31 August, 2009


I have been here exactly six days. I think my 're-welcome-to-germany' time is over, and that now I actually have to start treating this place like my current and future home.

I unpacked my clothes into closets and shelves (instead of leaving them in my suitcases, as I tend to sometimes do during 5 week long gigs).
I brought my ELECTRIC toothbrush (instead of one that cost $1.99 at CVS).
I am not just eating bread and cheese and chocolate, but instead am seeking out semi-nutritious foods from (gasp) Grocery Stores! instead of stalls at the Main Train Stations.

And so, since today is Monday and I spent last night wandering around the streets of FF at the Museum Festival (every museum is free, there is food and music at every corner, and books, chatchkes, and knick-knacks for sale at every other corner), I am going to attempt to implement a schedule for myself so that I feel a bit more like I'm doing 'work' and less like I'm on an 'extended vacation' until I hear about some audition that I have to travel to in some other city.

The things that I need to do in no particular order are: practice German, practice music, and get my butt outside or to the gym.
Oh yea, and plan a wedding.

Aaaaand: GO.

27 August, 2009

tis the season

All of my singer friends back in the US are just beginning 'audition season'--which means that currently they are taking full advantage of their 9-5dayjob printer, and printing out endless copies of resumes, bios, and applications from online while supposedly working.
Hey, been there, done that, and you know you have too!
No judging.

Yes, it's audition season here too, but things are run a bit differently.

Firstly, there are no real 'YAPs'- young artist programs that run for a summer, utilizing 40 fresh young voices for chorus-work for five mainstage shows, while giving the youngsters invaluable lessons such as:

--Learning how to speed-memorize the chorus parts for 5 operas in one week
--Learning how to speed-memorize opera scenes that are handed to you upon arrival before next week's performance
--Learning how to speed-memorize recital music that is handed to you upon arrival before next week's recital...

you get the picture.

No, :) :) that, and of course meeting and working with amazing colleagues and friends, getting to live out your summer-camp youth in a dorm with shared showers, no AC, and someone who keeps stealing your low-fat fudgesicles from the refrigerator.

No applications and application fees, no pianist fees, no warm-up room fees, no singing an audition in a small 12x12 studio with an upright piano

Noo---here you get to the opera house, you are provided a warm up room, you are provided time with the staff pianist, who DOES know how to play Zerbinetta- thank you very much!, you are provided the STAGE. Yes, the STAGE to stand up and do your thing...with a lovely grand piano to accompany you.


I could get used to that.
Not having to scramble to see if my 'short list' of pianists is available to accompany me for an audition.
Not have to warm up on the streets of New York because I don't feel like paying 14 bucks to NOLA for 30 minutes of a non-soundproof room.
Not having to send in 20 to 60 dollars just so someone can look at my resume without hearing me and decide whether I'm worthy of a four minute audition slot three months away or not.
Not having to sing in an overly-live, tiny room, with the auditors tapping away at their laptops visibly while I attempt to make some art ;)

Bitter? Not me! I've just tasted the forbidden fruit on this side of the pond and could get used to this kinda stuff!

first audition

done and done.
Took the train, warmed up in a lovely park, walked in, found the KBB office, and they were super-nice--showed me everywhere to go from there. Another warm up room, rehearsal with the pianist (this is like the 5 star treatment compared to auditions in the US), and then audition on stage.

There were only three people!
Soprano, soprano, counter-tenor.
We each sang one piece, then rotated and were then asked to sing a second piece (so kind of like 2 rounds)--which is fun because you get a break after starting with Der Holle Rache!

My trusty iphone/italk was there to record from back stage, and what I heard, I like :)

25 August, 2009

up up and away

well i made it here...
with barely any sleep...delta was NOT oversold, there was a middle seat between me and the guy at the window, BUT he read three entire papers and crunched EVERY page really small and in half and then thirds so he could read the articles close to his face and not hold his hands out.
do you know how annoying it is to hear newspaper crunched and folded every 2.5 minutes? yea. no sleep.
THEN even though we were all instructed to CLOSE the windows so we could..oh, i don't know..SLEEP!!....he opened his at dawn to watch the "beautiful sunrise" all the way from london to frankfurt (ie, last 2 hrs of the flight--streaming light. on my face. thank you.)

aaaanyway, got to the airport--
my checked bag drama unfolds:
first bag: five pounds over the 50 pound max, so the skycap made me take out some books that CLEARLY did not weigh 5 pounds, but then he said it was ok...think it was cuz i was wearing a tight shirt.
SECOND bag (delta charges 150 for a 2nd checked bag)- so i made mine a carry on--except..it weighed 47 pounds and looked like a mac truck.
so i hid this bag from view from:
security checkpoint
gate agents
airplane entrance agents
and then..the nice airline attendant helped me HOIST it up (over the overhead bin one row ahead of me- just in case it would fall and break my head..wanted it to be the other guy's head).

And so- with my huge backpack of my : laptop/laptop bag, all plugs, all electronics, food, water, three opera scores and other various things that made THAT bag also seem like i was breaking the "one purse/one carry on item" rule....

I MADE it through!

24 August, 2009

it's the day of the flight y'all

As usual, I barely got any sleep. I'm going to attribute this to excitement this time, not the fear of falling out of the sky in a flaming ball of..flames.

No, I'm not 'scared' of flying..but every time the plane shakes, rattles, or rolls (usually during food service), I calmly think about whether there is anything on my person that could be used to identify me in case the plane crashes.

And then, realizing that, no, I am wearing my most comfy clothes (sweats, sneaks, tank, and hoodie and there are no pockets), I slowly reach toward my bag that is tucked under the seat and make sure some form of identification is close by.

Again, JUST in case.

That's normal, right?

Moving on.


And here is how I plan to get around the weight limits for my bags:
Bag one (checked) can only weigh 50 pounds. Ok, mine is about 54.
Bag two (not allowed to be checked or else I pay 150 bucks), is a carry-on and is only supposed to weigh 30 pounds.
It weighs 47. HAHAHHA. Oooops.

BUT, I am sneaky, and I checked in online. What does that mean? I can take my bag directly to the 'dropoff' bag area, get my tag, and HOPEFULLY there will be no weighing involved because I won't be at the 'check in stand' where you have to put the bah on the conveyor belt.
Also, hopefully, they won't look at my carry on suitcase and start laughing out loud.

IF they make me take anything out of either one--that will be quite interesting, but I'll be up for the challenge of perfectly rearranging everything to fit the weight limits (kinda.).

bon voyage!

23 August, 2009

practice makes...

Well, hopefully CLOSE to perfect!

I have taken a bit of a break from practicing (except for in my head)...I mean, practicing out loud...for about two weeks.
I do things that can be considered 'preparing' for upcoming roles, auditions, etc., but I haven't actually sung a note since early last week. Unless it was in the car along with the radio or a CD.

Today I decided that maaaayyybe just maybe I should take a look at all of my audition arias that I'm about to present to a HOPEFULLY large number of houses while I'm abroad for the next six weeks.

Happy to report that they all feel great. Warmed up for about 20 minutes, sang through both Queens (since, I will not offer them unless asked, but they will ALWAYS be asked for), even sang through Lucia (!)..for fun...and then some Fee, Fire, Doll, Daughter, etc.

Tomorrow I'll go through whatever else is left in the book, the less-requested (at least by Europeans) arias.

Once again I find myself in a bit of a ...jumpy (is that my word for it) position...
Everyone in Europe has been on vacation for a month.
Auditions aren't being "scheduled" just yet, inquiries are just starting to be made, houses don't really know their Fest needs for next season (they have until October 30th to find out)...aaand of course, I'll be back in the US before that date.

So again, I'm counting on my managers/contacts and general online ninja skills to get the info., get the audition, and for me to rock it.

It's not a 'scary' place to be in. I was in the same place before leaving for Europe-part-deux in May. Again, I'm pretty zen about thinking that somehow it will all work out, as it has for far...knock on wooooood...but of course, my bottom line is to be auditioning for future work. Not lolling about Europe eating great bread and cheese and chocolate and wine...
hmm..on second thought...
bring on the chocolate.

Oh yea, upcoming post on how I decided that starting on Thursday of next week (giving myself 2 days to get over jet lag) I'm going to start working out. I already know the gym--actually, it's a boxing center..maybe I could get into that....

We shall see.

21 August, 2009

packing again

Excitement of the evening:

Realizing that even though I packed my stuff in a 28 inch (super big..as big as you can get) suitcase, I can SORTA squish it all into a 26 inch suitcase.

I know that doesn't SEEM like it such a big difference, but trust me..weight wise/size-wise and lugging-the-darn-thing-around NYC and German airports-wise, it's SOOOO much better.

Tomorrow I'll have a field day at the local CVS, buying toiletries and other odds and ends that I'm sure exist on the other side of the Atlantic, but will probably have a strange name, so I'm buying them HERE.

19 August, 2009

I'm baaaaaaack

Did you miss me? Didja? Huh? :)

I'm getting ready for my departure this weekend ONCE again to return to Germany/Europe.
Only THIS time, it's NOT only for work reasons (although auditions still remain my number one goal of the next month and a half)...
THIS time it's because there is officially someone on the other end who has officially 'asked' me to be there. :) I still have engagements (haha, engagements) in America, and I am fully aware of that and committed to continuing to perform wherever I have the opportunity to do so- in the States, and internationally, during my career.
So- career-wise (which is all that matters on this blog and for the purposes of writing here), this actually doesn't really change anything except for my continued work toward adding European venues to my performance opportunities.

03 August, 2009


Time for some fun .... IRL...
Unless I absolutely can't keep my fingers off the white sparkly macbook keys, I will try not to be back for about a week and a half or two.

cya...ciao...bye bye now...bu-bye.