10 March, 2009

two down two to go

So in this week of insanity here is the audition run-down and I THINK how I really felt.

I am definitely feeling a bit flustered because I have to pay more attention to travel and making the trains than to the actual audition. I still of course have my concentration…and I’ve managed to compartmentalize (as I do best) the fact that I have to get up, warm up, get there, kick ass, and then run to the train station. And each one of those things I try to put in a separate little drawer. But of course, to be that emotion-less is difficult…with high stakes auditions.
So- the first one went well…it also wasn’t that important—an agent, who said that she really liked my voice, bla bla bla, she could tell I had high notes for days, bla bla bla, great acting. Bla—nothing I haven’t heard before…but can she do any work for me before I head back? Who knows.
The second one (today). The BIG one.
Ok, I woke up, and my neck was totally out of whack. I attribute this to being on a train for 4 hours plus freaking out in general about this audition.
Freaking out…in an excited and half-nervous but maybe good-nervous kind of way.

I wake up and feel bla. Take a shower. Neck is busted if I look the left. Oww.
Warm up outside on the porch overlooking a courtyard because the weather is KIND of nice and I don’t want to sing in a room with too much acoustic before singing in the theater.
Sounds good, if a bit on the cautious side vocally…I don’t know what that means..but it didn’t really feel as “free” as it does. Also attributed to busted neck.

So. I get to the theater an hour early, run through Queen1 with the accompanist (who was the same accompanist that I had 2 weeks ago, so no need to revisit any of the rep).
They were only hearing 4 singers.
Three women and a tenor.
The OTHER soprano who is young happens to be a colleague of mine from the states—meaning, I’ve met her one summer, heard her sing one concert, and know that we sing almost the exact same rep—kind of.

So—that adds to the competition a bit…and now I’m focused on singing a kick-ass Zerb, and KNOWING that they will ask for Queen1 which they had requested that I prepare.

So. I’m standing backstage getting ready for the audition, and on stage they are rehearsing Lucia. Umm, YEA with Jose Cura. Oh yea…and his dressing room? Right next to Mr. Keenlyside….both of which were next to my warm up room.
And then around the corner comes FREAKING Seiji Ozawa!!! WHAT??!?!?!?
Did that really happen? Seiji was all decked out in some ‘street’ threads…looking all cool and breezing by.
Umm, yea—there were some famous peeps walking around backstage right before I had to get out there.
I had requested to sing first (because I had to make the train)..and it turns out it was VERY lucky that I did.
Well, the audition was supposed to begin at 1:30. I actually starting singing around 1:40 because the staging rehearsal for the men’s chorus of Lucia ran late. So after I sang and was running out of there to make it to the train station I overhear that they only have the stage booked until 2pm, now not all of the other people may get to sing 2 arias, they were trying to extend the time until 2:15, but the crew was NOT happy about that because they had another scene to set up.
Whew. Glad I wasn’t involved in that.

Now, the actual singing.
Ok, people, I’m going to give myself a break because this was a BIG one. I mean, pretty much the same thing as singing at the top one or two houses in the USA.
So. The ONLY thing I will say about the Zerb, which overall I think I did REALLY REALLY well with, is that I DID end up between the So war cadenza and the Als Ein gott—on the HIGH ie, Sharp side of the cadenza.
Not a whole step sharp …but enough that I had to recalibrate once I came in for Als Ein and then GOTT with the piano I was sharp. Now, of course that’s better than flat.
But I was still annoyed. I had a feeling that I kind of lost the sense of the center of the note as I was in the cadenza…but I really thought that I was OK…and of course I hit the top note even though it must have been closer to an F than an E (no big difference of course for my voice)…so I’m attributing obviously, to what it was…nerves…excitement…and….I’m ok with it. Because the rest of it was great. Trills, musicality, acting, loving being on this super-amazing stage and having the opportunity to sing for these people.

So. I sang that piece. Then they asked what I had with me. And since I had been instructed to bring Queen1 since that’s what they asked for last time, I said: both queens, rosina, Olympia, blonda and cunegonde—just to give them all the options just in CASE they decided to change their mind and pick a different piece.

But no. It was Queen1. Which, really, people…I have no problem with. And I knew that. Even though being here has fully annoyed me with every audition panel asking for Queens just because they want to hear the F’s and I HAVE all the F’s—let me show you something different..let me show you some LINE or SOMETHING else…but no.
So. Queen 1 is obviously much more dramatic than 2, and it takes more line and such. So I understand why they wanted to hear it…but I hope they weren’t expecting some dark sounding dramatic sound out of me after I just sang the crap out of Zerbinetta for them.

Anyway. With no break, I re-center myself quickly, even while the pianist is playing the intro I’m kind of humming a low low F just to get my throat open and free after ending all of the Zerb coloratura…which is VERY different from Mozart coloratura.

Ok. So we’re off.
Intro- Dramatic, slow, nice line.
Zum Leiden- I think I did some nice things with Pianissimo 2nd Ach Helft, I had good diction through emotion. Du, Du Du section- Yep. This is where I let it take off and just do what I do. It was clean. It was even. The approach to the F was solid…I was a fan.

I was a little dazed at the end…I mean, they said thank you, I smiled, I walked to the pianist and thanked her and she said she hopes to see me! (ha—that means I guess she liked me and wants to see me working there…IF ONLY they could make the decisions, right?!)..so I walk offstage, the agent that sent me on this audition was there, all smiles, and then I took off for my next destination.

It still hasn’t really set in that I just sang an audition for this house.
I mean, I could start writing all about how—well, who KNOWS what Kind of feedback I’ll get, IF I’ll get it, WHEN I’ll get it…whether they even liked me or not, whether that one thing in the Zerb that I’m not happy with will be the dealbreaker, whether they liked or didn’t like my vocal quality for Queen…I mean…really- who knows….right?
So of course I could dote on the negative, or try to already set myself up for hearing a probable no.
I mean, that is what you do in the US, right? Assume it’s no until your agent calls sometime in January or February (or if you’re lucky the day after your audition in Mid-December) and says—you have an offer.

So- out of sight out of mind? I’m not so sure.
The experience was COOL. I mean, I was in and out of there within an hour and a half…I definitely had heightened nerves but I DON”T think that came out in my voice, demeanor, or general audition skills…

I don’t really know how to feel now. I feel…relieved. I feel—a bit content but at the same time I want to pull apart every part of the singing and acting (that I can remember….) and figure out what I did, how I did it, and whether I would like it if I was out there in the house listening.

Onward…(but still….wishing I knew more)…til tomorrow.

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