Saturday, May 30, 2009

"Una Voce Poco Fa" - Il Barbieri di Siviglia- Rossini : July 7 Opera Gala Night

"Vanilla Ice Cream" - She Loves Me - Harnick/Bock : July 14 Broadway Night

"Three Little Maids" - Mikado - Gilbert and Sullivan: August 4 Gilbert and Sullivan Night

L. OPERA SUMMER CONCERT SERIES!!! Come hear me sing!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jesus, You're Beautiful

This song has been stuck in my head for days. And I love it.

My favorite is the Sara Groves' version, but Cece Winans does a great job here.


On May 2, I had an audition with B. Singers Resource - just a general audition in which different opera directors and classical music gurus could come and here the local talent. So, instead of auditioning for a specific part in a specific opera or musical, it was a chance to be heard by a bunch of people who could potentially contact you for something, but you never knew what. The plus side to this organization's annual general auditions is that they bring adjudicators to write comments for you, which they then send you a couple weeks later. This hardly ever (read: never) happens in an audition, so it is a great time to get feedback on what works and what doesn't. If the adjudicators recommend you, you get to continue on to what is called the "select audition" in fall, where there are infinitely more opportunities to be chosen to sing something, but the competition is much more intimidating.

Not that it wasn't intimidating enough for me at the general audition. the auditions were held at a church north of Boston, where there was plenty of space to warm up, but you could hear every note from everyone. There were some really great mezzo-soprano voices that I heard. I tried to put it out of my head, knowing that everyone has their own voice, and I should not try to sound like anyone but me, doing the best I can with what I know, technically and musically. Sometimes it's hard to remember that when so many of the other mezzos I was hearing had some serious low range that I just don't have - and other companies are looking for pretty specifically. I put it out of my head and concentrated on warming up for the 4th time that morning.

I had 4 minutes. I chose to sing the second half of two pieces: "Laudamus Te" from Mozart's Mass in C Minor, and "Seguidilla" from Bizet's Carmen. Neither of them easy pieces, it took all my will to ignore all the factors that would distract around me and focus on how I would sing these without a freakout session.

I went to an upstairs room to warm up and felt the familiar butterflies starting...I willed myself to continue my scales and focus on what I felt vocally as I sang - which felt pretty good. It was a battle of the nerves at this point. In the past, I had let my nerves control my singing. This was getting better with each performance...there had even been times in the past few years where I didn't even feel nervous and sang really well. I hoped this would be one of those times.

I went downstairs and was told I was up next, was I ready? Sure, I replied, and proceeded to talk to poor girl's ear off as I followed her into the green room. She gave little understanding remarks "yeah, I've been there too", "It'll be fine." I finally shut up and tried to concentrate on, looking composed for the adjudicators.

I walked in, greeted the accompanist and adjudicators warmly, they responded in kind (good sign) and I sang. I really don't think I let my nerves affect me too badly. Both went pretty well. The "Seguidilla" was a risk, because the way I've been singing it, and feel it should be sung, has an earthy quality to it - which is not always a 'pretty' sound. But, I think, and my voice teacher agrees, it is effective in communicating the who the character, Carmen, is. Anyway, I sang, hit the crazy high B at the end of the Bizet piece, they smiled, and I left.

The best I was hoping for was a recommendation to the Select Auditions. I really didn't think anyone would contact me to sing for anything this summmer or next fall.

But, three days ago, I got an email. It was from the General Director of Longwood Opera, asking me if I would consider participating in their Summer Concert Series. This is the perfect "first step" for me, since I have never sung a role, never really sung anything that hasn't involved my college in some way. I was ecstatic, emailed him the concerts I could do, and am penciled in for 4 different dates this summer!

I still haven't received my comments from the adjudicators, but am excited to read their thoughts, since I feel I sang an accurate representation of what I usually sing, despite the pressure of the audition. But, even if they didn't like me, I feel affirmed in my desire to pursue singing, because I finally have an offer to sing somewhere. I have been praying a lot about this, and I think God is giving me the push to press on.

Thank you, Lord!

Friday, May 01, 2009

yeah, but in real life that would never happen... ;)

this is absolutely amazing. So many times, my friends and I would discuss the possibility of "spontaneous song and dance" a la musical...well, here it is. This is a pretty sizable group of entertainers surprising the commuters around them. I love it.