20 November, 2011

day of the show, y'all

Ok, so it was last night, but I still need that title, every time...obviously.

How I spent my day- woke up around 10, at 1 had a HUGE brunch with my 3 amazing friends (one who flew in from NYC to see me and see the show!), felt full for the ENTIRE day and proceeded to chill out for a few hours. Around 4pm, got in the shower, lip trills, slowwww warming up....5pm had everything packed, hair dry, coat on (soo cooold!) and my 10 pound bag which included a curling iron, nice clothes, high heels, 18 full size chocolate bars and various cards, banana, apple, protein bar, water,...you know the drill.
Oh, and the score.

SO- arrive at the opera house, drop the cards and chocolates off, into makeup, into costume, LAST MINUTE STAGING CHANGE so three of us were required to meet with the dir. and asst. dir. to go over what they wanted us to change at 30 minutes before curtain.

And then... it began!

I had fun! :)
I think we all did really well, the energy was good, the audience was laughing AND moved (I could see the first row on the monitor), and that is how it should be!

After the show we got all dolled up for the opening night party- and we had like a 'red carpet' of paparazzi pics to take with donors and other board members. Then a HUGE dinner at 11pm, and then introductions and thank you's from the general director.

Even in this smaller role, we got much admiration, lovely feedback and comments, and I got genuine positive commentary from our maestro and director, which to me, is what matters most- that their vision of the drama and music was achieved through my acting and singing. So, there you have it.

Now, to repeat 5 times with the same success and get home safely :)

17 November, 2011

final dress and 2 days off

Hurray! Two days off before the opening on Saturday night.
Final dress in the afternoon was a bit strange just because we have NEVER performed the opera at night~ And all of our performances besides the last matinee are- at night!

So the energy may be different, since we're all used to showing up at 11:30 for our makeup and hair calls...
and now that gets moved to 5:30/6.

I'm feeling good about it.
Let me just reference that old theater saying about no small parts, only small actors, etc. etc...
I think my small part in this show is totally cute! There is a reason for me to be out on stage, I make pretty music for a very short amount of time, but I'm TOTALLY ok with that. I have seriously just about zero pressure, and I can just have a nice time singing and enjoying the music.

In some ways, doing things like Oscar, Olympia and other 'supporting' but possibly scene-stealing roles (I would put Queen in here since it actually IS a short time onstage and you can steal the show easily)...is very much enjoyable for me at certain times.
I can just relax into it and not feel like I need to carry the whole show.
Of course singing Marie or Zerbinetta or Lucia is just as exhilarating, but that's a whole different KIND of pressure (good nervousness) than doing these smaller parts.

So for now, I'm happy that I have 2 days off. I'm excited for opening. I'm excited for the days off I have BETWEEN shows (this stretches over the next 2.5 weeks!), and I'm looking forward to spending some more time with friends and family in the city before returning to Dland.

13 November, 2011

tech week and career stuff

Today we had our piano tech...called at 12:30 for hair and makeup (1.5 hours before the show), ran the show/teched the show from....2 until SEVEN.
Yyyyeaaaa.... it was a LONG day.
People were having slight breakdowns all around because it's pretty frustrating to think that you're going into a 'run' but then being stopped in the middle. Numerous times. For whatever reason. Also, when your 30 minute break (which is actually during the intermission of the show) has a makeup and wig change...you don't EAT all day...
so, yea, I had THAT going for me.

By the end of the day those that hadn't either burst into tears, inappropriate sarcastic laughter and back-talking onstage, or silent raging in a corner, had also had just about enough when the staging of the BOWS was going to take us past 7pm.
We had 2 minutes left in rehearsal and luckily the stage manager was noticing everyone's... just... exhaustion from the day- and we were released.

(For the next 30 minutes of getting out of hair/makeup/costume).

The GOOD thing is at the end of this LONG day, I went to dinner with two of my colleagues and just LAUGHED for three hours straight.

These girls are lucky and talented enough to be at a place in their careers where they don't really have to 'audition' anymore for much of the work that they have (and might I mention they have offers through, oh, 2017ish!). They've made a name for themselves as young and reputable singers from two very notable young artist programs which they were involved with in the past few years...and added to that are managed by two of the 'big name' people in the business.
They are in a place in their lives where things are pretty set for them for the next few years. They're not scrambling to try and find regional auditions or sing for mainstage roles in summer programs where just a few years ago they would have been considered young artists or go to Europe for an audition tour...they are pretty much learning whatever rep. is coming up next and packing for the next gig- which takes them through the next few years.
And besides being some of the funniest AND nicest people I've hung out with on gigs, they have the PIPES to back it up.

What I see around me with where they have come from and the opportunities they now have makes me wonder if I should have stayed in the young artist/resident artist game just a bit longer.
I'm not sure if it was the opportunity to sing small roles and cover big roles in big houses, or the visibility of them having the chance to sing for EVERY manager, EVERY artistic director that came through to see the productions, or the way that their respective programs were really supportive of their 'next' move once they graduated...
But somehow, they landed these top people immediately who backed them 100% and continue to do so--even during dinner the text messages and emails were rolling in about future gigs, calls that were being made on their behalf, and upcoming offers.

I guess I've always thought of myself as a go-getter. I gather as much information as I can about upcoming opportunities or seasons, and if I can do anything about it or find any previous connections or current connection, I'll try to use that information. Whether it's an inquiry email, an 'update' email, or an email passing along the information to the people who are 'more' in the know and can make calls on my behalf. But I do wonder what it would be like just to be on the receiving end of such transactions/calls without having to dig and 'go-get'...and perhaps be on that receiving end precisely because of a certain residency or young artist program that had enough of a 'name' to get the ball rolling.

I can't obviously pinpoint whether it was their residencies, competitions, their voice types, or their current managers who are the main reason that so much work is rolling in. OBVIOUSLY if they didn't have the talent to back it up, none of this would be happening.
But there are MANY talented singers ... some of whom this type of thing happens for, some of whom it does not. And I'm wondering if there is one major factor that contributes to the phenomenon or .. whether it's just - who you know/who the managers know/ timing/ relationships with GD's, etc...

I also can see that I'm starting to make a name for myself across the pond- in a not-so-unknown house at that...and I really wonder whether or when that may lead to a time where, simply based on the level of house and role that I've sung, that would be 'enough' for a 'call to be made'-- and that I could possibly get offers from US houses and houses abroad-- to just 'do' a role..in, say 2014/15 or something like that.

I mean, of course I'm never just going to rest on my laurels. I always WANT to know what future seasons are, whether there is anything for me to sing OR cover, whether I can just do an 'informational' audition or 'reminder' audition and get my voice known out there in opera-land both in the US and abroad.

I'm feeling pretty comfortable with the rest of the work I have through next December, but after that is a big ole' question mark. And of course, being in a gig in November/December this year pretty much cuts out any chances of auditioning for companies that are heading to NYC during that time.

Kind of the same situation as last year. Work is GREAT, but, at some point I also have to be available to get MORE work through auditions, right?
And how much time is TOO much time that has passed without 'reminding' people that I'm still around, and hey, I have some really good work both in Europe AND the US!

I certainly don't have the answers. What I do have is a set of pipes that I believe in, that the companies that have hired me believe in, and the will and want to make this art form and this passion into a hopefully ever-evolving and ever-satisfying career.

07 November, 2011

moving to the stage

We haven't had an entire room run yet, mostly splitting up detail work on Act I and Act II over the past 4 days or so, but tomorrow we move Act I onto the stage.
I only have a few entrances with minimal stage business, but I'm assuming we shall go forth and 'tweak' until it looks perfect, and then do the same thing with Act II on Wednesday.

04 November, 2011

it's all in the details

Left hand a little higher, this look comes later, baroque gestures with specificity... I do like getting a more and more detailed and refined look after general staging is complete, and that is exactly what's happening this week.
I'll take it- AND my unexpected day off tomorrow.