Wednesday, March 31, 2010

hard core

I have an audition scheduled for a collaborative ensemble group called C______ in the Boston area. The woman in charge of the Aria Sing I did recently recommended I audition for it. I emailed for info, and the director emailed me back to schedule an audition for me. Only then did I read the forwarded email that the Aria Sing lady had sent me:

"We need a hard core mezzo for our upcoming fall concerts...we are doing Copland's Creation and there is a Mendelssohn piece with some alto solos in there as well. Let me know if you have any suggestions!" I a hard core mezzo? Some might say so...I say maybe if I could ever get my nerves under control. And my lower register in gear. But, I know and love the Copland Creation. I don't think there's a chance that they'll give it to me if anyone else good enough is auditioning, simply based on my inexperience. But, it will be good to audition, so I will do my best.

A wonderful man who sings baritone gave me some advice during the Aria Sing about nerves during auditions. He seemed so at ease and comfortable up on stage (and, by the way, he wasn't the best voice I had heard), so I asked him how he learned to let the nerves go. He said someone told him once to remember that no matter where or what you are singing, audition or performance, that everyone there is wanting you to do well. They want to hear you make music and hit the high note and soar. So, just allow yourself the freedom to all be on the same side and know whoever's listening is rooting for you.

Easier said than done, but good advice.

Monday, March 29, 2010

beginning to be grateful

I have been over at a fellow blogger's site, and am humbled by her tenacity to Christ. She seems to embrace God in all she does, struggling to live out her faith in the day-to-day - no, minute-to-minute family life. She has a Monday theme that she does over there called "Multitude Mondays." To participate, you simply list 1000 things you are grateful for over the course of however many mondays it takes. I'd like to start. This space tends to be a venting space for me, but it would be nice to begin accepting and giving grace in all I do. So, here are my first few gratitudes:

1. layers of warm blankets on unexpectedly chilly nights

2. little boy arms covered in spaghetti pulling my face towards his for a mid-supper embrace

3. my husband's empathetic chocolate-brown eyes that always encourage me to share at the end of his tiring day

4. hope for monetary savings in the near future

5. supportive administration in my job

6. God's unending love and his grace that reveals it to me

7. that God allows us the pleasure of art and music, to glorify Him

8. long, complicated science fiction books :)

9. candles giving soft glow on serene baby faces

10. a dry, clean apartment after the floods

holy experience

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sang in W______ Opera Works' Aria sing today. It was interesting, about what I expected, pretty casual, some good talent, some not so good. All of it you can listen and learn from. The pianist's name was Olga (OLGA!) and she was phenomenal. Loved her.

I sang "Va! laisse couler mes larmes!" from Massenet's Werther, and the Seguidilla from Bizet's Carmen - two French arias that I am very comfortable with, and thought I could really try some new audition techniques out on a fresh, non-critical audience.

The Massenet went well. I was much more nervous than I thought I would be, but I still got through it. It is such a drippy-romantic-tragic aria, and it is gorgeous. I am proud to say that I think I am finally making the connection between breath support and my low notes. Jon has been helping me connect what I feel to what it sounds like. Basically, I don't need to push so much, because (according to him) the sound is more there is I just relax and let it be there. Even through the nerves, I felt I was able to do this. And sing the pianissimos with support! yay!

The Carmen characterization went well. I got a lot of good response from the audience with that. Jon says my singing became unfocused for that piece though. I was a little more nervous for it than the first one. I always do that...once I stop singing, even to start again, I am shaking the worst. But, I am proud that I am moving more freely on stage.

All-in-all, a good day. I was asked by the director of WOW to come back and be a part of their Summer Concert Series and their spring production, Die Fleudermaus! Hopefully it will work with the Master's schedule.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

i hate being....misunderstood.

Jeremiah has a great kid's cd called "Philadelphia Chickens" on which is a track sung by Meryl Streep (yes, THAT Meryl Streep) called "Nobody understands me." This bluesy track has Meryl singing in a perfect Broadway whisper voice about how "nobody understands memmily blit each day!" She continues to sing nonsense throughout the song until it is nothing but jibberish at the end.

As I have an uncanny ability to inaccurately express myself lately, I find myself singing this song, trying to remember that all is not lost. Miscommunications happen all the time to all types of people. I just wish I had more of clue sometimes about whether I'm at fault or not, and how to watch what I say to make it easier to interpret what I really mean.

"When I think of all the gloubblesnop I've tried so hard to explain..." (Meryl again)

(ugh) Sometimes I wish I didn't have to talk to anyone ever again. Except those who really know what I'm like. Who know that more than anything, I desire to make people feel comfortable and not cause issues, even if it means my stuff/living area/routine/life is disrupted. I hate when something I say is taken a completely different way than I meant. This happened a lot to me growing up, and it still stings.

"...But I guess, zooblubble that way."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

gone and going...

Haven't updated in a while...and don't really have time for a good one now. But, here's what's happened...

We had torrential downpours and our basement apartment flooded. thankfully, no damage to speak of, but we were displaced for almost a week. We had a lovely family to stay with, and wonderful landlords that took care of everything and then some. Jeremiah thought it was a really fun field trip. I am just thankful to be home and back to normal.

My 4th graders had a Combined Pops Concert with my district's Middle and High School went really well. I had about an 80% turnout, I think. Everyone loved it.

Chicago came and went. It ended up fine, but started really badly. I had to sing for one of the girls who was sick, while conducting. Never tried that? Not my ideal way to keep your stress level down. Add to that student techies who aren't familiar with the show, and you have opening night. It got exponentially better from there.

I played piano accompaniment for an elementary musical. It was cute, but somewhat painful, especially the "talent show" portion that was student directed. By 3rd-6th grade students. Painful. I'll let your imagination handle that one. I'm glad it's over. And glad I got paid a lot to do it.

and what's next:

Schutz's The Seven Last Words for a Maundy Thursday service. This will be good to work my lower range as orotorio is not my strong suit.

Mozart's The Magic Flute rehearsals with M_______ Opera start soon. Doesn't look like the rehearsal schedule will be that bad, and I'm excited to watch some semi-pro's in action.

I signed up to sing in W________ Opera Works Aria Sing next sunday. Not quite sure what I'm going to sing yet, but plan to have a good time and hopefully get some good feedback.

Also, have Fine Arts Night coming up for my elementary kids in April. We're not quite ready, so I'm a little nervous...we'll have to see what happens.

That's all for now.