Musings on m
y life as a busy opera singer, voice teacher, photographer and mom - not necessarily in that order! I consider myself immensely fortunate to have carved out a way of doing all of these things which mean so much to me - it may sometimes get a little crazy, but it's always worth it. Welcome to the madhouse!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The best-laid plans....

I sometimes think international travel is easier – at least you know to expect it to be complicated! The trip west was… complicated. And long. Very, very, VERY long. Door to door, it was almost 12 hours to travel 500 mile… by PLANE (I could, quite literally, have driven the distance in approximately the same amount of time). Baggage restrictions on the small “puddle-jumper” planes meant all my careful packing was for naught and I STILL wound up rearranging everything at the check-in desk, and then the first leg of the trip was delayed and I missed the connection, resulting in a 5hr layover until I could get on the next flight. Fun, fun, fun! (By the way, a note for travellers: as of May 1st, several airlines will be charging for a 2nd checked bag - check your airline and plan accordingly!)

But, the important thing is… here I am. Arrived. In one piece, with all bags intact.

Thankfully, I have a fridge and a microwave in my room – this really cuts down on expenses, and also makes it possible to eat a great deal more healthily. After 6 months of home renovation, including a substantial kitchen rehab, I find that an inner "organised and tidy person" has emerged and "a place for everything" is becoming much more important to me – I was surprised to find myself rearranging the small coffee-station in my typical hotel bathroom here to allow more efficient use of the vanity space, and I’ve set up a a whole “mini kitchen” layout over my little fridge! I don’t think I’ll be cooking any gourmet meals while I'm here, but I’ll manage very nicely, especially since there’s an excellent supermarket just down the road. It’s the little things that matter!

The first few days of rehearsals are always a bit more focused and often a lot of fun as everybody gets to know each other, establishes working styles, and learns what is expected of them regarding the director’s and conductor’s ideas for the show, ideas which then continue to develop right up to opening night. I’m happy to say that this is a delightful bunch of folks – singers can all-too-often take themselves terribly seriously, but this particular group (very much including Maestro and the stage director) has a great sense of humour and, while talented and committed, are also unpretentious, ready to work hard and have fun doing so, which is makes for a great working atmosphere.

As I unpacked yesterday morning, I found it amusing to note that – subconsciously, really – I had packed “The Uniform”. Black jeans, black leather coat, little black dress, black tshirts… Despite my best efforts to brighten up my wardrobe with some spring colours, I realise now that almost everything I've brought is the usual Singer Blacks, give or take the occasional bright scarf. Some things will never change! At least these days “Dressing Diva” doesn’t seem to be such a big deal in the US regional houses (except at the first rehearsal and the sitzprobe, where it's a sort of "unwritten tradition" in the US that although people tend to be very casual during stagings, at music and orchestra rehearsals people “dress up” a bit). This is very much a “jeans and sweater” kind of cast (no surprise given the kind of down-to-earth artists involved) and it’s nice to be able to relax into the working environment. Singers – especially the girls! – love their “Diva Duds” but when you’re rolling around on a dirty floor or standing for hours at a time it’s nice to be comfortable too!

News from home is good, including a nice job offer for next year, and (most importantly) confirmation that my daughter is doing just fine.

The next entry may be a little less practical and more musico-philosophical, but … that’s part of the job too! As always, the duality of how my mind works means that all the time I’m fussing about domestic trivia I’m also thinking about how I can do my job better and what “creating art” actually means. Watch this space.


Denise said...

This is wonderful! We'll definitely stop by and "visit" often, but even after I've quickly scanned the entries, I still have no idea where you are?! :-) And how long you'll be gone!! It all sounds very exciting, though. Let us know if you need help with anything on the homefront!

Denise said...
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Rachel said...

Hey dude. Your comment about all the black in your suitcase made me laugh. I am exactly the same way, and my wardrobe gets blacker and blacker all the time. I realized today that I have five of the same black shirt from Old Navy. The exact same shit. Five of them. *shakes head*