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.