Friday, July 17, 2009

the goal is to audition next year for a Masters of Performance degree...hopefully somewhere in Boston. Been working on a few songs, some of which you know from previous posts:

1) Italian:
"Una Voce Poco Fa", Il Barbieri di Siviglia, Rossini
"Voce di Donna", "La Gioconda, Poncielli
"Voi, che Sapete", Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart
*lots of Italian to choose from...these are the three I think I will focus on at this point.

2)French:
"Pres de Remparts de Seville", Carmen, Bizet
"Habanera", Carmen, Bizet
"Ah! Vaissez Couler mes Larmes!", Werther, Massenet
*I know all three of these, and all are really fun. Out of the three, I am really in love with the Massenet...very dramatic and tragic.

3)English:
"When I am Laid in Earth", Dido and Aeneas, Purcell
"Augusta! How can you turn away?", The Ballad of Baby Doe" Moore
"Must the Winter Come So Soon?", Vanessa, Barber
*I do not know the 2nd one, but like it the best of the three...I know the other two and like them...my voice teacher says the 1st suits my voice well...but I think it's a little understated. But then, I tend to like things over-the-top with my singing. :)

4) German:
"Chacun a son gout", Die Fleudermaus, Strauss
"Nimmermehr wird mein Herze sich gramen", Martha, Flotow
*there are not many options for Mezzo- german arias...I am not thrilled with the 1st musically and the 2nd is unknown to the general population of classical music buffs...but is really fun with lots of coloratura and bravado.

I don't know how many languages I need...it varies from place to place. Most seem to want 3-4...which I would have. The good thing is, most of these songs I've been living and working with for a while, so I can really feel comfortable with them. Except for the German...those are the X factor. And the ones I'll probably be asked to sing, with my luck.

Anyway, just an update. Here's another one of these songs for you to hear, "Voce di Donna". Really pretty.





Monday, July 06, 2009

Very encouraging -

"You just redeemed many 'Una Voce's' for me...I've played that for many people and not one of them sang it as well as you just did." (J. B., the accompanist for L. Opera)

WOW. Thank you, Lord. Please let me always remember that this is for You.

"Una Voce Poco Fa" tonight. There are many things I could freak myself out about...but I have been waiting for something like this for a while. I need to just believe that the directors want me there and put on a smile and sing with spunk and confidence.



Thursday, July 02, 2009

alright, I'll join in on the MJ craze...

I am a big fan of Michael Jackson, the performer. Not so much a fan of Michael Jackson, the person. Although, I am not one that thinks we have free reign to make fun of/derail/or otherwise make derogatory comments about him. I am also not saying that I am guiltless of making such comments...just in thinking about the frenzy his death created these past days, and the millions of opinions that have surfaced about every aspect of him and his music...I have decided that it bothers me.

Regardless of what you think of MJ, you can't deny the talent and artistry that he put into his music and performance. He singlehandedly changed the pop music culture. I admit a bias because I grew up hearing his music (my dad is a big fan as well), so I have an aptitude to listen when it's being played...and occasionally dance.

However, the problems I have are with the comments about his death, things implying he "got what was coming to him," or one I heard from someone who watched a video of him dancing, "I wonder if he's dancing now." What point are you trying to make? That this person is somehow worse than you or I? Unfortunately, all sin is said to be equal, so whether or not the molestation charges were true, whether or not it was wrong of him to change his body the way he did...he was still a sinner regardless. And so are the rest of us. My little white lies and bouts of anger are equal to this man's sins...and I am called to let God be the judge.

This does not mean to turn a blind eye to sin...simply to recognize that the condescending statements that are so often made are not a reflection on the person we are talking about - but on us ourselves and our desire to be "better/higher/more powerful" than those around us. It's our way of saying, "See? I'm not as messed up as that guy. He deserved to die." What a horrible thought. That someone deserves to die. Yet we all do. And it is only by the grace of God that He saves us. We are not the ones to judge. We do not need to approve of his life or his decisions...but we are not to be the condemner. God brings all justice to Himself.

And, one thing we all tend to forget concerning people we don't understand: God loves this one too. I am no better or worse...I cannot win His favor more than this other child of His. It is as if I have two children who were constantly comparing to each other to win my affection. It would be so easy to see that they are simply being prideful and not all that concerned about my affection at all. Yet, I would love them both as much as I possibly could, because it would be in my nature. That is how God is with us. And, believe it or not, He created Michael Jackson. I have no idea if MJ followed Christ, but I do think he was lost and searching. And I believe God cared about him. If we would all look at people as objects of God's love, we would have a lot less pride in this world.

This post seems awfully preachy, but it's something that I've been wrestling with for a few days. Amazing performers are often searching and a little (or a lot) lost and trying to find a way, any way, that works to give peace to their emotions. They often sing or play or act to release the frustrations and frantic energy inside them, as a way to express the emotion without seeming like freaks in the normal world. I know that's one reason I perform. Even if just in the car or by myself while practicing, it is a strong peace that comes with letting it out. I guess that makes me more sympathetic to the "messed-up" artists out there. In a small way, I can almost understand how they get that way. Success usually makes a mess out of true expression. But that's another topic for another day.

If you've stayed with this ramble this far, I hope you see the point I'm trying to make. Love people. I'm not all for being "non-judgemental" and "tolerant" of all things...but I am cognizant that we are vessels and God has made us for relationship with Him...not for hating on each other. We're all messed up in one way or another. How is it going to help if we point it out all the time? Especially when we don't even know the person. Like Michael Joseph Jackson.