28 September, 2006

o sleep why dost thou

Since last Saturday night when I stayed up until 6:30am, I have been on the most insane sleep schedule. I'm not tired until 3am. So- even though I'm "in bed" by 11:30, I either a. play on my fun computer, or b. watch tv (which hasn't been in my room for over 2 years), or c. both.

By some miracle of the lord I have not been called to ANY coachings or rehearsals before noon this week, so it's turning out fine that I'm only up around 11:45am every day this week.

But NEXT week I start having things at 9am (gasp!). And by things at 9am, I mean, Queen of the Night at 9am! How do I fiiiixxxx it? I absolutely CANNOT calm down enough to actually fall asleep at midnight. Take the tv away? Leave the computer in another room--whatever will I do without online goodness?

25 September, 2006

more fun-ness

Just got an email saying that I'm accepted to the Sullivan Auditions in NYC. Woo hoo.
Now to narrow down the list to 5.


"room-urrr" has it...

..that I'm mentioned favorably in this October's issue of Opera News in a summer review. No, I am not one of the divas in the issue, but diva-in-training maybe.
I just graduated to Huggies Pull-ups.

Maybe I should go try to find a copy.


24 September, 2006

Gross! Machtige Prinzessin

I just spent the past 2 hrs listening to my new itunes purchase of dessay's and voigt's ariadne auf naxos. Pretty sweeeet.

Since my "workload", ie- singing, coachings, etc. has been pretty low because of opening week and me not being one of the mainstage singers, I've decided to fall back on my old score-study and learning antics. There is a list of roles that I eventually want to learn and have prepared- before I hopefully get hired to do them for the first time.
Zerbinetta is the top one. Got the aria down, the quartets seem pretty easy, it's that first duet that's a bit tricky I think.

Next would come more bel canto stuff that is done more often, and that I "look" the part of, rather than perhaps "sound" the part of (soubrette)... like Adina, Amina, Norina, then just for fun add Susanna, Despina, Zerlina (low but SO often performed!)

And then of course all of the crazy French coloratura repertoire that is a little out there and not done often, but the best in my voice.

Oh yea, and let's not forget the Mozart gals- Blondchen, Ilia, that crazy but awesome high G-hitting soprano from Mitridate

And then I come back to Strauss- Sophie, Fiakermilli...yes...love it.

And as dessert add le coq d'or and vixen in russian and czech.

D'oh! I forgot my fave -Cunegonde.

So much music, so little time. What I really should be spending time on is memorizing lakme..but I think I've gotten to the point where I don't want to memorize things without stylistic influences and ideas from coaches...so maybe just the French, and not the music- if that's even possible.


22 September, 2006


Why just when I feel like I'm getting somewhere in my career does the personal life get strained?
Oh yea, thee years of long distance. Riiight.

Questions my head is asking my heart and vice versa:
Could I not do auditions for summer stuff to be with him? Is it ego or career that's driving me to do these auditions? The 'norm', the 'path' of the young artist programs? prestige? what?

Could I see how many months from next year's season I can possibly be with him if not singing mainstage and just doing chorus (although that's not fair to the premise of this program)?

Could I be happy without doing any of the above two and being with him?
It's a given he's not going anywhere-he can't or else he won't graduate and move on to the next levels of research, internships, residency, etc.
So is it up to me? Or is it up to a break? Why couldn't we already be married with kids? Oh yea, because we're LONG DISTANCE for three years!


21 September, 2006

one more things: re-auditions

Oh yes, it's that joyful time again.
This year I have a few new thoughts and some perspective.

Well, I'm in a year round program right now. I have the option of staying here next year (assuming they like me after three mainstage roles this season, and depending on their season and casting for next year).

Now, what are summer programs for? Besides the musical/coaching/voice lesson benefits, aren't they really a place where you go to make contacts? Contacts from conductors, directors, coaches, teachers and singers, who will remember you, want to re-hire you for their own musical endeavors, and be able to recommend you to mainstage auditions and just the type of residency situation that I'm in currently?

In my opinion, and from the experience in two programs apprentice which I've had so far that is one of the best things that you can get out of a program for the future (besides of course the possible cover or supporting roles that you get to add to your resume).
But what do I do this summer?
What is really motivating me (besides the general competition of it all, and the "biggies" in terms of programs) to do a zillion auditions again?
Last year I sang for 21 programs. Yes, 21. More school, young artist summer programs, residencies, touring/ed type of deals...I wasn't burned out. I love auditioning. It was just a lot, and a lot of no's/yes's/maybe's to be waiting for as well. (ok, mostly no's.).

But two worked out! And that's why I had a great summer and am having a great beginning here so far.

So what do I do this summer? When I feel like my personal relationship needs more attention and togetherness, and nothing is really pulling me to do any of there programs besides just going because I got into a big name program (IF I even got in), and of course, the possibility of roles, new singers, new people to meet.... I mean, I know these programs are fun and great and learning experience, etc. etc. etc.

But what about spending time with someone that I love who may be moving to another country next July? When is it time to realize that my career can possibly be shaped without being a young artist for the summer? But instead, building a great relationship here, singing good roles, getting noticed for the, and then going out for mainstage auditions?
I'm just not sure. IS it time to realize it?

I'm still doing 7 or 8 auditions this fall. All to programs that are big names, or have good rep. But I'm still drawn to sending in the usual 10-15 applications to places just because. Just because they are also reputable young artists programs. Just because I'm NOT certain that I'll get automatically invited to where I spent this past summer, or that I'll get into any of the "biggies" (the only other programs I'm really applying for right now).

Still, what is this 'mentality' about getting into a program like Glimmerglas, Santa Fe, Merola or WolfTrap? Like those things can make or break your career if you get into them? Every time I have met someone who went there they say there were just as many singers who didn't make a career out of it, who won't make it, who just didn't have it or continue to have it to have a career or take it that one extra level.

Reading all of the FAQs about audition materials (ie, we receive 600 applications, we audition 500 of them live, 225 are sopranos) makes me feel good that I've already GOTTEN into three amazing programs. But when will I be able to not have to consider myself a young artist? I'm definitely of YOUNG young artist age. Every place I've been to I've been among the youngest singer...

Is there such a thing as young artist burnout, or am I just experience a mixture of emotions because for once I feel settled in my career for the next two years, and don't feel the need to prove myself somewhere for the summer, when I could be spending it making a lasting relationship closer before the long distance continues for a year?
Oh yea, and my best friend is getting married in August. The18th. No WAY any of the programs I'm looking into end by then.

What to do?

tech week

The first show of new company opens this Saturday. I suppose I'm getting more and more used to the 'theater' norms, meaning- dressers, beautiful costumes that fit, calls on time to wherever I have to be, someone to go to if there is something wrong, prompters, props that someone else takes care of when I'm offstage...I mean, all things that all professional theaters have, but when you really think about it, all of the shows that I did in undergrad and even some of the grad/summer programs/residencies that I've done have not afforded me the same treatment.
Yes, I'm in the chorus. But they know we're important, they don't waste our time, they care just as much about a crooked wig or a hemline on us as they do on the mainstage artists. It's kind of nice- all this professional attention.

What I'm used to: Church basement operas where some of your own pieces become your costume, where the set is also someone's day trip to Target and Michael's and then crafts project, where the director has no ASM and no one but you keeps track of your blocking, and especially where you get maybe two rehearsals with the orchestra and then do maybe two or three shows with a chorus of students, community members, to a small and probably not filled house.

What is now: Professional, paid chorus plus young artists, really famous singers, prepared orchestras, people that keep track of where your supposed to be (hey, I'm not saying I still don't, but for my type A personality that really meant that every "regional/community/school" show I was in, I was really paying attention to where everyone was supposed to be).



17 September, 2006

the state of my room

Ok, I've been here almost 20 days now.
1. All of the clothes are put away! In drawers that I assembled myself! Or in the closet.
2. The suitcases are not lying open on the floor, instead they've been filled up with extra sheets, smaller suitcases and extra tv/internet/any type of cable/plug that I've amassed over the past 6 years, and are PUT AWAY.
3. All of my receipts, tax forms, papers, papers papers- from the summer, contracts from last year and this year, etc...are in the correct filing drawer.

You really know you're settled when you unpack the photo albums and scrapbooks and find a place for them in your room.
Last year they sat in one of my bookshelves. Unfortunately for that shelf, it didn't make it over here, and now my new shelves are too not deep to hold the massive scrapbooks, so I've found a new home for them on top of a lovely tapestry-covered staples box (which is holding scores I won't use this year).
But before I placed them in their final resting spot for the moment, I had to take a look at the books.

I think I took to scrapbooking (not seriously, or dorkily) somewhere in my Senior year of highschool, when my mom pulled out all of our vacation pictures from a big box and asked me to sort them and put them in albums so she could send them to our cousins and grandparents- who had been there with us.

I took SO much time picking out the right color border for each shot! I'd thumb through magazines for appropriate letters/pictures to cut out, I'd add a little tag line under most pictures describing what was going on, who was in the pic, or where we were.

Ok, as I said- that was highschool. I had a bit more time on my hands, what with school from 8am-12pm, the special college classes I was enrolled in ONCE a week in the afternoons, and pretty much nothing to worry about after I was accepted to college.

Then I began putting my photos together in albums. No borders this time, but still those taglines and names of people (thank goodness--because now I'd have no idea who at least 1/3 of them are), and what we were doing.

So there is- Bat Mitzvah, surprise 16th bday party, junior prom, senior prom, trip to Italy, trip to France, senior post-prom trip to the Shore, (yes, NJ!), so many things that I don't ever, ever think about. Of course, looking through I still cringe at the fact that I still have AND wear some of those dresses- especially my Junior prom one! It's come in handy MORE than once!
I wonder where that watch went, or whatever happened to a certain skirt, I remember hanging out with people that I feel like I haven't talked to since I graduated, and how much fun I had, what good friends, how we said we'd always be in touch...etc. etc.

Next weekend my brother flies out to chicago to meet 4 of his guy friends from College- they started getting together ever year for at least one weekend and hanging out, catching up. It's a really nice idea. I'm actually planning the same this November with my two best friends from highschool. But what about all of the other ones? The best friend from Model U.N./Student Govt. who said we'd always stay in touch and one day run our own NGO together? Well, we didn't talk through college that much. We reconnected through friendster, actually, and now at least I know what she's studying for her Masters, and where.

The thing is, if we all got together in a big room for some sort of party or get-together (that is NOT a reunion), I'm sure things would be just as normal as they were Junior year, when we were hanging out in the student govt. office instead of going to Calculus class (with the excuse that we had a voice lesson..yes, in my highschool your choir director could schedule you for rehearsal during any period of school, so we pretty much took advantage of that one majorly...ie, no gym senior year!). I know we'd reconnect, remember, catch up, rerun the past 4-6 years of not being in highschool, but being in college, grad school, work, etc.

It would be nice, but who instigates those kinds of things, when none of us nor our parents even live where we went to highschool? I guess just pick any city and send out a mass email saying this is the weekend I want to get together with as many people as possible? Oh, and btw- if you live in said city, do you want to host the party?

I feel the same thing for undergrad friends. It's just so easy to lose touch these days with "business" of daily life. Meaning- yes, I have time to call people, but when I look through the phonebook on my cellphone, how RANDOM would it be for me to call up these people who I haven't talked to in OVER two years possibly? I could just send the impersonal personal email, I know. But they could too, right?

The Jewish new year is coming up- a time to reevaluate and to reconnect. Perhaps a good time for that phone call or email after all this time.


15 September, 2006

online romp

Now that I'm officially "borrowing" wireless from "Jays Network" in my building (calm down! My order installation guy is supposed to come today between 12 and 3!), I can get back to spending every second of my free time online.
There is just SO much to do!

First of all, I need a new Italian aria. So- thanks to itunes music store, Joan Sutherland, Beverly Sills and Sumi Jo, I have some new lovely listening to do in everything from Piccinni to Handel to Bellini to Mozart. The goal- a SHORT, HIGH piece. Preferably NOT ABA, but if it's short and high, I'll consider it. And oh yea, Italian. Because I'm sick of singing o luce, people hate norina, Oscar is boring, caro nome is being taken over by lyrics, and I want to find something random and cool to be my Italian piece that not that many people know- since all my other people are coloratura party tunes.

Well, of course it wasn't just enough to listen to the music, so while downloading, I was perusing synopses, cd track names, translations, online scores--which took me on a google exploration of the local university library policies for checking things out or going in there and making "study" copies of scores--and then there was always my email check-in refresh tab every 5-7 minutes.

Oh yeah, I also ordered my kodakgallery photos (finally) from the summer and this past year- so now instead of looking online to remember what I did and who my friends were, I'm going to receive about 150 photos to put in many scrapbooks and albums over the next few weeks...yea, like I'll have time for that now that I have the internet EVERY DAY!

Then I checked in with Strong Bad, the NYtimes, the forum, which led me on another trip down google lane about summer programs, people already cast in summer shows, audition dates, deadlines, googling MORE singers, googling ME and being reminded of how crappppy my website is and how much I need to update it with at least my current resume! ...and basically since having internet I've spent about 40 dollars since last night at 11pm.

Maybe now that I have internet I'll also pay my online credit card bill from this last month of the move/ new ikea furniture splurge/ buying out target and walmart for household items.


13 September, 2006

Back in the saddle again...

Well, I made it back to new State for concert number two last Sunday, which again, went well for me. I'm glad I have somewhere to possibly return in the coming years (as singers are invited back for pretty much as long as they want) and participate in a concert with orchestra, good conducting, a great audience, and some moolah.

Back to work it was this week, with coachings by "Claude I hate you" Frenchman---not his real name, obviously! We worked on Lakme in the first class, and he mentioned the "3rd eye" in not so many words, but basically said that he didn't believe me because as beautiful as the voice was working and the technique was working, it wasn't in my eyes all the time. Sometimes it was....sometimes not.

I love when these master teachers ask the class- didn't you hear that? How different/better was that? Everyone nods enthusiastically- which is great. Except that I can't hear anything different. The only thing I did was try to make my eyes a little more playful, and perhaps play out a scene in front of my eyes as I was singing/dancing/shaking my booty/doing Tai Chi around the room while I was singing (an "I hate you Claude" direction).

So- I suppose I did good work. What did I learn? Loosen up while singing? (duh). Think nothing about technique,placement, etc...and ONLY the words (hmm, this sounds familiar, like I've blogged about it before)... So, words and eyes...and making those audience members who are paying 200 bucks to come see me, BELIEVE that I'm Lakme.

Fin for the day.
Once concert and one free dinner to go until bedtime!


08 September, 2006

the sky is falling

In more ways than one.
First of all, it's 10:05 Eastern Time. Yes, that means I made my flight this morning after waking up at 4:30am, got to Boston, had an almost relationship-ending evening which was salvaged by a tearful phonecall after 5 hours together and then 30 minutes apart (although those 5 hours seemed more alone than ever), and now have to attempt to not cry through the night and learn the two duets that I'm supposed to perform in yet another scholarship/competition/foundation concert thingie tomorrow afternoon.
I'm being paid the "big bucks" for this one, so I best not mess up the words to Belle Nuit or Libiamo- both completely inappropriate for my voice but requested by the conductor and the concert coordinator, and despite the mild but direct objections I raised, still insisted upone since the concert with orchestra will be outside and mic'd.
Umm... le temps fuit et sans retour ...something something tendresse/ivresse?
something something something something...le temps fuit sans retour.
Zephyrs embraces, verses nous vos caresses, zephyrs embraces donnez vous vos baisers...
vos baisers???

That could be something like Belle nuit.

And the libiamo lines? Lord. Tutto e follie follie something about mondo che cio non e?
And then La vita e nel ripiudio??? What?
I am so so so in trouble.
Do I look at the words now, or go to sleep and wakeup early to do the drive out to the rehearsal (2hrs) and hope to drill the words in the car?

This night has been too long.

05 September, 2006

It's been way too long

Oh my goodness!
I've been in New State for 8 days, have so much news, and have no internet to write about it!!!
Ok, well, first of all. I got 2nd place in the competition last Saturday night. That means an incredibly nice chunk of change (which is why I splurged and bought that Ikea bed I've been eyeing for the past few months), some great new contacts, and another lovely line on the resume which makes me look Eeeeeven more talented- if that's at all possible! haha. really, just kidding.

Then came the 22 hour drive here. It was rainy, foggy, chicago stopover was beautiful and fun, pirate mini-golf was relationship-saving, and then there was the new apartment. Beautiful, just what I wanted, grown-up, fancy shmancy, and I"m really happy with it.

I had no furniture the first day and a half. Then I bought a bed set at Ikea. Then I went back and bought the matching shelving units and have the dresser on order. In the meantime, I'm still living out of suitcases, but everything else is ALMOST put away in my room.
I have no food in the apt., but all in due time.

The program here. It's been wonderful. It deserves its own post about coming here, the first day, the first yoga and tai chi class, and so on and so forth. Right now from the "resident artist" computer I'm hogging precious email time.

So what I will say is that I'm happy. I'm being shown that I'm wanted and talented here, being paid for it, having a good time not worrying about money and just thinking about all of the great music that I'm going to be learning this year.