31 October, 2008

2 a days

2 auditions today.
Number one- young artist program. Started with that magical piece that everyone has liked. Will have to wait until next week to find out about a callback or not. Thought it went really well though and put me in a nice place.

Number 2- Durch and then re-singing an aria from a role I performed in 05. It's nice when it's just there still in your head. I looked over it a few times before the audition today because it's pretty wordy, and in English. Durch went well as always. The room (which I had just sung in previously this week) was very live with a very loud/slightly out of tune piano...sadly. Like singing in a small gym.
What can you do--it's not a place for nuance. So everything was one dynamic higher I felt--because it was just bouncing off the walls.
But both pieces went very well and it was an introduction to a new company for me...so hopefully there will be good feedback for the future.

28 October, 2008


Woah--I've recently gotten really good reactions to one particular aria that I haven't ever started with (and have, as of today, only sung twice in auditions) but have coached with a few different people, all of whom think it's somehow 'enchanting' and just right for me.

I'm JUST not sure about it as an opener. I want it to get chosen, of course. Actually, I want any of my pieces to get chosen for the 2nd aria because I love them all.

Decisions, Decisions...

27 October, 2008


Audition today--I woke up at 7, went to work1 (out of 3 in general, but out of 2 for today), showered and dressed for business casual office, left at 10, cabbed it across town to THANKFULLY my cousin's apt who lived 2 minutes away from audition location, changed in her room rather than a tiny bathroom stall, warmed up for 25 minutes, ate an apple, re-focused on the task at hand, got to the audition, sang Durch and Tytania, and then cabbed it back to work1 for 2 more hours, followed by work 2 for two hours in the afternoon.

It's KIND of crazy to try and be a 'singer' while having to work other jobs. Now I know what all those people meant when they said that working in nyc and not singing can suck you into a void that is hard to crawl out of. THANKFULLY 2/3 of my jobs are AWESOME..they understand what I am in my 'real' life, and that my life's goal is not to work as an administrative assistant in their office, shred papers, make photocopies, file papers, etc...I am teaching and tutoring in subjects that I ACTUALLY like (music and languages), and I feel like I'm making good connections with the students and getting through, but...for how long? They know I won't be back for the 2nd semester, but still...it's weird to think about the fact that I didn't really move here to the city to do..THIS..I moved to sing for audition season here (and happen to need money to pay the rent and see awesome broadway shows and ..oh yea, opera too)..and now I'm getting auditions and feeling weirdly guilty about leaving my job 30 minutes early, or taking a long lunch, etc.

It's nearly impossible for me to schedule anything in the morning and so I've already had to ask very politely whether time switches would be possible.
And I know it's ok, and people do it all the time...but I try to avoid that kind of stuff like the plague. I take the time I'm given.
If it's 9:30am-all the better--wake up, warm up, kick some butt, and get on with the rest of your day.

But for the luxury of living in this lovely city for 4 months, I know I have to slave away at a day job or jobs that are not always the most exciting or stimulating, and I know that I just have to learn to focus. Clear away the work before the audition. Separate one thing from the next, and then be able to jump right back into work when it's finished.

Of course, all that REALLY matters is the audition. That is what I want to be doing, not happen to HAVE to be doing so that I can write a check at the end of each month.
And that's how I'll try to approach it in these coming weeks of what I'm sure will be an interesting experiment in the time-space continuum as I try to make it across the park at rush hour in less than 45 minutes for some auditions!

26 October, 2008

waste of space

Woke up at 10:45...KIND OF. Got out of bed at 12. Have done nothing until now, 4:30 except refresh my email(s), THINK about my auditions this week, refresh my email(s) again, google-ninja people and things of interest, and basically be a waste of space.

This evening I'm working on a consulting project and making sure I know the words to the aria that I'm offering tomorrow that is not on my usual list, but that I've learned and sung before...around 2002.

Lazy Sundays....

24 October, 2008


as in...awwww...snap!
I loved it.
I got to sing the whole aria, it was on a big fun stage, and here are my thoughts from what I remember.
See...when I'm in it..I can rarely speak to my performance. It just feels exhilaratingly good. NOTE- blogger says exhilaratingly is spelled wrong...my SAT score of 800 in English in high school says that blogger is sadly incorrect.

Oh. back to the audition.
So. What I felt (other than the acting) when I was singing it---some words---round, open, breathing, free, exact, niiiiice.
But mostly I was concentrating on the scene at hand since I had the chance to sing the entire thing!
It's SO much more connected this way.
The arc is there for a character to be introduced, grow, change, and end changed.

What can I say about how it sounded? I don't know because it's not what I can listen to.
I know the high was high, the low was low, the runs were clean, no notes were fumbled or fussed over, nothing seeeemed hard or wrong, the room got me a bit dry about 3/4 through, but I got over it when I got to the moving section...but truthfully, I don't know anything except that feeling I had when it was over was that I was someone else and all of a sudden that trance was over and they were saying: thank you...I guess we didn't stop you like we said we may.


23 October, 2008

get in the zone (it's just me against the music)

24 hours until audition for most coveted role ever:
-a healthy and large warm walnut encrusted chicken salad from Josie's paid for courtesy of my mom being in town for 4 hours.

22 hours until audition for most coveted role ever:
-a healthy workout at the gym. My trainer saw me listening to my iphone and made me plug it into the main stereo in the studio we work out in...aaaand it was upcoming-role-1-opera which was totally a trip for him...he was like we're in YOUR world now--let's work it out! And we did. I don't know if listening to recit and doing 20 fly reps is double the pleasure or double the pain.
I'm pretty sure I'll be sore tomorrow...but maybe in a good way. I'm about to take a looong shower, have some more emergen-C, drink of champions who want to avoid sickeness due to seasonal allergies, seasonal weather changes, and the heat being turned on in the apt.

Rest of the evening: Show tunes channel, gawk a little at the L&O SVU episode being filmed directly outside my apartment building, think of character, love of said character, said character's 'loves', do a little warming up (maybe in upcoming shower), and in general ..

and you can FLY :)

22 October, 2008

comments- finally!

Ooops--my bad. Said I'd be back the next day with the 411 and really...I spent the rest of the weekend hanging out, doing laundry, photocopying music, preparing for the week ahead.

So. Back to Met Lucia x2 (I'm considering x3 with Trebbs).
Last year I sat in line all day for those cheap tickets in the orchestra section. Get there at 10am, wait until 5:45, get tickets if you're the first 100 people...HORRID idea---whoever was in charge of that is WRONG!
Just HAND out the tickets at noon or something for goodness sake. Tangent. Basta.

Ok. So. Dessay was amazing. The acting and the singing were one. There was no sharp, flat, wrong, NOTHING. Everything was clean and crisp and I paid attention to her more as an actress than a singer..even though the singing was perfect.

Damrau's singing was more thrilling, that's for sure. The color of her vocal range, the exciting top and how she gets ready for it...the full chest in the low. It wasn't perfect or executed perfectly at all times--but it was about the emotion and passion of the music I think. Which mirrored her acting nicely, although sometimes the awkward soprano/tenor in-love pose got a little tiring in the duet--hold me so that it looks like we are about to kiss or embrace but really we're positioning ourselves so that we can both sing out and somehow bounce the sound off of each others chests. Or...hold me so that it looks like we are about to kiss or embrace but really when you sing I'll pivot downstage and when I sing you'll pivot downstage so that we can sing out.

Oh. The mad scene was cool because it was newly blocked with crazy Diana minus the stairs and the rolling around on them.
What she did was just as passionate and slowly insane and unstable...and I loved that extra spark that it gave the final Act.

I LOVE that in live theater. Something that perks you up because it's not 'normal' or 'expected'.
A cover going on. Something wrong with the sets so you have to restage something...awesome energy because everyone knows it's not the same thing and THIS time will be different.

And it certainly was.
Coming up this week---audition for a role that I so so so so so much want to perform--in LIFE.
Followed by three more next week and hopefully as many as I can get this season.
Because the bottom line is that thinking about being onstage, thinking about singing, getting to be onstage, getting to sing...and the entire process that goes into--long and hard and EXPENSIVE as it may be...is all worth it in the end when I get to say that this is the career that I chose and that chose me...and it couldn't make me happier to be part of it.

happy shiny rainbows and bubbles to all....
good night.

19 October, 2008

the lady with the mic

Lucia at the MET tonight.
Right after the 2nd intermission which was UNUSUALLY long, everyone was back in their seats when the woman with the mic came on.
Really? No one SOUNDED sick...maybe someone just took ill or something.

Nope- turns out...there is a technical malfunction, and they had to RESTAGE the mad scene!
The hydraulics didn't work, they couldn't get the stairs and the set in for the mad scene and they also didn't have the stairs in the Wolfcrag scene so that Edgardo and Enrico were pretty much in the same room, threatening to kill each other and within striking distance, but not raising a hand.

But the night went to Ms. Damrau who stepped up the 'crazy' even without the stairs and the entrance and the exit.

Much more to report tomorrow after I get a good night's sleep about the voices, my impression seeing it with Damrau and Dessay, and much more.
But first, slumber.

17 October, 2008

Zerb lessons

Last week- Zerb coaching
This week- Zerb lesson for voice.
Next week- audition for Zerb.

How did it go?

Coaching- great---found some nice new lines and power and detail. Language- U's can be more closed and rounded. Ah's are ah's like father and not whatever consonant comes after them to close them.

Lesson- it was a booty-kicking but in a good way.

Things I have to remember----EVERY note has to spin at the top..there's no just sitting pretty.
Every note has to connect and be round in the middle--anything up to an F-ish.

Free breath. Nice E's. Relaxed. EYES.

This is one of my favorite things to sing.
And one of my favorite things to act.
And I want it to be one of my bread and butter roles in life.
So I break it down note by note even though I've been singing it for however many years and learn from each lesson on it how to make it the master-work that I want it to be.

14 October, 2008

Dr. Atomic Opening at the MET

Opening night!
Even with my 'starving artist' seats in the back of family circle, I only have love love love for this opera.
I've seen a fair share of modern/contemporary works, and usually I'm a fan if it grabs me.

Well----Dr. Atomic is a story that weaves itself through music with beautiful lyrics based on letters, real broadcasts, beautiful poetry, maxims from famous religious works, and fleeting stream of consciousness poignant arias.

The orchestration was a dream for the singers--or so it seemed, because I understood almost every word (props to the English diction coach), they carried and cut over the orchestra, the ensemble underneath them was supportive without being too loud, heavy, or distracting from the melodies.

Not to say that there weren't a fair share of dramatic, strong, and LOUD moments--especially the last 5 minutes when it seemed like the whole theater was shaking--as if, in NYC, 10 subway cars are rumbling above, below, and to all sides of you. I actually was concerned about whether with that sound decibel it could ever compromise the structural integrity of a building.

Not that building...but just "A" building.

At any rate, it was beautiful music and poetry.
The production was cool and I didn't think anything was in there just to 'be in there' and make it 'new and weird' or 'shocking', etc.--everything had a reason and I believed it.

Yes. My review and advice is Yes. Go see it.
I actually may go again soon.
It's intelligent and passionate--brains and soul.
Smart and sexy.
go. now.

11 October, 2008

Happy bday to me :)

Yes, I'm wearing my pink gapkids shirt Ages 10-12 that says Birthday Girl in sparkly blue and has pink and red hearts and silver stars around it.
Over a long wifebeater, black leggings, and black boots. With half-pigtails.
It's so almost-normal for nyc anyway :)

Feeling the love from my facebook friends who are scribbling on my wall, feeling the love from the voicemails, calls, and texts from friends near and far, (and all dear)..and am excited for day II of b'day celebrations--which began a few hours before my actual bday last night--sushi dinner, 2 folk-jazz sets, followed by another jazz venue for big band jazz, some nice red wine and wonderful company all around!!

Feeling like it's just right to be my age right now. And loving the chance to celebrate with friends from all walks in NYC.

08 October, 2008

Salome at the MET


Ok, the singing was amazing all around. No need to even elaborate on that one since it's obvious with as stellar a cast as that.

Now let's talk production. I am a FAN! It was cool and half ancient Egypt half futuristic-plexiglass-topped-bunker old-school hollywood meets Judean-chic.

The thing that everyone thinks they'll talk about is the dance and then the no clothes...but you know..she just went there and it was totally natural in her state of mind and the progression of the character, and it was so right for what the scene needed.

The whole time I was thinking twisted Lolita or something of the sort. Salome knows what will please the older man who is supposed to be her role model and father figure but instead subjects her to themes beyond her years and forces her into knowing...how to use her sexuality to get what she wants.

And then I got to thinking how great it would be if there were an opera based on Lolita.
I put it out there people!!! and low and behold, Harbison began to write one in 1999 but never completed it. DO IT! It will be a big hit. I promise!
And when you do, please write Lolita as a young and overly knowing, naive, childish, snotty, sexual and misguided COLORATURA SOPRANO!! (and send me an email).


My bday weekend is coming up, one I share with Little Miss B and another coloratura sop. that we both know and many many other artistic minded, level-headed, diplomatic, idealistic, charming, romantic, flirty, sociable (all according to wikipedia) Libras.

Happy bday!

05 October, 2008

Mozart at the MET

Caught Giovanni tonight.
Weirdly and surprisingly, it's the first time I've ever seen the entire thing. I've been part of scenes before, have heard all of the arias numerous times, heard the overture played at different concerts, but have never seen the entire opera.

My impressions of the MET production were:
Polenzani's voice and presence is amazing and sweet.
Erwin is hot and sounds hot and acts hot and the director happily found enough dramatic motivation for him being shirtless for most of the second half AND pouring a goblet of wine on his chest...twice.
I loved the women. How different they were from each other, how different they sounded from each other, and how each one commanded the stage and attention when alone but let the ensemble speak for itself when in quintet or sextet.

Oh. The set.
Bricks and darkness. Not too fond of it.
The Commendatore/Hell scene was cool, although the swirling snow was not very indicative of the fiery hell that the Don was about to encounter.

I got great seats for this one because of friends in high places, and it was really a nice way to begin my MET season (I have tix for 5 more shows) from the orchestra section.

02 October, 2008

My minute by minute FB status updates during the Debates

"darn right we need tax reliefs for Americans" (quote number one of the evening)

if you rape the continental shelf, do they have to pay for the tests?

NUKULAR??!?!?!? Arghghghgh

diplomacy is hard work by serious people

i'm so encouraged to know that we both love israel... awwwww

WHAT just happened? was that a SENTENCE?

certainly accounting for different conditions in that country and there are certainly different conditions in that country.

in all fairness, biden just said Bosniacs--which is still correct, but not the number one word choice.

John McCain Knows What Evil Is

now each one has to prove they are middle class. Home Depot! Main Street! Katie's! My 'hood!

shoutout to all the 3rd graders!!!!!!! (even if you're smarter than I am)

why does the camera show Palin's butt and not Biden's?

she just said agenda and position and flexibility and 'in there' three times

my experience as an executive will be put to good use...executive of the tiniest more redneck town in Alaska? YES, I've been there!

we represent a perfect ideal--democracy..and tolerance--unless you are a 15 year old preggo incest victim.

Did he just pull the dead wife card?

SNAP!!!! TEARS!!?!?!?


you appoint people regardless of party affiliations---except if they ever crossed you

we're gonna fight america. AMERICA..F*$K Yea!!

Doesn’t want it to end!
ooo, is her preggo daughter gonna come up onstage too?

dude i swear to god, that Trig baby is only being held by the daugher. He is totally the daughter's baby

why are you letting the 5 year old hold Trig?

is so over "spin alley."

odds and (rear) ends

It seems that I'm very un-bloggy lately...well, as opposed to my daily or every two day postings of yore.
So let's play a little ketchup:

It's the new year! Well, at least for the chosen people...which means apples and honey, really amazing homecooked meals plus leftovers for a few nights, feeling the most full you've ever felt in your life and still eating that last piece of apple crumb cake, and of course, turning over a new leaf.

What better way to re-institute my new year's resolution from JANUARY (get in shape and stop eating like a jerk)...on my religious new year--actually, I've been better at this. For the past month, yes, I have been a member of the new york sports club. I cough up the monthly fees and was preeeettty good about going....but my gym experience is something like the following:

5pm. Ugh. I have to go to the gym.
5:10 Ugh. What clothes should I wear to the gym.
5:15 Ugh. I guess I"ll walk to the gym..wait, should I jog there? Nah. I 'll just do some warm ups when I get there.
5:20-6pm: When can I get off of this godforsaken elliptical machine? (All this while listening to my ipod with current-opera AND flipping through current score while trying not to be distracted by whatever is on TV that my neighbor on the elliptical is watching).
6:01: I feel good!
6:02: I should have some protein and water and a salad and I'm only eating healthy from NOW on!
10:55pm: I'm so hungry I feel like eating everything in my apartment AND going outside to pinkberry across the street because they're open for 5 more minutes and getting a small green tea ice cream with carob chips on it right now.

So, to get my booty back into bathing suit shape (which I will need well before this coming summer thanks to a sunny winter-gig), I am now working with Tony the trainer who likes to make me do things on machines that I would have otherwise had no idea how to even sit on, likes to make me jump rope ...a lot, likes to make me walk up and down stairs with weights in my hand, and especially likes to make me try and do pullups--hahahah--something I couldn't even do in 10th grade gym class to get the presidential award.

I guess I should be happy that I have the luxury of time and money to invest in something like this. I am taking it seriously now--seeing him 2 days a week and doing cardio 2-3 additional days a week.

Other odds and ends that don't have to do with my re-shaping of the rear:
Great voice lesson again, I think I 'get it'--meaning, the technique, meaning--keep it simple stupid---meaning, this should be about feeling nothing. And then it's right.

Going to see some MET shows in the next few weeks that I'm excited about.

It's my BDAY next weekend (not this weekend) and I'm trying to figure out what to do that will be fun and low key and have I mentioned fun..and it might include the words KARAOKE...Maybe.