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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!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A long day - home and away

So, a big day for us in the show as we get to our first orchestra rehearsal! This is always one of my favorite moments in "the process" - after working with a piano (both on our own in preparing a role and in the rehearsal room), it's always a real lift to finally sing the music as it will be performed.

Singing with an orchestra is a very different experience: there's the difference of sonorities in the form of overtones and the much larger sound 50 instruments can produce than 1 piano, and also the different energy of that many musicians all focused on the same music, even though we all have our own distinct part in the fabric of the whole. No matter how many times I do it, whether the rehearsal is good or bad (and I'm happy to say this one was good!), this moment is always magical for me, kind of like watching a static picture coming to life right in front of me. I get an incredible buzz from the sounds, the group dynamic and just the sheer FUN of that kind of music making. Of course, singing with the orchestra sometimes requires some adjustments, too - tempi which seemed so settled in the rehearsal room may need to change, and there are often small vocal adjustments to make (or not make - one of the key things singers learn in their training is to trust the way it FEELS instead of the way it SOUNDS and thus sometimes one must steel oneself to not making too many adjustments based on the different aural feedback of the new space and instrumental sound, instead relying on the practiced sensations)

This is big, "Spaghetti Sauce" opera in the verismo style which isn't something I get to sing that often (there just aren't that many roles for my voice type in verismo - the soprano gets all the good stuff!) and I have to say... I know NOW why all my tenor and soprano friends are so happy singing Puccini! I love Verdi and many of the other composers I sing, but this impassioned, uninhibited, expansive music is just so much fun. I had a ball!

In the meantime back at the family ranch, my daughter had a big musical day today too: her childrens' choir was performing at an important gala, a performance that has been in preparation for many weeks. As with the school play, once again, I wasn't there to be involved (amazing that so many things could conflict in one week!) and felt that mommy pang knowing I wouldn't be there to share it with her in person. But at least on this occasion I felt a little more connected, since I had made her flower wreath long before I left, and we had chosen the dress and planned the (very specifically detailed by the organisation) "costume" for the occasion together. I'm still waiting for pictures, but I'm assured there are many - watch this space.

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