Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So...just got an email from the director of C_______. She is considering me for the solo in the Copland "In the Beginning."

(insert BIG smile here).

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

the other "given Dreams"...

It is so easy to carefully sift the emotion I show to you here. I am finding out more and more people who read this (though I never knew it) and it is frightening. How much have I revealed without really thinking of how bare I can be in front of you? Because the truth is, I am often happier and often sadder and often lower and often a lot more _____-er than I present here in this site. I don't write of the good often enough, because, well, life is good. I don't feel the need to process as much during those times. But I don't share the bad as easily either, because I am too ashamed to admit the true issues I struggle with on a daily basis.

The name of this blog is "Given the Dream," intentionally made to help me keep track of my singing endeavors...and I have kept this in mind as I wonder about other areas of my life and how I can balance it all and find myself, find my Lord in the midst of all my desires. But, the truth is, my life is so much bigger than this dream that I have clung to for so long. I want to sing I want to sing I want to sing I have chanted for as long as I can remember...but God has given me some other dreams along the way...His dreams. He has given me a husband that I didn't always dream about or expect at the time he was presented. He has given me a son who was very unexpected and has shaken my world. He has given me a career in teaching that was not what I thought it would be...mostly because of my naivitee (sp?) in pursuing that field. He has given me my voice and singing opportunities, but these other dreams get in the least according to my silly brain lately.

Singing in the Magic Flute with people who are able to pursue their stage dreams and have not much standing in their way as far as responsibilities lends me much frustration if I decide to let my heart walk that road. All these good and precious things my God has given me are hard for me to accept. I still cling to my old ways, my old dreams. How can I give it up, even if it doesn't mean giving it up, but just letting God manage it?

Who would I be, if not a singer? A wife? A mother? A teacher?

My greatest fear is having those be my identity, since I know how often I am inadequate in all these positions. Inadequacy is dehabilitating. I do not know how to give myself to these 'dreams' God has laid in my lap, because they were not a part of me from before I can remember. Now, they are important, deeply important, but I must pray every day for desire to give myself to them.

So there it is. I never wanted to be a mother, a wife, a teacher, at least not as a career. I wanted to be traveling, on stage, singing at any given moment.

God didn't want that for me, obviously. So, I am trying to trust His plan.

Please don't read too much into this: I LOVE my family. My heart battles are not about them. They are about my trust in God and denial of my selfish ambition. It's not easy, but I find that, in a strange way, there are moments of inspiration, joy, and satisfaction within the struggle to throw off the old and embrace the new.

All that to say, I am still going to be singing - but the blog will also contain my thoughts about these other God-given 'dreams'...for anyone who cares to read them.

Monday, April 26, 2010


21. vocal understanding through God's gift of listening

22. spring warmth

23. red tulips on Cape Cod

24. friends who offer music gigs that, unbeknownst to them, provide money for our bills

25. family who love

26. friends who are grateful and optimistic

27. a Father to pray to

28. a son who loves me and jumps around to see me again

29. professionals in every area

30. excellent 4th grade classes this morning.

holy experience

Friday, April 23, 2010

C_______ audition

Auditioned for C______ (an instrumental and choral collaborative ensemble group in Boston) today. There was no pianist to accompany, and the audition suggestion was to sing something that was under 5 minutes, showed your range and, if you wanted to go for the Copland "In the Beginning" solo for the fall, sing something modern in English. Right.

So, I sang "Lullaby" from Menotti's The Consul. I think I sang well enough and with confidence. The woman in charge was talking to me a lot about the rehearsal process and when things start, and suggested since I sang something modern that I was comfortable with Copland...? This group sings (and plays) during the off-season, as in the summer months and mid-winter months. You audition to be part of the group for 1-3 years, and she told me they sing a wide variety of rep, not really doing much with bigger works so they can give more people more opportunities to perform.

I sang the low F...never done that in an audition, but it seemed ok tonight. She commented on it. Overall, don't know what she really thought...maybe she thinks I'm a good fit for the group, but not for the solo. She said there are about 30 people in the chorus, and they are hoping to be able to do the Copland a capella. I'm hoping because she questioned me about the Copland that she is liking me for it. We'll see.

I don't want to get my hopes up, and would honestly be excited to be part of this group regardless. But, my hopes are up. I will find out the status at the beginning of next week.

The best part is...I wasn't that nervous! YAY!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Magic Flute observations

I have been listening and watching and then listening some more, with occassional attempts at singing in the midst of this amazing talent surrounding me. So many of the people in this opera company are so talented and so comfortable with their talent. Comfortable with the stage, the orchestra, the drama, the schedule, each other. I am not so comfortable, but am not uncomfortable either. I am just hopeful and learning and least I hope I am. There are not many mezzos in this opera, but I am learning so much from the few that are singing, and the sopranos just by their approach to the music and diction and breathing and energy and character development. A few things I've learned:

- Mozart really was a genius. I kind of knew this before, but now I know it. The way he sets the music for each character and scene is nothing short of amazing. When you consider the time he lived and composed, and what he did with what was known and it continues to be so thought-provoking and beautiful for even today...Wow. He understood how music could communicate and that it should communicate.

- These people are not scary. Some of them are more diva-ish than others, but that always exists in every profession. All of them are like me, in that, they simply want to sing, do justice to the music, and enjoy their time with others.

- The directors are incredible and motivated to help you display your best while making the production as great as it can be. They stay true to the art form while making it fresh and accessible for the audiences today.

- No one cares if you flub a note or lose technique for a moment if you know your stuff, are confident, and don't do it again. Everyone is really positive and supportive, cheering each other on. For example, the girl playing the Queen of the Night has some butt-hard arias. Everyone knows it. Every time she sings them and soars, everyone gives her big smiles and thumbs up and applauds loudly at the end. You gotta have friends to support you when you sing that stuff day in and day out.

- The directions come fast and furious for staging, and you better be ready to do it stat. Again, it's ok to mess up and ask for clarity, but this is another level of performance and you must pay attention.

- I am not as scared to audition now that I've been at it with these people for a little while now. I know a bit more what to expect, and I know that (with a few exceptions of incredibly, unbelievably that's-not-fair kind of talent) I am comparable to the singers up there, Masters degree in performance or not.

- It is do-able to balance time with family and time with singing. But it is a definite sacrifice. I am maybe the only one there that's married. Probably the only one with a kid as well. They care in the sense that that's interesting, but it's also something that doesn't matter in giving me a little fact, I'm sure some of them consider it a good thing since they will have more opportunity than I since they don't have the responsibilities I do. But, I plod on. It's frustrating that I can't audition for another show for next month...or that I shouldn't is more like it. But, ultimately I want to spend time to connect with my family for a while again, and then do another show. Maybe 1-2 shows a year would be good with concert engagements in-between.

- I learn best by listening. For some reason, my brain understands what must be done to achieve a good sound if I can hear someone doing it. Recordings aren't quite the same, it's better if it's live. I've had a recent epiphany just from listening to these people.

That's all for's really fun. Last night, we had a sitzprobe with the orchestra for the first time. Really cool. Tonight, it's the first time with props and costumes. Maybe I'll be able to post some pictures after the shows done.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Count it all joy

It was a hard weekend, with allergies rising, little boy tantrums, family missing, body aching. But, it was a good weekend overall. The pastor's sermon was about "counting it all joy" in all situations...our Sunday School lesson was about that too. They were not intentionally coordinated. The Resurrection is just one example, albeit the biggest, of how something so wrong can be leading toward God's ultimate bigger, better, and beautifully glorious plan. Things that are hard to count as joy right now will be my gratitude for the week:

11. an aching body that serves me well and heals continually.

12. pollen and ragweed and floral blooms that give life and fragrance and luster after a dull winter.

13. Zyrtec. Need I say more? (what a wonderful drug)

14. students that rejoice and thrill at music games, and learn to work together as musicians

15. a healthy, happy boy-child with curly thick dark hair that feels deeply and loves his mama and dada and the outdoors and machinery, so much so that he sobs when he cannot have the things he loves.

16. that God has given us emotions to live and feel and empathize and learn.

17. healthy drinking water when I have been speaking all day

18. a chance with a new (to me) opera company tonight to participate in preparing for a production of one of Mozart's famous operas

19. family to love and be loved by.

20. slightly cool breezes and sunny weather to remind us that winter is through

holy experience