I was at the audition and they asked for pieces of music that I didn't know.
Take a shower, DRY MY HAIR (this takes a longer time these days since it's so LONG and I haven't had TIME to get it cut in like...8 months..awesome). 5:26 out the door, 5:30- tram to the hauptbahnhof, 5:44 walk to the platform, 6am, catch a TGV train for an audition 2 hours away.

Can't sleep on the train because it smells like ... it's not ladylike to say, but...the bathroom...in a BAD way, and a kid is crying in my train car but I'm too tired to go find another seat even though I'm sure if I walked for about 30 seconds I could have some peace and quiet.

8am- arrive at audition hauptbahnhof. Still too early to check into the audition, and I'm exhausted- where to sit indoors and kill and hour? McCafe.
Order a tea, review this new insane music that I've been requested to bring to the audition (modern piece that has like some cowbell and chimes and then I have to find my note out of thin air), attempt to do some lip trills. Fail- it's too early and I'm too tired.

9am- start walking through the city to the opera house. 9:20- arrive at the opera house, check in at the artist entrance, get directed to the KBB office (stop in the bathroom first to put my audition clothes on so I don't walk in there in my sweatpants and University sweatshirt which is my favored travel outfit), check in at the KBB- I'm first, surprise, surprise.
List my arias, go warm up. FINALLY in the warmup room my voice and body decide to wake up a little.
25 min. later I got to rehearse with the pianist who also just got this modern music yesterday...
One hour later- I'm the first audition.
I know they need to hear a high F and a high G, so I just flat out say- I have Queen aria, or modern-aria, or I can start with Zerbinetta as I usually do.
They say start with Zerb.
Then I get a break and the next singer goes on. After her, I'm asked for modern-crazy aria (that I have brought, not the one I was required to learn).
And immediately after modern-crazy aria they ask for the excerpt.
I rock that as well, and then they say thanks and ask me what note I 'warm up' to when I warm up...
I mean....When I am really messing around and trying to see how high I actually can still squeak out, it's a B above high C. So, that one.
Although I think it's just fine if the highest that I sing is the interpolated Aflat in the Doll Song.

11:29- end of my audition, there is a train at 11:49 back at the Hauptbahnhof -- IF I run, and don't change out of my audition outfit and just put my sneaks back on, I can most likely make it.

And so, I run.
I even had a minute to get some apple juice for the train ride home (it was a local train with no on-board snack shop), and FINALLY, after falling asleep and then being woken up by the announcements for 3 hours worth of a train ride, a station exchange and a quick walk back to the apartment, I"M HOME.

Exhausted, but home.
24 hours of crazy part 2 begins on Tuesday.