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!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Memorising and departures

The memory is an odd thing. I'm one of those people who, for the most part, doesn't need to "memorize" per se - in the course of learning something, it usually just goes in so that by the time I've finished learning the notes and rhythms and "singing it in" (the process of working out the vocal/technical side of things), I usually have it pretty well in my head and only need to specifically address small details and the occasional stubborn bar of music.

But, for me, this requires actually doing it, not only studying it; I have to SING it to be able to retain it. Not only looking at it on the page, not only speaking it (although that can also be helpful, particularly if it's a language with which I'm not terribly familiar), not merely studying it but.... USING it.

On this occasion, I found myself running way behind schedule. On February 1st I came down with the flu which resulted in THE WORST laryngitis I've had in years - two weeks of total inability to phonate - which then morphed into 2 weeks of heavy bronchitis. By which time I was into rehearsals for my March production and, because the director kept me onstage a lot (that's not a complaint!), I spent more time in rehearsals and less time practicing than I had anticipated, thus leaving me a bit frantic!

Fortunately, this role isn't long and my "basic" Italian is good enough that I do actually understand what I'm singing about (which makes it much easier to learn than when it seems to be a bunch of nonsense syllables). A husband who's a pianist and willing to run the music with me while I drill myself doesn't hurt either! So although I was very worried earlier in the week that I wasn't on top of things, I'm feeling much better about it now; I'm just keen to start rehearsals tomorrow and see how "the team" will be approaching this music, which I've never performed before.

In any case, the laundry is as done as it will be, my bags are packed, and it's time to grab a cup of coffee, check out the garden one last time before I hand it over to my husband and daughter for the duration, and then... off to the airport.

I'm delighted that my daughter's ever-growing maturity has really demonstrated itself this time out, as during the last 24hrs she has been quite happy to say, "I'll miss you!" and come over for a big hug, but without any trace of concern, or upset. Even on overnight "away stays" in the past she's sometimes been a bit weepy, so I'm very happy to see her better able both to articulate what she's feeling and then use words to help her process and cope with it. Perhaps learning words isn't so hard, but using them is the important part!

In life as in art, I guess.

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