29 July, 2010


We had guests for 4 days here this week! And they have a 5 month old baby! Wheeee! It was super-fun...
and of course I didn't practice, learn anything, study anything, go to yoga (well, I did ONCE), and what I DID do was play with a cutie patootie baby, who seriously did NOT cry--she complained a LITTLE when she was tired, hungry, or sick of being in the position that she was currently in (couldn't sit up alone yet)..
and then we made her laugh and she forgot all about those things. No tears, no screams, just laughing and smiling.
WOW. Here's hopin'- riiiiight?
And now it's back to reality.
Next week I'm getting married (Again! but to the same guy:) )
And then YET again in September...(to the same guy...again..promise).
And the planning- or should I say, non-planning is going smashingly.
Nothing more I could ask for but a super simple low key but classically beautiful affair, 3 times, with family, and then with family and friends...
in which the only thing I feel a tiny tiny bit worried about is whether it will rain on the outdoor affairs...and since I can't control that- I can't worry!


25 July, 2010

what was i THINKING?

This morning we woke up at 8:30...well, 8:55...because we had to get on our bikes at 9am to meet a neighbor to do a RFT- rahdfahrtour!
They happen every week with racing bike clubs around the country.
No, I do not have a racing bike. No, I do not have one of those gel-butt riding shorts that make sitting on the saddle comfortable after an hour, and NO I didn't even bring my helmet because I THOUGHT we would be riding through the backwoods of Deutschland.
We arrived, signed in, and were off-- on a 42km ride!
It WAS actually fun, but since the ride was geared toward racers, it took place MOSTLY on highways and main streets where riders could zoom by my leisurely pace.

After my one hour nap in the middle of the afternoon I decided to take it EVEN further by RIDING MY BIKE to bikram yoga, sweating it out for 90 minutes, then riding back home through town.

ahhh! I am quite certain there will be some pain SOMEWHERE new tomorrow.

21 July, 2010

and on the OTHER hand...

Yes, I can fall into the Alice in Wonderland messed up semi-reality of dreams, fears and hopes, and then I can actually get a piece of concrete work- a contract for next year- mailed to me.

How much do I LOVE signing things in quadruplicate...each time reading over and over about something FUN and FUTURE that I actually have...going into my ical and marking the dates that I'll be 'away'- but that AWAY with really be in the same city as two of my besties from abroad!

Suddenly all of those 'what ifs' about career-life here disappear...if just long enough for me to blog about it.

20 July, 2010

the vortex

or the rabbit hole, or the black hole, or whatever it is that sucks me into the internet google machine..has done it again.
A friend of mine who is a lawyer in nyc and works crazy ridiculous hours, is on call at all times, and barely gets to see her husband said to me today- wow, your job is hard!

Hard psychologically and emotionally, that is.
When we are onstage doing what we do best, it's the easiest thing in the world.
But every other second, we have something to prove.
And not to ourselves. We KNOW how good we can be-- IF given the chance.

And how do we get that chance?
Well first we have to be 'good enough' to go to that 'good school', get that 'good teacher' interested in us, get into our first summer program, impress THOSE directors and coaches and conductors. Get into the next summer program. Rinse and repeat. Get into a year long apprentice program. Rinse repeat.
Basically- meet as MANY people as possible and make as MUCH of a good impression on them (artistically AND personally) as possible-- so that one day, one day far far away from today, they will remember you when you say- oh, and I just relocated to so-and-so place, and am looking to base myself here-- do you happen to have any contacts that I should be in touch with?

Oh, and assuming you get an agent along the way, make sure that you are 'good' enough and 'get hired' enough to keep THEM interested in working for you as well.
One part of my 'rabbit hole' today was visiting some websites of other agents and actually seeing how many of their singers were working..and I mean, REALLY working- not one carmina burana and one christmas concert.

And it's CRAZY- I mean, one soprano that I thought- oh, I hope I'm like HER in two years (a few years back now)-- is barely singing at all, and hasn't been for a WHILE now...and she was singing regularly at nyco and the like!
And on the other hand, some fresh hand-picked young artists from very important programs are getting to travel the WORLD with world-famous conductor/directors who are literally handing them a career on a golden plate.
They seem to have proved themselves early to the RIGHT person (the casting for the young artist program) and luckily, it has taken them far.

So, psychologically- it CAN get a bit crazy.
Not in a 'why is SHE getting work here and here and I'm not"-- but actually FIGURING it out-- drives me crazy.
It's like- WHAT? How is THIS person singing THIS role HERE next year? And then some digging reveals--OH- she sang in THIS tiny production where the assistant director THEN is now the CONDUCTOR here...and so voila.
Of COURSE the singer is talented, etc...
But you still can't help but connect the dots.
And that is happening more and more.

Yes, this world is small...for this career even smaller. You can't afford to have a 'bad night', or be a bad colleague. You always have to be ON...but- these days it seems harder to even get the OPPORTUNITY to be ON-- because things are happening by mutual agreement and previous contacts...
Of course, yes..you have to audition-- at SOME point, for the job that you will have...(probably).
But- not always at the moment that the house invites you to an audition.

Knowing that I'm 30 minutes away from 4-5 major opera houses where I have yet to even have a general audition sometimes really gets to me. Of COURSE they have their own coloraturas already, of course they have their favorites, and their standbys...
But- they're all doing Flutes and Hoffmanns and Abductions and.. and...
if they just KNEW that I existed????
Maybe? One day?
Someone would be sick and their 'standby' would be in another show and WHO WOULD THEY CALL if they KNEW I was alive and sitting on my butt here in FF?
Maybe me!!!

This message has been brought to you by the letter I for impatient.

19 July, 2010

middle 'o summer audition

I suppose if I were still at a young artist program, summer auditions would be regularly scheduled- with all the passers-through including agents and GDs of other opera houses that come to see their artists and the operas for the summer season.
But here in Deutschland, most theaters have already begun their "ferien"...vaycays....
And so not much is going on in terms of auditions these days...except for today :)

After my very short and easy ICE train ride 1 hour away, I got to the opera house, warmed up, thought I'd be last and have to waste a lot of time, but turns out other people were late so I got to go earlier.

Sang Zerbie from so war through the end and it went really really well. Sadly, the panel didn't have time to hear a second piece because by the time I was finished there WERE people waiting to sing.

This was a weird audition because it was kind of for a fest position, but kind of for general consideration for future stuff, and ALSO weirder because the people at the opera house had already heard me (well, half of them) and hired me to sing Queen...

I still came in feeling like I didn't have anyone in my court...but it wasn't like I felt I had something to "prove" either. After all, they already know I can hit the F's and that Queen is the most requested piece for a coloratura here...so I just had fun with the Zerbinetta.
The pianist was PRETTY good- I mean not like NYC coach perfect (oh how I truly truly truly miss those talented few)...but he followed and we played a little, and my iphone recording from offstage turned out quite well! Well, at least to hear what I did...not to put it up on youtube or anything!! Too many background noises and calling the next singer to the stage, etc.

So- it went well. And the thing is..they all mostly go well. Unless I'm super sick.
I've said it before and I suppose I'll say it again...if I'm not sick, the voice is always there...it's not like I'm scared of cracking on any note (the F's, G's and yes Aflats when I so deem to add them in are there), not scared of the accompanist messing up EXCEPT on zerbinetta (only sing it now if i can practice with them), not generally scared of any word mess ups or other flubs...
and in general always just feeling fun, comfortable, free, and...me.
That's about it.
I can't be anybody else. Not their voice, not their persona...just lil' ole' me with my lil' ole' F's ... and then the waiting game begins.

12 July, 2010

it's gettin' hot in heeeerrrre


Really. We have had no previous need for fan or AC, but now it's just unbearable here.
Having to take 3 cold showers a day, falling asleep sweating and waking up sweating is SO NOT COOL.

This weather is gross even in the shade, and the really bad thing about it is not the actual number, but the HUMIDITY!

Yesterday I had a crazy thing happen- Die Zauberfloete #whatever-it-is-by-now got cancelled halfway through the show!!! Due to extreme temperatures onstage and in the pit (and sadly for the audience too)...I suppose that's what you get when performing opera in a gigantor tent that is supposed to be the standby until the opera house is renovated...

Anyway, it was almost 100degrees onstage...everyone was instructed to wear 'as little' of their costumes as possible...so no giant fur overcoat for my first aria...
6 orchestra members had to leave at the first break because they were so hot, tamino almost passed out onstage..and the whole time I'm thinking- dudes, it's JUST as hot in Chautauqua and we had to sing SUOR ANGELICA in NUN costumes with ice packs down our backs!!

And of course, the announcement was not made to us...we just 'found out' right as my offstage through-the-audience entrance for Der Hoelle Rache was ABOUT to happen! Seriously--I had the knife and was about to go all "Zurueck" on everyone.

Then a nice lady drenched in sweat came up on stag and said some stuff in German, and suddenly we were bowing, they were clapping, we were getting our wigs and makeup off, putting on our still-drenched clothes that we showed up to the performance with, and getting BACK on a train in time to catch the 2nd half of the final World Cup game.

Crazy Times.

07 July, 2010

aaaand I'm back

This past 5 days I traveled to the MotherCountry to make sure everything is in order for wedding#2 out of 3: The religious ceremony.
Not that it will be so religious, but we do want something traditional. And after we FINALLY picked the space sight unseen (although, it's on the beach...how unseen can that really be?)...we figured it would PROBABLY be best if they actually knew who we were, what we wanted, picked out napkin colors, etc... (light blue, btw.)

So now that we have confirmed everything and it feels great. It ALSO felt great to be back in the MotherLand...wow- the way I feel there ..just no comparison to anything else.
And I wish SO much that I could start living there immediately. But I don't think that's in the cards just yet. Maybe one day I'll get to wake up to the sounds of the waves of the Mediterranean crashing outside my window. For now, it's just the German fussball fans and their vuvuzelas in anticipation of tonight's game.