21 December, 2006

so long, farewell...

See ya in the New Year!
It's time for family reunion 06-07- all aboard!!!

Happy New Year! (Which as of three minutes ago will be spent in NYC with my boy...yaaaay for cheap hotels even on New Years Eve! and yaaaay for cancelling tickets on Orbitz and still having a year to redeem some percentage of the original ticket that I had and have no changed to be able to fly back to current-yap on New Year's Day!)


19 December, 2006

is no news still good news?

The POBox has failed to deliver my summer fate as of today at 3:32pm. It has, however, delivered the 2nd half of the lovely competition check which I won way back this summer, and whose earnings I shall promptly divide between my scottrade stock accounts, my RothIRA during tax season, and my college loan payback bills which continue to roll in every month....only twenty eight thousand dollars away from being debt free!!! HA.

I wish I could just win a huge amount of money and pay them off. It would feel awesome. But I think it would also feel kind of weird- I mean, really- if I received 30,000 dollars and sent it ALL to my college debt, JUST to NOT have debt? I could have some really nice pretty things or go places, or have SAVINGS or invest it and try to make more and THEN pay off the loans. Yes, I think that would be more prudent--- pay off the monthly while investing the rest hoping to make more than my interest rate on those loans.

Enough financial talk. I'll leave that to me myself and H&RBlock guy this year ...although I am contemplating doing my taxes by myself this year. It's just the three state thing that could confuse me and the multiple residencies, etc.

Back to the POBox last-summer-yap issue.
Nfcs posters have said:
a. there is still one person (or more) that has not heard anything either way (one was there last year, one wasn't)
b. someone (who was in the program last year) JUST heard today-- no. By mail.

Does that mean I have to extend my waiting period even longer? I was really all set to call tomorrow and see what the deal was.

Well, tomorrow is the last day I can check my mail, email or phone messages before 2007! Yes, it's true. I'll be completely cut off from the world (unless the cruise ship has internet, wireless, and cell reception--in which case- Waaa Hooo!) because next week I'm going on a family reunion vacation. I shall bring Lakme and my ipod of course. But I'll be more interested in going ATVing in the rainforest canopy, hiking up to waterfalls, taking yoga classes on board, relaxing on the lido deck, and eating like we all do when the food is free!

18 December, 2006

Oh I got plenty o' nuttin'

Still no word from the US Postal service, although I do revel at their speed in delivering:

a. forwarded mail from first-yap to current yap address (particularly grad school letters already asking me to donate money as an alum).

b. forwarded mail from current-yap to current-location address (just for one and a half months, and JUST by name --since my roomate is having hers delivered to HER home in another midwest state) (particularly college loan bills and Opera news)

Have spent too much time at the computer today and yesterday.
Today I'm gathering performance pics and assorted headshots of me to decide which one should be the "first" pic on the new website, and which ones will make the cut to the "photos" page on the website.

And at the same time I have received too many myspace and facebook invites over the past month to NOT update some kind of profile on both of those sites (which I belong to but do not update ever...until today--because I use friendster the most), so I've added friends, added photos, and attempted to make it seem like my social networks have more than 27 friends in them.

I only have two more days at current-address before our extended family reunion vacation during Xmas week.
Hope I get that letter soon!
See ya at the Galleria.


17 December, 2006


A. I haven't read this much about La Scala since I was actually living 20 minutes away from the hallowed house (the season that it was closing for renovations) and studying Italian and music there. I don't have much to add about the controversy/low blood sugar/booers/firing/possible re-hiring/third cover in jeans, but I will say that it's been fun reading new blogs like Operachic, and old blogs that are all commenting about the hullabaloo.

B. Since I wasn't home for the weekend, no forwarded mail check yet. Last-year-yap and I might be on a 'break' as of tomorrow's POBox news.

C. I think I just took the first step toward developing a professional website (not one that I wrote the html to and laid out on yahoo.com, but one that is developed and designed by a person whose job it is to do so). Well, at least paying for one.

D. Have been procrastinating at writing out happy holiday cards to--just about everyone this year...especially the "thank you for hearing me/this is what I'm up to/remember me/can you hire me in a few years/btw Merry Xmas cards. Are emails completely inappropriate for this? Arrghhh..I haven't handwritten anything in such a long time.

E. Thinking more seriously about a business plan that I may be starting as a service for singers. Not consulting like Cindy S. necessarily- I don't really need to comment on the voice. But from the business side, I do have know-how and experience, this I have been told and know. And I enjoy it. Coming up with a 5 year plan and backup plan and backup backup plan for auditions, tours, self promotion, grantwriting, resume, bio, reviews, cover letter writing, etc.
Basically everything you can do for YOURSELF until you are at the point where you may be ready for management, or are already getting repeatedly asked to work in places enough to make a career out of it.

I need a catchy name for it though. And then to plan that website as well.

That's all for now.

15 December, 2006

no word from...Tom? Dick? Harry?

Last-year-yap, what is up?
I sang a pretty good audition for you.
You pretty much asked me to notify you if I was getting ANOTHER offer during the week, and then when I said that I like your season you said, "it's not like there are any coloratura parts this summer". (you were being sarcastic)
And I did NOT get another offer during the week, so I did NOT call you.
But you haven't called me.
And you DID call four other singers that I know and offer them a position in one of your tiers.
So now you get to know what's going through my mind.

Monday (when I found out three other people got in): Ok, well maybe since you know me and you want me in the higher tier, you'll call tomorrow.

Tuesday (when I found out the fourth person got in to the lower tier): Ok, well that's a bit weird.Hmm, Ok, well maybe you heard a really good soubrette/coloratura and I'm not it this year. Sad. Tomorrow is the last chance. Maybe you're really busy and you know you want me but don't have time to call me.

Wednesday: Wait, wait- no- could you have forgotten that you kinda told me that you wanted me this year? I mean, people are posting on nfcs that they got into the lower tier, but none that they got into the higher tier--is there ANY reason why you wouldn't call the higher tier people this week? I know, there are tons of coloratura sops out there. Is it because I didn't come in with one of the two arias prepared that I could be up for this season with you? And some other soprano did? And it was better? That's totally fine- but I mean, I really thought you liked me last year, and you KNOW from asking me at my audition that there were only a few places I'm singing for..and...well, are you at least going to email to say 'not this year' or what?

Thursday: Ok, it's sad but I guess I'm not in. You don't want me because...ummm.. ok, well maybe my audition wasn't the best it could have been. But you weren't realllly looking at my acting. You were writing a lot. And I was doing GOOD acting so that you could see that I've improved and that I could cover the role that I want to cover this summer with you! Ok, so maybe you didn't see that, AND thought that I vocally didn't improve, AND heard someone better. I know you don't owe me anything...I get it, but it's still just kind of sad that even you said this season would have been great for me...and then nothing.

Friday: (morning):
I'm assuming no.
(afternoon nap):
I had a nightmare today about meeting you, my current-yap director, and my HIGH SCHOOL PRINCIPAL and you all were joking around about how I'm assuming I'm getting hired back at all these places and then jokingly you say that I'm not...and Mr. Beavers (high school principal) just looks at me and shakes his head in dismay. Now I'm kind of annoyed. Because my mail is being forwarded from current-yap to parents-house, neither of which locations I'm at right now.
I contemplated calling you today, but is it worth speaking to one of two admins who I'm friends with and finding out that I'm not in when the letter has already been sent and I'll receive it in four days?
Or is there STILL really a chance that you are just assuming that I KNOW that I'm in because I DIDN"T call you, and that magically there will be some sort of acceptance or contract or call that comes in the next months?

Trust me, I've googled, and no soprano is listing You-2007-higher-tier on her resume or website yet. I get that you could have called someone else, I just find it REALLY weird that NO ONE on my favorite forum has posted that they are in the higher-tier. But then I'd find it REALLY weird that you haven't called those people that you want in the higher-tier either.

So last-year-yap, what am I supposed to think?
We seem to have some communication problems and because you aren't emotionally available to me, I have been forced to overthink, read into, and overcompensate for our relationship!!!
Call me!


13 December, 2006

A year too old...

Wow, for all of the "I'm not 29 and managed" posts that I've delved into over the past months, here's a new one: I'm too old! By one year!!!

Wolf Trap has just announced their "WTOpera Studio" which will target those singers in their last two years of undergrad or first year of grad school.

This sounds exactly like what young singers need. NOT to shell out five thousand dollars and get four weeks of study in Italy and shabbily planned and costumed opera scenes with piano, but instead be PAID to perfect their craft- studying language, diction, movement, acting, getting coached, as well as the opportunity to perform bit parts in the mainstage summer at Wolf Trap.

I will say that I won't be the one to post this on NFCS, although I'm sure it will eventually find its way over there- if only to spare Ms. Witman and her staff the HUGE piles of applications from singers who are both appropriate, and probably past the cutoff experience-wise, school-wise, and age-wise for the program- yet still want a chance to be associated with WTOC for the summer.

More thoughts on this kind of program later, but it's really quite exciting for those who will have the opportunity to participate.


11 December, 2006

concert, first-yap land

The concert yesterday went very well. My new dress was very fun to sing in, I said hi to a few friends from undergrad who got to the concert, and then had a nice relaxing evening.
I'm now back in First-Yap territory, visiting teacher and coach and staying at a friend's apartment. She just left for NYC for her last two auditions of the season, so I get to play on her computer, watch tv, talk to her bird (he talks back), and relax for another evening. Two coachings tomorrow and then it's back home for me.
We're both waiting for the ever-looming hour of the evening where we either hear or don't hear from a certain Yap. For me, last-year-yap, for her, new yap. Two people have posted Yes's on the forum. Now the waiting game really begins.
I sang for opera-in-the-kind-of-midwest last week and think I impressed, but it's not really the summer program that I'm interested in- more the mainstage opportunities in the future. So while I'm glad that I made a good impression, and think that I had a nice rapport with the director, and would never HOPE to NOT be chosen for a summer Yap, I hope that I get some sort of letter with encouragement about my career...or something like that..for future maybe.
Ahhh, just mumbling like a lunatic waiting for a phone call.
I'm so distracted.

But I have decided that if I DON"T get this, I'd like to do a German immersion program. Either at Middlebury with the program for singers, or just going to Europe.
Although then I'll be more tempted to study in France since I like Paris the most and would love to just live there for a month or two while taking intensive language courses.
But I think I need German more if eventually I want to sing there.
Which I do.
And my rep. is good for those houses. So is my voice and look.
So- to the future.


08 December, 2006

back in undergrad-land

I'm back in Boston for these few days, visiting and performing at my alma mater (one of them), and visiting and coaching and seeing the Fall opera production at my alma mater (the other one).
I had a great coaching on Lakme yesterday with one of my favorite coaches who really helped me understand Zerbinetta as an undergrad about to embark on two and three years of offering Zerb at auditions.
I loved him for that, and I continue to love Strauss because of all of the exploratory work we did on line, chord structures, counterpoint, and how it all fits with the vocal line and emotive goals of text in the Ariadne.

We discussed the ariettas in Lakme a bit (pourquoi, dans la foret, sous le ciel, and tu m'a donne), and how to balance the enunciation of the French with the line that does not take any language into account and is simply a beautiful, languishing melody.

What I think I tend to do most is actually act the French. Which is correct. Well, the method that works for me. I mean, language is the most important. There WILL be cousins of mine at the performance who have lived in France for a number of years, and I want them to understand what I'm singing! But at the expense of the musical line?
Well, no.
Which is why sometimes you have to let the 'lega' take over just a bit more than punching out those "little words" in the text.
And I"m sure by March/April I'll come to a really nice settlement between the two, but for now they are still in a fight.
And French is kicking legato's @ss.


04 December, 2006

try to remember...

"Deep in December It's nice to remember
Although you know the snow will follow
Deep in December It's nice to remember
The fire of September that made us mellow
Deep in December our hearts should remember
And follow, follow, follow..."

Remember when it was September and this whole audition madness was just beginning?
And you were excited that you TOO may have the chance to perform in one of the top young artist programs for the summer or next year?
What HAPPENS to singers in December?

Seriously. Reading through my last few posts you'd think I'm manic.
There are these extreme mood swings that can involve the highest belief in yourself and your art and then the lowest self-deprecating and sarcastic remarks about the fact that you haven't gotten "into" something.
And why do we do this to ourselves every year in our twenties, and sometimes into our thirties?

The Resume? The prestige? The contacts? The connections?
Maybe all of the above.
To prove something to ourselves and to others? To distinguish ourselves from others?
Perhaps, also yes.

But-- do we NEED it?

HOW many singers out there are doing JUST fine without having gone to Glimmerglass and Merola (I use these 2 b/c I didn't apply to them!)
HOW many singers concentrate on their own coachings and rep. over the summer, or just keep working and making money, or have year-round careers and just simply take the summer off???

Again, this could be construed as bitter b/c I got "rejected" from somewhere, but no, actually that is not the case (yet! haha)
It's really just something I think about during this month of waiting and watching the nfcs posts about the lucky ones who just found out they got in somewhere, and those still waiting and posting about whether "PFO's" have been sent out yet.

Why is this month so horrible for singers?
Well, it doesn’t help that there are two major “family” holidays and everyone is asking about your career, where you will be next year, and where you will be this summer. “Hey mom, guess what? I just got my fifth rejection email!- Happy Thanksgiving!- pass the cranberry sauce please!”

It also makes you scramble a bit. Some of these programs notify before January, but some don’t, and what of those who are “first alternates”? They play the waiting game until MAY sometimes, to see if they too will be joining something for the summer. Then what? Now what?

I feel like one minute I’m quiet and calm, thinking of happy thoughts of being invited back to “last-year-Yap” (which hasn’t occurred yet), and thinking how GREAT it is. How GOOD I should feel about that- the fact that to get into ANY program on ANY level is an accomplishment already.
And then I’m anxious and moody because I ask myself- well then have I not made any improvement in the past year and is that why I’m not getting into the “top three or four—however you want to categorize them, by prestige/name/or actual summer experience for a singer” Yaps--- OR are they ALSO taking back their coloratura from last year?

Basically if I do get asked back it means that some coloratura who is a year or two behind me is pissed just as much as I am, that some coloratura who is a year or two ahead of me got asked back to HER program, which would have been a “step up” for me.

And is it really about “steps” also? I mean, truthfully, if I DID get into Santa Fe (which I don’t know I haven’t yet, but am pretty sure that I haven’t)—and sang chorus in all of their shows and did nothing except for that one day of singing for all of the famous agents and opera houses--- would my experience be better than “last-year-Yap” inviting me back this year to cover a leading role that I want to learn, AND to sing a leading role and comprimario role mainstage? And actually Add lines to my performance repertoire rather than just a line that says I went to Santa Fe on my resume??? (and I’m NOT saying this is going to happen with “last-year-YAP”, it’s just what I’d HOPE for IF they were even considering me again.)

This back and forth, these ups and downs… Somewhere inside, if we really want this career, we know that we can do it. But these little deterrents like an email from “operaadmin” entitled “your audition for xyz opera” does NOT bode well for the rest of your happiness that day or this whole month.

It’s nice, though, that a FEW companies who hear you will give you feedback. They of course won’t say why they picked another coloratura or if they even picked one, but they’ll comment on your musicality and your performance at the audition. So at least you know what they thought of you. Whether that makes me feel better or not, I’m not quite sure, because they still didn’t hire me.
And then we come full circle to my original musing- do I NEED to be hired for things like this in order to “validate” my career or myself?

Whatever the answer, I’ll still be refreshing my browser on nfcs and hotmail all day.


03 December, 2006

have I mentioned...

How much I adore impending rejection?

From NFCS:

Santa Fe has begun emailing young artist offers NT View thread - divajock on Dec 3, 2006, 10:54 PM



Just in case I forget or question that this is really what I want to do with my life at some point again in the future- feedback from a recent mainstage audition:

"You have a wonderful performance quality to your auditions that many do not. I was sorry that we don't have an Ariadne scheduled because you would be perfect. You are prepared, you sing very well, you are an engaging actress and your German is darned near perfect."

And here I thought I was having not the best vocal/dramatic day (see post below).

I guess I "brought it" anyway.

And let's get on that Ariadne scheduling! I've been practicing tumbles and dancing WHILE singing the extended 1912 version of Zerbie's aria.

Nothing else to report except that I bought a GORGEOUS dress at BCBG outlet today and am having it tailored (shortened, as always, and it was a bit TOO sexy in the plunge to be acceptable for my upcoming concert, so am getting that tacked up), and it will be ready tomorrow for me to go out again and buy accesories and play with my hair for the rest of the week deciding which style looks best with it!
Ooooh, it's so pretty. It's a deep wine color and pretty much skin tight at the top and then a bit of a flare at the bottom with a sash of satin wine red around a high empire waist, the straps are twisted at the shoulder and as mentioned before the bust PLUNGES, but will be up 2.5 inches as of tomorrow at 10:30am!

130 bucks on sale. And hopefully the tailoring will not be more than 40- alltogether not too harsh a price to pay for a dress that I absolutely adore.

Even if I decide it's on the "trop" sexy side for the concert and end up wearing my backup light blue strapless gown, this dress is coming on my cruise in 3 weeks!


01 December, 2006

today in ny

Today may have been the nastiest weather I've ever experienced in New York City---and I'm talking more horrid than snowstorms of last year and the year before, torrential rains of early november, everything.

It rained in the morning and then got really muggy and disgusting. My feeling of general nastiness may have been added to due to the fact that I was lugging my extremely heavy carry -on bag with a week's worth of clothing plus my laptop packed inside it around the city- and ALSO since TWO cabs elected NOT to drive me the ten blocks in "drizzle" with said big bags, so I had to WALK (and sweat) to my lesson and to my callback today, with not so much time as I'd like in between those two events.

Basically by the time I arrived at NOLA and dealing with the dreaded hallway of hell, I was sweating with my jacked just an added bonus for something in my hand to carry in addition to the plastic bags holding nice shoes and boots for later, big black hole bag with music that weighs too much on my shoulder, and extremely heavy carry-on. AHHH!
So, I go into the TINY TINY TINY bathroom where one of the doors on the toilet doesn't work and the other toilet is...unmentionable... and try to change while NOT putting anything that I own anywhere near all of the other germs that have been brought into there by sick singers and general nastiness all week, and having my bare feet not touch the floor (this is an art, btw).

I get ready in time, attempt to fix my makeup which is now affixed to my face with a glistening layer of sweat, try to froof my hair, get the stuck pieces off of my neck, and do a lip trill or two before going into the room.

And then the singing.
It was still fine. But not as fine as I want it to be.
Durch Z. and Als ein Gott (yea, these people love Ariadne I guess).
The notes were all there.
The artistry? Umm, sure- I made an attempt.
The acting? Yea, but it wasn't organic this time. It was me realizing that I am making this sound good and look good.
So, in summary, good, better than BAD, no mistakes, but not as great as I could be.

Now the waiting game begins.

Comment responses

I just looked for the first time through some old posts and found comments on them, and since they have already been placed on the next 'scrollable' page, I'll answer a few here:

You can find the English and French opera libretto of Lakme at most larger libraries in a book by Nico Castel called "French Opera Libretti". The original book is called Le Marriage de Loti and I ordered it (in French) online, but there were also English versions on Amazon I believe.

If it's the Bubs then yes, they are terrific, fun guys and when we performed with them on-campus it was always a hoot!
Glad there are still fellow a capella junkies out there who are not STILL in college :)

We now return to our previously scheduled posting:

In about six hours I'll be singing my callback for "red-state-opera", and in about six hours and forty five minutes I will HOPEFULLY be on a train to Albany, to be followed by a 1.5 hour drive home to New-England-State-of-Parental-Residence and then doing laundry, repacking, and leaving for Boston the next day.

Things that are coming up:

A Poulenc Gloria performance at my undergrad.
I've never sung it before, and it's quite beautiful.
One, final, audition in NYC (in the middle of the week in Boston) for, hmm, how shall I hyphenate this one--- "midwest-not-chicago-near-potatoland-opera" for the summer. This one I'm pretty much applying to because of one show and one role that would be fun to learn and cover.

After next weekend and the concert it's pretty much smooth sailing (literally) from there- my family (extended, with cousins, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) is taking a cruise to the Caribbean for Christmas week, courtesy of my grandparents, who want the family to stick together and make sure that we meet at least once a year since all of our careers and lives are so busy that it's hard to find a time to get together normally.

In the week before it I'll be debating whether to
a. take my Lakme score (obviously a yes)
b. take my laptop (oh how I HOPE there is wireless on the boat--is that even possible???)
c. take one or two other scores that I NEED/was supposed to be looking at and memorizing over this break, which have really not received the attention they should have.

I'm staying in bed for a bit more to read the Times and relax, then I'll head down to City Opera to say hello to the boys from "current-Yap" who are holding auditions there this week and next, maybe take that opportunity to use a free warm-up room down there, head back here, pack up my life and clothes and NEW BOOTS into my tiny suitcase, head to a lesson with a teacher from the program I was accepted into last year, but a few weeks too late as I had already signed my current contract...

(it could be a bit strange because I think they still want me(?) this year, but I have not sent in a new application because I do want to continue at "current-Yap" next year, but I don't want to lose the contact of this teacher/director of that program, which IS a good program I think- but it's school...which after being where I am now, I don't think is the best option for me on paper- in terms of getting mainstage with "current-Yap" versus mainstage with "prestigious-school-artist-diploma"program...ALTHOUGH the coaching and teaching is superb and the school would be free AND in an area and coast that I want to be on..)

That may have been the longest statement I've ever written parenthetically.