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.