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Coloratur...aaah





Updated: 2017-06-21T22:38:18.134-04:00

 



on the move

2015-10-26T11:18:39.941-04:00

Let's skip the part about how I haven't blogged for years...shall we?News: After SIX years it looks pretty official that I'll be leaving 'abroad'. Leaving 'expat life'. And making a return across the Atlantic to the big ole' U.S.ofA.They always say the grass is always greener...but actually, I've loved having a career in Europe. The fire, the passion, the MULTITUDE of opera houses, the feeling that even if I was unknown and even if I was the 'most famousest', getting 'just heard' at an audition just about anywhere would be possible. The love of the art by 'the normal people' who, walking by the opera house on a Thursday evening might just decide to pop on in for whatever show is playing-- in their jeans...and maybe also with their kids!And now, all of a sudden, moving back, although a wonderful opportunity in a new city where people speak ENGLISH (well, sort of- I'll have to learn the accent, alright, y'all?)...my world just seems to have gotten SO MUCH SMALLER.I was speaking to someone 'in the biz' about auditions and they said that there are fewer than 20 opera houses in the US that a person 'of my level' would sing at right now. He was not being condescending to all of the amazing 'start-up' operas, mom-and-pop smaller houses in regional areas of the country that otherwise would have NO opera-- no, not saying that that tiny regional gigs are not 'good'- but just that they're not WORTH it for the fee-- this person surprised me by saying- "you'd be better off staying at home having quality time with your kids than net 1-2thousand dollars for 5 weeks on the gig".Wow.And that just, honestly, surprised me. Coming from a manager-- coming from someone who wants singers to be promoted, to be SINGING, to be having careers-- but someone that also understood that there is a value that is now 'fixed' in my life, and that is- staying with my family, and in this person's opinion, those gigs which would pay me under a certain amount- would not be worth it.So here I am.Back in NYC for a few auditions.Singing (honestly...) better than ever.Looking pretty good too if I do say so myself.Thinking about all of this. Thinking about management (because in the USA, it's a must-- and in Europe I had gotten very comfortable with being nonexclusive), thinking about what my goals are for these next three years of being 'back', but not really back- because it's a new city, new connections to be made. And thinking about- most of all- happiness.What will make me happy in 6 months? one year? five years?How would I have answered that question as 25 year old?And how do I answer that question, now (as an under 35-but-approaching-that-in-the-next-years) year old?At 25- I most likely said: get management (check!), sing at xyz opera companies (check), make European debut and maybe sing at one of the top five houses in the US (check! check!)- all done by age 30-ish!So what are my answers now?Ok- 6 months- (Maybe) US management, Definitely: New Gig in the US.1 year- Have the 'flexibility' to say yes or no to anything that comes my way- meaning, do 2-3 opera gigs per year that take me 'away' from home, and the rest- again, locally if I can --local to the BIG state that I'm moving to with at least 3 major opera houses that would be wonderful if I had the opportunity to sing there (for the first time and again)--5 years- And this is an honest answer that is a 'first time' answer for me, but not a first time thought. I know that I'm not going to sing forever- not only because I don't WANT to be 50 and singing/traveling but also because I'm honestly interested in the 'other' side of the business- arts consulting, marketing, PR, budgets, EVERYTHING, that has to do with making what I deem an 'exciting arts organisation' EVEN more exciting and top-notch.And I've had the chance to begin to do work in those areas as well in the past few years- as a consultant. What can I honestly say about 5-10 from now? I'm still hoping that around age 40 I am 'doing this' still- but...at 45? 50? I'd like to be on the other side. Whether it's a theatre or opera company, whether it's[...]



the best job...

2015-04-11T14:09:50.455-04:00

I know, it's been ages and ages. I know, I probably used that same intro. line the LAST time I hadn''t written in over a year.
I won't try to sum up or review.
And I also won't promise to blog more often! But I came upon the sad existence here and then realized that in mid-April for WHATEVER reason over 150 readers graced this page (reasons unknown to me?) and that I hadn't updated in so long that I ... probably should.

So the update is- HEYYYYY_---- I've got 2 kids! and HEYYYYY I'm still a working artist!

Things upcoming include a concert of SUPER modern music that NO, I have NOT had the time I've needed to learn (yet), and YES, does have a rehearsal in just over 2 weeks.
#I'mBlamingThatOneOnLackOfSleepPlusMYBAD

Then some more 'gala-esque' concerts which are always great since I get to pull out operatic gems PLUS learn a few new crowd-pleasers that I've wanted to take a look at and now have an excuse to do just that!

That's all for now.
Back to work...






..about those critics and reviews...

2014-05-21T16:32:11.665-04:00

Much has been written that is more eloquent.

These aren't my 2 cents. This is my '35 weeks pregnant with #2 and STILL performing as of last week and final audition 2 days ago' hormonal ramble. (oh yea, surprise!)

I'd love to invite/force those insensitive critics to try get get through one 'day in the life' of an opera-singer mom in their OWN jobs (ie, horrible night's sleep, wake up and attach a machine to your boobs to milk yourself at 5am, try to get ready with screaming in the background and interrupted to hold a baby every 5 minutes, get to work on time, nope, no coffee break, have to pump,  child-minder just called, the baby threw up everywhere and has a fever can you come home, nope have an important meeting that you have to cancel that might have led to a promotion or a book deal, try to get home by 6 or you'll pay overtime at daycare, oh yea MAKE DINNER for your partner and then attempt to 'relax' at bedtime, which actually means: screaming from 8pm-8:30, sleep for 45 minutes, screaming from 9:15-9:30, a little more sleep, and so on and so forth until about 3am. Wash, Rinse, Repeat-- for approximately 16-20 months...)- and see how much 'work' they get done and how they feel about themselves at the end of the day-- also, how do your EDITORS feel about you at the end of that day. To assume that even IF their work suffered and their editor trashed some piece they wrote it can be blamed on 'recent motherhood'- really?!! 
That plus get some top designer on the line and make them all go into a costume fitting and stand almost naked in front of three mirrors with assistants noting how much material has to be taken OUT, and directors, asst. directors of both genders coming in and out of a flimsy cloth flap meant for 'privacy' to try and fit them into a 'regietheater' costume that fit a certain slimmer singer in the premiere 2 yrs ago and now has to fit the new cast.

Pass the chocolate muesli. 



Almost over

2014-01-01T16:21:56.361-05:00

Ok those two weeks of 'crazy'/holiday passed pretty uneventfully. GREAT performances, time to rest despite the long drives and long train rides, and now just one more performance of Queen and then some down time.
OH how I HATE down time.
What am I doing right now?
Trying to figure out how I can fill it.
Opera, Concert, Recital, Recording, Lesson, Coaching-- SOMETHING to get me through until the NEXT time around.
Really hoping some last minute einspringens come up this Spring season.



clowning/queening around

2013-12-20T04:56:48.266-05:00

While everyone else gets to enjoy Christmas, family time, and a vacation, my work begins this weekend.
Two productions of Magic Flute, 5 performances in two weeks, trains, automobiles, and hopefully NOT planes.
The first production just 're-rehearsed' for 2 days this week. Thankfully, this one has a cut version of the dialogue, very easy staging, and not much to do. So four out of my 5 performances will be relatively low-stress. There is ONE thing that I'm not too happy about and that is the conductor who led this piece over a year ago, with a totally different cast, not even taking the time to ask us about tempi or what felt good. And what he took just didn't do it for me. Yes, I can sing the first aria's first part super slow, and then the coloratura super fast. And yes, I can sing the second aria in your 'slower' tempo than I'd actually like, but you know what? If you really wanted me to 'sparkle', you'd FOLLOW ME! or at least ask how the tempo was after the rehearsal or during break! But, no. Instead you waved your little hands around and made the orchestra sound pretty at the tempo that you wanted to have the pieces sung/played at. Not so fun. Plus, when the arias are SO slow, I start thinking - hey, do I actually KNOW this text? And then of course I blank. Sooo-- that's awesome. I know it's coming now, so I'll be more prepared than our one rehearsal which happened to also be the first time onstage which happened to also be the first time with costumes/makeup and orchestra. Great.

Now to the second show, which worries me just a teeeeny bit more. I sang this production ONCE, two years ago. The text is the LONG version and for some reason I have NO recollection of ever having memorized it! (awesome, #not). Also, I wrote down the blocking (2 yrs ago in chicken scratch)...soo.... that has to be deciphered. And of course for production #2 there is no prompter and there is NO brush-up rehearsal since I'm the only person that's new and they just had performances of this show a month ago! Gah. Sooo--- that should be fun times as well.

All of this plus- it's the WINTER! I'll be in HOTELS! Sleeping POORLY! JOY TO THE WORLD! I'm still getting better from a super-long super-horrible cold two weeks ago. I know, negative nelly and debbie downer right now, but I have to get it OUT or else it will still BE there when I go to do the shows. So, it's over and done with. Now time to decipher the blocking, practice the arias in a slower tempo, and stay HEALTHY for the next two weeks.





writing

2013-12-10T06:07:18.235-05:00

Recently read an article in the Times about job-seekers who were asked to write about their current job-less-ness as part of their further application process in order to actually get a job (ie, meet with couselors, fill out forms, etc.) And of course, it turns out that the more people wrote about their past experiences, even the fact that they were bad/negative and they DIDN"T have a job or were fired/let go from their job, the faster they got new work.Now, I can't start making comparisons immediately- but let's take a quickie look at this here lil' blog and I sadly see that as far back as 4 or 5 years I was writing almost every other day- the yearly entries around 200-300. And now I'm at a measly 30 per year? I'm not going to connect that with the current state of my work-- because work in different countries is different, and also because I was still in the YAP track back then. But- maybe it WOULD do some good to 'write it out' and just see if that approach leads me to any new revelations about where I"m going next.2013 began with what was possibly the highlight of my career in terms of gig visibility/publicity, etc. I was on a great roll, and kept rolling with it as an offer came it to bring the show to another theater, in between a zerbinetta or two and a queen or two.I guess that was the 'prime time', and I did try my best to make as many connections and RE-connect with as many people in the biz as possible. So, I did my job- but it's tough to follow up when NOT that much new and exciting is happening.Yes, I have 2 more queens and a zerb.I'm not flying back to the US for auditions this year, as I've been told there really aren't any-- well, specific to my repertoire. I've had a few auditions in Germany that have yielded some of the most bizarre feedback I've heard-- possibly also due to the fact that they were in some of the most bizarre settings that I've ever had to sing in-- ie, the theater is under construction, let's set up bleachers in an old warehouse and erect a stage out of metal and clapboard--aaaand go.Then on an audition that I really felt I nailed (and even have the recording offstage to 'prove' it)- another resounding no with feedback that I can't really do anything with or do anything about to change. It's just my voice and if you don't like it or it's not in 'style' right now-- sorry not sorry.So I have one more next week. For a role that I've sung a few years back. A FUN role. I would REALLY just like to 'nail' something. I have work in 2014 (well, one production). And I want ONE more at least.Even better, here's my list of "THINGS": Just putting it out there----I want to work with ONE new theater (ie, get a job for '14 or '15) in Europe. (preferably the role I'm about to audition for, mmmkay?)I want to get asked back by ONE of the theaters that I've already worked with in Europe.I want to get asked back OR get asked to work with a theater in the US in 2015- I know, without an audition this season-- but...a girl can dream, right? I want to SOMEHOW find concert contacts and get TWO concert bookings- either arias with orchestra or something like Carmina or Messiah for next Xmas season.And then I want something totally out of the blue to happen with the modern/contemporary music that I have around.Basta.What am I doing to GET all of the 'THINGS'??Well, I set up a consultation with a possibly new voice teacher in January.I am going to send a recording with a letter to all of the bigger orchestras here (I've already penned this ages ago, so need to update it and get around to really finding all of the contact info. and sending it, I mean REALLY).I am going to try and find SMALLER ensemble opportunities for ongoing gigs in the area. I don't yet know how I'm going to do this. I did it for the past 2 years but when the lower-pay of small-time ensembles is NOT offset by my travel costs, it's not really worth it. So I have to go local...or, MORE local than a 60 Euro train r[...]



Back in Deutschland

2013-11-08T05:58:14.938-05:00

Back home, picking up the 'routine' again, which, of course, does not include staying in bed until 10am, watching a few episodes of Law and Order, and then rolling out of bed around noon to prepare for rehearsals or performances.

In two weeks I'll be singing another Koenigin, and I'm happy to report that it's the reduced text (yahooooo!), and I'm even happier to report that they're going all "German Wiederaufnahme" on me, which essentially means- I get sent a DVD of the show to look up, show up to the last 2 orchestra staging rehearsals, and then sing the show for the entire run after that! No rehearsal time (can I get a yahoooo again?!), which means I get to spend more time organizing the next few months, next auditions, other repertoire, thinking about a possible dvd recording of some contemporary stuff...maybe just maybe...not sure yet.

Looking forward to working closer to home for the next few months. There may be another international flight or two in my future, but if they're for auditions, that's fine. Otherwise, I get to sleep in my own bed, take ICE trains to performances, and get back in time for a late night snack and bedtime!







the Good, part 2

2013-10-26T00:01:18.737-04:00

So I get on an airplane 2.5 weeks ago, arrive at rehearsal, have 1.5 hrs to coach and learn the blocking to act 1, have 1.5 hrs to coach and learn the blocking to act 2.
And two days late I'm onstage doing the first piano dress, and two days after that I sang an orchestra dress rehearsal.

The show has since opened, I'm 'on standby' but of course not expecting anything to happen besides having to sit in my super comfy apartment near the theater and wait-it-out.  Now there's a week and 2 days left until I fly home.

And, of course, while I've been away, a few things have been brewing as well.

One of them, another offer for Queen. Yep, I'll take it.

So I'm gainfully employed again (awesome), and now waiting to see what the European and US audition season may have in store for me.





i know, i know, but this one is GOOD, part1

2013-10-10T21:34:41.859-04:00

Yes, it's been forever, bla bla bla.

Life has been ABsolutely crazy in these last few days.

Here's the rundown:

On schedule for the end of this month: performance with company A (outreach shows, very little money).
Suddenly, AgentX asks if I'm free to do a one week cover of 'favoritest most fun show EVER' in France with company B. Pay is 5 times as much as company A. I'd be SORT of an idiot not to turn down A (politely)...money is money..."it's the economy, stupid", etc.

Contact AgentY and say I need to cancel A (it's just outreach, they should be able to deal with it-- was very polite, and it never HAS happened before that this happens to me, but there's NO way I can say no to this opportunity to introduce myself to the new house, plus 'favoritest role in most fun show EVER'...

All is ok, A is cancelled, B requests my financial info. (last thursday), THEN on Friday AgentX says- wait, the company B in France is reserving the right to decide whether they actually want this to happen until next Wednesday. Ok, I'm thinking, oh crap- just canceled one thing and now I don't even HAVE the other because no contract was signed...this suuucks.

And then on Saturday I get an email from AgentY asking if I can still cancel house B because there is a WHOLE show that needs covering, with the possibility of performing-- at house C. BIG awesome house C that is many many many miles away from Germany.
For FIVE times the amount that house B would have given me- plus, 3 weeks of work instead of just 1.

At this point, I don't have A. I don't KNOW if I have B, and I have an offer for C.

I take C.
I let AgentY know immediately that I have to cancel B and that, contractually, there WAS no contract- so this should all be 'ok'- (and frankly, it was their fault, because I would have really thought twice about accepting C if there was actually something in writing-- and then they go and decide to 'think about it' after they made an offer..so really...eh).

Then I'm feeling just CRAZY because I have 3 days to figure out how to get my life ready and pack for 26 days on the road. Oh, and also to remember the opera- since I sang it in 2004. (And again in 2011 but in a different language).

Part 1 ends with me flying for 10 hrs on Wednesday, arriving at the opera house at noon, costume fitting at 2, wig fitting at 3, rehearsal from 7-10 (I was nearly passed out from jet lag by then-- I didn't sing, just watched) and TODAY rehearsal "just for me" from 12-5:30 and tonight watching a runthrough from 7-10.

Oh wait, addendum to part 1.
I just got offered MORE work before the end of this year. People-- all of this last minute stuff-- it's exciting and cool and all, but really-- mini-heart attack just waiting to happen.

I am THANKFUL for the work and am EXCITED to do it all-- but of course, feel crazy and so last-minute and so much planning and dates, and daycare and housing and fees and car rentals and trains and planes...and music..and... and...

When it rains, it pours-- and I'll take the rain any day if the news that comes along with it is this type of news!







just one thing

2013-09-02T22:17:32.691-04:00

I just want to write ONE thing.
I know it's been a while.

Here it goes.
I'm out of the YAP game now and have been for years, but- looking at some of the applications deadlines now.
Sure, there were always those outliers that had super early application deadlines...mid-september, etc.
But now- SO many are due by the end of August, FIRST week of September!
People, I know it's a competition to get the first applications, get the $$ in order and get your audition tours scheduled, but the poor kids aren't even back in SCHOOL yet!
Some are just leaving summer programs, some might be on the road home to load up their car before school starts this week! Come on now! Can't we all just enjoy labor day weekend and THEN get the apps together?

Wow.
Shocked and a bit sad for the people that actually had to get all their crap together including updated CVs, recordings, AND letters of recommendation (when they aren't even at school yet!)!

Yikes.
Good luck to one and all, I guess.

And now back to your regularly scheduled program of me not-so-much updating the blog.

Oh yea, performance this summer went well. Preparing for fall performances and auditions.





once a month?!

2013-06-07T04:08:21.036-04:00

Wow, sorry for the neglect. I suppose I could say I've been busy, but actually I've been on vacation!

A few music related notes. Haha. Notes. You got that, right?

1. Audition before I left for vacation- if you can't 'imagine' me singing fiakermilli from hearing zerbinetta in an audition, then... I'm not sure how you can imagine anything, frankly. So, thanks for the super positive feedback, and too bad your director couldn't find it in his 'mind' to link me with the role.

2. Audition while I was on vacation- Let's talk a bit about my pet peeves with Queens. Usually, it's that they just SOMETIMES hit the high F's, they just SOMETIMES do the correct dynamic markings, and generally, they sing balls to the wall LOUD, whatever sound comes out.  Well, I 'tried' that technique after being asked to sing the aria AFTER singing all of Zerb and all of Glitter and be Gay. Not because I 'wanted' to try it, but because there's no way after singing an 11 minute aria followed by a super-energetic 6 minute aria that you are going to get any 'delicate' markings with a Koenigin. And apparently from the feedback that was my 'best' audition ever for them. Sooo--there you go.

3. Audition after I got back from vacation. I didn't trust my gut and put Oscar on the list. After starting with Zerb (1/2 of it), they asked for it. I HATE not knowing whether they just wanted to hear something 'short' after a long aria, or whether they actually wanted to hear me sing in 'middle voice' in a pants role for 'sometimes' coloratura soprano if they're actually considering the show. Hate that.

4. I've been asked for the SECOND time in the past few months to audition for Christine in Phantom. Auf Deutsch. Like, we will put you directly in the final round, we just want to hear you and think that you'd be great. I already said I have work in the middle of their rehearsal period and another show in December that would conflict, and they said (in an email) - but, wouldn't the chance to be first cast christine or first cover christine for a whole year make you want to give up that other opera?
Uh- NO, actually, it wouldn't! hahahahah! Sure, let me give up a Koenigin der Nacht in a great house to COVER Christine for a year.  Thanks! You are funny.
The thing is, I'm TEMPTED, just TEMPTED to go sing an audition for them (and bring Queen of the night in addition to 'think of me'). And see! ANYWAY vocally I suppose I should be singing Carlotta. But 'looks' wise I'm too young and would be 'typed' as a Christine.
HA. HA. HA.

5. Big audition coming up next week. Have to fly for an hour to next-door-neighbor country, sing in 'the big house', and here's hoping that with the right rep, they'll consider me for something!

/EndNotes



a bit busier

2013-04-26T08:48:13.247-04:00

Happy to report that I am now a bit more gainfully employed for the season. Still looking out for what the future will bring of course.
A few open ended things, a few more auditions coming up this spring/summer, and a few 'meetings' where I'm supposed to be 'marketed' or 'sold' or 'mentioned' or whatever it is that gets you on the radar of houses once they meet your manager and they have something specific in upcoming rep. for you.

All in due time is sure taking its time right now.

That plus I just got over a week and a half of a horrible mess of allergies...

HOWEVER, I'm feeling much better now, even got a chance to practice today, and a small person in another room is taking an epic nap this afternoon (about to hit the 3 hr mark) so I have NO further complaints.

Happy Weekend!





Pounding the Pavement

2013-03-28T15:22:41.610-04:00

This is the first time in a LONG time that I find myself-- not as fully employed as I'd like to be.
Obviously, 2013 started off with a bang, and that's great. That alone on my resume/cv would be 'fine' for this year, but- as someone who usually has 4 or 5 productions per year, to dwindle down to 2 (so far) is not that great.
I know, it's April. I'm not 100% sure that something else won't come up before 2014 rolls around.
But it's still not a situation I've been in since...oh...just about ever!
Sure when I was doing my undergrad and grad I only had time for one summer program, but then- full year residency, and even in the 'gap' year of moving to NYC for auditions I had 4 professional gigs.

So what am I doing about it? Well, I suppose as much as I can, thinking both inside and outside the box.

Trying to get in touch with every theater I've previously auditioned for with 'positive' things to say about the audition. Trying to get my name out there to previous orchestra conductors that may have concert work. Asking my manager to ramp up anything they can on my behalf since I haven't found myself in this type of situation before. I know from other colleagues who have also been 'professional covers' for a few years that this could be an option as well- if the repertoire is right and there is no resident artist covering the 'big stuff'.

It's equal parts frustrating and inspiring- ok, more frustrating I suppose.  Frustrating that there is only so much I can do, frustrating that it's already a certain 'time' in the season and so many things are already cast, frustrating that I don't have the direct emails to houses that may be doing modern works in their next few seasons to say- hey! pick me, pick me! I'm good at it!, (and even if I did, they wouldn't pay more than 2 seconds of attention since the email is not coming from a manager anyway!), and yes, frustrating that I now have to look back at my fall and ask myself whether or not something should have been different about the 'audition' season that I have (or didn't have, actually).

Inspiring because- yes, there are people who are happy to hear from me and my good news/updates, give me great feedback, and say they can't wait to work with me again in the future. Inspiring because it makes me want to be BETTER at what I do- to find new rep, to find new coaches, to try out a teacher or two, to delve into what I do and make it the best that it can be for whatever comes next.

And then of course, frustrating again.
Here's to pounding the pavement via email, and hope something comes out of it...sooner rather than later.





Closing Night and 'the biz'

2013-02-24T01:59:59.702-05:00

And just like that, 4 shows later- it's all over.
Final performance was this evening and everything was electric again. I wish we had 2 more performances! Or 10.
Working with such a talented team of creative directors has really been one-of-a-kind on this show. The treatment of the piece was so new and so - how many times can I say creative? - so...so....just...awesomely fantastic that we all knew we put together a great show and were just hoping beyond all hopes that this big city audience agreed with us.

Since I haven't sung in the States since a certain little someone graced my life last year, this is the first time in over a year that I'm getting REALLY great press, and since the show was so well received on top of that, I'm reallllly hoping that this media blitz goes somewhere.
It's already my 'norm' in the 'business of singing' routine to do my own update emails and let people know every 6months to one year about my whereabouts, etc.- but this time it's big enough that I'm hoping this actually translates to calls or emails being made by my managers on my behalf to get the word out to specific theaters that may have 'modern' programming coming up, places I haven't yet sung for that now have the 'excuse' of a great review to make a first inquiry or a first impression, etc.

I don't want to be considered a 'niche' singer of only contemporary/modern music- I love Mozart and Strauss WAY too much- but if this is a way to make a good first impression and if anyone is programming this kind of stuff in the future and needs an 'agile and magnetic' coloratura soprano- I'll take it!





opening night

2013-02-16T12:02:12.472-05:00

Haha, remember that one time when I did an entire gig without blogging once until after opening night?
Oh yea, that's now!!!

SO. I've been here for 4 weeks. Opening night was last night.
It's been one of my hardest gigs yet. Actually, THE hardest besides the crazy opera that I agreed to sing at  weeks after having a baby last year.

This piece is hard. The music is hard. The direction was something completely new. We were all behind it, and after a LOT of rehearsal and a LOT of hard work by all-- we pulled it off last night.

Bla bla bla, a lot of rehearsals,
Bla bla bla, a lot of sleepless nights including one bout of the flu and one horrible head cold/allergy leading right up to opening night,
Bla bla bla, I hope I sing all the notes right since the composer is sitting in the 3rd row...

But yes, it was all good. And I'm happy to once again report that I have been able to learn a crazy-modern piece, and make it feel like- Mozart. Ok, well Strauss at least.



'making it'

2012-12-16T05:46:21.432-05:00

I just want to report that I have some colleagues in the business with whom I sang in young artist programs when we were very young who are now -- singing at the MET!
A. This is awesome.
But, even more interestingly, B- they were not necessarily the 'chosen ones' in our programs together. It's just a little tid-bit I feel that I have to mention.

The people that I know who are there are not singing leading roles, they are singing supporting roles, but nonetheless at the MET. They are in their mid-30s, and I sang with them when they were in their late 20s.  TWO are in the chorus (and making bank, apparently), and the ones onstage are men.

Now- how does that really breakdown in terms of statistics? Well, two of them who were in a certain program with me were told they would NOT make it upon exiting the program. And that it wasn't about their talent, but it was about their drive, their attitude in the business, etc. I know, tough love- which of course didn't make the NEXT few years easier for these guys I'm sure.
And now- nah nah nah boo boo--- they're MET singers and of course haven't been hired by the previous program or even considered being asked to return after their 'departure'.

I'm of course on the other side of the ocean and not a 'local' anymore, so I don't really consider the MET the end-all and be-all and my next 'step'.

There might be more to this conversation, but for now let's just say that you can't take every criticism as the end-all and be-all of what your career will be like. Obviously technical issues have to be worked out, yes. Obviously you have to have the raw talent and skill on stage, etc.
But- sometimes you can prove the nay-sayers wrong.







radio silence

2012-12-07T06:25:41.734-05:00

It's been a bit hectic around here...

Things are calming down a bit-
If by calming down you mean that I have 1 month and one week before I have to show up for rehearsal.
Um, there is still a lot of work to be done.

There are about 5 pages I just can't -  the notes come out of nowhere at breakneck speed, in 9/8 alternating with 2/4 and 5/8.  I'm over it. Kinda.

 Except that I have to sing it correctly.

Kinda.

Hopefully.




more modern music

2012-10-28T17:42:33.586-04:00

The score is about 300 pages long. I have to sing approximately 127 of those pages.
Currently I can SORT OF sing 40 of them, LOOKING at the music, counting my @ss off, and HOPING that the notes with 2.5 octaves in between them are coming out correctly.


2.5 months left.

O.
M.
G.

The things that are easy...are easy.

What's hard is:
The INSANE counting and meter changes that happen SO much and in no particular pattern and every time one 'beat' or one tripelet 'off' -ie, different than the last time.
The fact that sometimes it's just a high G to low G jump with a C in the middle, but all the OTHER times it's G to Fsharp to C, Gsharp to G to Eflat, and so on and so forth- just that little TINIEST 'note' off again- like the beast.

Could I ever just get a pattern? How bout some ABA old-school music here? Haendel anyone?


Thank the unicorns it's in English at least. No trouble memorizing text or words. Just have to know what note and beat they all come on!






runner-up

2012-10-25T06:59:15.926-04:00

Well, apparently it was between me and one other soprano for the role as of yesterday. And today I'm the runner up. Only, since this isn't a competition, I didn't get any 2nd prize winnings, nor can I write runner-up anywhere on my resume.

At least I got realllly positive feedback -- ha.
But again, in the end just wasn't what they chose.
O.K.
That's kind of what I expected in the first place, and honestly, I'm kind of shocked and flattered at the same time that I *was* even the runner-up.

So- there you go. Maybe next time they have something that's more 'my' repertoire they'll remember and think of me!










auditions in castles

2012-10-23T05:39:34.007-04:00

This past weekend I traveled to Belgium for an audition for a summer festival that is held in a castle. With a moat. and other castle-y stuff. Like those gardens with the perfect hedges and you're like who has time to get this 90 degree angle so amazingly perfect? The castle garden people.

So anyway, the audition was for Rigoletto. Yes, yes, a role that I can sing, that I haven't sung, and that is cast dramatically/lyrically heavier than me MOST of the time, but certainly has a historical casting of coloraturas the cut as well.

So I sang Gilda. Yes, I learned this aria when I was 15. No, I have never been asked for it EVER except for ONE time in an audition in - I think - 2005. I THINK.

Anyway, I spent the last 2 weeks or so practicing it every day, finding the nuance again, getting it up to snuff. And if I do say so myself, I think the audition went quite well.

No, they won't hire me if my actual vocal weight and timbre is not what they are looking for. But I do know the panel was impressed (especially with the cadenza that I sang at the very very end of the aria, which, is actually Gilda's exit in the score and rarely offered in shorter auditions), and then when they asked for Koenigin second and proceeded to ask me about EVERY conductor in Europe that I've sung it with, I supposed they were having as jolly good of a time as I was.

THINGS:
1. This was my first (I think?!) Post-baby audition. I wore the same outfit that I have been wearing for auditions since 2004. Yes, people, 2004.  it's wrinkle-free and CLASSIC.
I am somewhere between 8-13 pounds away from my pre-baby weight/wedding weight (I'm just trying to get to pre-baby at this point...German chocolate is not helping). Those pounds are currently found in my boobs, a pooch, and like maybe 1/4 of an inch on either thigh. But with the help of a glorious product that I wear ANYWAY called SPANX, everything was 'in ordnung'.
I fit into my regular clothes, just not the 'same as before'- which is, annoying.
I have no grounds to buy new clothes. They all fit- buuut the sweaters are a tad short b/c of the boob thing, the pants are a tad tight because of the pooch thing... you get the drift. A bigger size won't help that since otherwise my measurements have remained the same.

2. When you haven't slept more than 4 hours at a time since January of 2012, your entire world view on whether one legato line was as perfectly executed as possible is changed.

3. I did a GOOD job and felt good. But I know I have more work to do. The voice is easy. It's HIGHER (not that I need any MORE high notes). It's supported. But- I want time for coachings and lessons and feeling like I'm "IN" this like I used to.

4. I need to stop eating German chocolate and start going jogging with the baby in the stroller because apparently I will most likely be on the verge of nude in upcoming-production.
Nothing like a 2.5 month deadline to get you working...uhh...I mean, procrastinating.









I'm still here!

2012-10-12T18:42:41.566-04:00

There hasn't been much on the musical front since the opening of the show, followed by a good 2nd performance one week later (in between I had a huge huge cold and had chicken soup for every meal every day).
NOW it's time to learn next-role.
Modern. Yet again. Counting. Yet again. The notes aren't hard. I mean, they are 'high', but not higher than 'normal' ie, Koenigin.
Have I mentioned that I don't like when music is math?
The music is all math right now.
Triplets, Quintuplets, whatever...meter changing every other measure. It hurts my head.
I reallllly need to make some progress.
As of tomorrow I have exactly 3 months to learn it and have it ready for the first rehearsal.




Premiere for realz

2012-09-28T09:28:48.287-04:00

Ok, now that I've been sick from Sunday until Friday and I'm finally feeling better I will write about the Premiere!!!
First Zerb everrrrr! hurrrayyy!
Ok, since my throat was itchy and I felt like I couldn't really hear myself (congested in the head I guess), I didn't do anything on the day except for a 30 minute massage (awesome!). Then some light food, gathered up my ricola and pineapple juice and water and headed to the theater 2 hrs before the show for my makeup and wig call.

Did a bit of lip trilling, warmed up - I actually LIKE when I have early calls because that just means that I have all that extra time to warm up and it's right before the show starts. So I'm not sitting in makeup wishing I could do lip trills 15 minutes before curtain.

First act always went by in a blur. The duet was FINE- let's just say, JUST fine because I'm not generally so gung ho about it anyway. I know, it's the 'honest' part of my character, but it's just so ...lyric... I guess?

2nd act- got in the mood with my little black and pink number and tophat...
Warmed up a bit in the dressing room but didn't sing through anything.
And then it was a breeze.
I mean, I was sweating buckets by the time the aria was over, but I felt like I nailed it musically and dramatically.
Plus it doesn't hurt when the audience claps for a realllly long time after the aria! I'll take it!

Even though I had to stay ON STAGE for the entire rest of the show, I felt great. Sang my last little tidbit of a line, and voila- it's all over!

The 'important' people that needed to like it, came up to me and said they liked it.

Next show is in 2 days. I am still coughing a little bit and sometimes stuffy so I really want to kick this thing pronto, BUT on the other hand, I know I can sing on something like this. Now it's just a little tail end of the cold. Not a big deal.





Premiere!

2012-09-25T17:42:44.318-04:00

Remember that time I sang Zerbinetta for the first time? Me too!
Only what I DON"T have is time to blog about it right now since immediately following the first show (well, kinda even during it, but I dealt w/it) I got a HUGE nasty cold. Still recovering now with the aid of hot water/ginger/lemon/honey and 2 batches and counting of home-made chicken soup.
Next show is on Sunday so I have to be better.
So far it's out of my throat and face (for the show I was fine vocally, but just felt like I couldn't hear that well and my throat was a bit itchy), I got past the blow my nose every 4 seconds phase yesterday, and today is the weird-bronchial cough-up-nasty-phlegm day... which will HOPEFULLY signal that this thing is almost over. I'm REALLY trying not to cough a lot. Just get this stuff OUT!
Also, not medicating at all since I'm still BFing...but so far I'm feeling WAY better than yesterday, and I hope it only gets better from here.
More on the ROLE debut later, I suppose.
But let's just already put it out there that- I had fun. I sweat- a LOT. Singing the aria is NOTHING compared to the vocal demands of singing the entire 2nd act. It was super super fun and I want to do it again whenever I get the chance.

Good night.



4 days until opening

2012-09-19T15:52:13.580-04:00

So...the show is over-rehearsed, but under-rehearsed all at the same time.
We've never run the WHOLE thing (meaning, act 1 and 2), but we've run each segment over and over and over until we got the note to do 'less', and we got the note to stop chattering when we're supposed to be 'mouthing' dialogue and interest in what's going on.
We are over-staged in the REHEARSAL room and not the stage, and under-staged because we've yet to do anything with orchestra besides a 45 minutes sitzprobe for each act, and OH YEA, we will SKIP over your aria and work on the end because that's 'harder' for them to play...soooo--no orchestra for me until our GeneralProbe tomorrrow night. Thanks.
Also- the costumes are ..interesting. I know I didn't "just" have a baby, but I still have 6ish pounds to lose (ok 10 if I want to be back to the pre-baby WEDDING body), and my boobs are BIG and my child-bearing hips are - child bearing....but PLEASE do not try and fit me into the same costume as the 4 ft 8 Russian soprano who weighs 95 pounds and sang this 6 years ago.
I'm supposed to be the image of coquette-ish-ness on stage... no matter what I'm wearing, fishnets, jean shorts, black lingerie... so, let's all get on the ball here and make me feel Sexay. Thanks.

TOMORROW we have to run the show in the morning with orchestra and no costumes/makeup and tomorrow night is the last rehearsal. Then dark day, and then- it's Saturday!

I know it'll all be ok. It's always these last minute things that seem like they're the end of the world... And then everything is fine again.
I'm just looking forward to doing it with orchestra!





2 weeks left

2012-09-09T11:22:35.853-04:00

The show is staged and we still have 2 full weeks of rehearsal!
It's bare-bones right now, meaning, we know the blocking and 'why' it's happening, but we haven't done it more than once or twice (except for the 2nd act which we finished the first 5 days I was here).
So- it is done! Now we run thru and run thru and run thru until opening plus 2 BO's with orchestra and a new conductor who was just assigned to the show because the conductor we're supposed to have has been written sick for 3 weeks. Yep, that happens here. I don't know what has to be wrong with you, but it is possible to be an ADULT and get a Doctor's note to NOT go to work. Uh- that's awesome! And you don't even have to plagiarize your dad's signature to get out of gym class in 11th grade because it's way cooler to hang in the Student Council Office and pretend to be doing something very important for our educational development in there for 42 minutes instead of going to gym, getting on the clothes that stunk yesterday and still stink today, warming up for 5 minutes and then doing presidential fitness tests for the remaining 20 minutes or running the MILE or something equally as awful.

Hello-Run-On-Sentence.

Ok, yes. We're staged. Yes, I know my motivation or have 'made it up/made it work'. Very excited to be moving on to run-throughs and the orchestra rehearsals so that I feel like this is a role that I've sung for years and can whip out at a moment's notice.