OK, the grant proposal is in editing phase, so I don't need to spend so much time on it. NOT that it has stopped me from walking around the city, looking at fabulous clothes, buying great music and a recommended book, going to the beach, etc.
But I've been here for 10 days now, and I think it's time that I approach my music seriously.
Preparation I've completed for role #1:
Translated entire score, hi-lited my part, listened to two recordings, watched a dvd of the opera (ok, I skipped the parts my character was not in), counted the number of pages I have to memorize out of the whole score (something like 133 out of 300 or so), counted the number of pages that I already have memorized (not that many, but it's both arias completely memorized, and musically- a decent chunk of the quintet), and realized that the BULK of this role that I dont' have memorized is the worst kind of memorization- one line interjections, singing my own line in huge ensembles, or doubling someone an octave above their line on different words.
Why is this the worst kind of memorization? Well, it's really the hardest. It's so easy to isolate a certain number of pages- an aria, a duet, a trio. You have melody. You have a counter-melody. You either sing one of those or the harmony to that. The words USUALLY have a start and finish and a POINT, rather than when you're stuck up there in the stratosphere repeating something 10 times about how exciting it will be to all to go to the fortune-teller's house and see what she has to say!
So. I really have to make myself learn those parts. Preferably now-ish instead of watching subtitled tv here and championing my French and Italian whenever they show a foreign movie, and cowering in a corner whenever I flip through the German tv channel and understand only the "little" words, and realize I'll be there in 3 weeks!
Work I've done on role #2:
Well, I don't have the right score yet (which is the English translation), but this is a role I've actually wanted to study for a very long time, so in the meantime, I have a much better musical grasp on the whole thing just because I like it more and have studied it before. Actually, I love the music in this opera. It's my favorite overture. So I think that I could sing the entire thing except maybe some sections of the quartet, and of course the finale where it's like singing Mozart's sop2 part- you're the "not-important filler harmony' that makes what the higher sop and tenor sing sound pretty!
Hmm, in review, while I began this post as a bit worried about my lack of progress in Self-Imposed-Study, I think I actually already know quite a bit more than I would have expected by now. That's not to say that I've done any real work while I've been here, which is WHY I am writing this and need to start--today! But it's not like I'm singing these roles next week and still have 200 pages of music to learn!