After months of resistance, I've finally caved; somehow, it just seems like the time to start writing a little more - and more publicly - about my life running a career as a full-time opera singer while also being a full-time mom.
I consider myself immensely fortunate in that my career is also my passion. Any love affair with the lyric stage is a very capricious and sometimes even unfaithful relationship, but I still love it, despite its unpredictability and difficulty. I love to get out there and perform, privileged to make some of the greatest music ever written with wonderful colleagues who never cease to inspire and amaze me. Those moments of pure joy are worth the frustration and hard work that often accompany getting there!
Of course, exciting and rewarding as that may be, the greatest role in which I've ever been cast is mom to my daughter, just about to turn 10. I've always said she was my professional "good luck charm", because although I had been working sporadically as a professional singer in the 5 years before she was born, my career actually crossed a Rubicon and made it to "full time" following an audition I did at 9 (yes, NINE) months pregnant and, somehow, managed to nail (it got me two significant jobs with a major opera company, although I still wonder 1. how on earth I did it and 2. what on EARTH the panel must have thought as they watched me waddle in to sing!).
I wouldn't give up either element of my "double life" for anything, but it does make for some interesting challenges! While it remains to be seen how faithfully I keep up with writing here, I know there are a lot of singers out there who are also juggling this same kind of "dual existence", and also younger singers embarking on careers who wonder how it's possible to have a "normal life" and sing around the world at the same time, but I think it's something that doesn't get talked about - at least on the American operatic landscape. Unlike Europe - where it is more easily possible to establish yourself with a single theater and "work from home" - the travelling nature of The Opera Business in the US means that family and career are (sometimes) perceived to be in conflict. Does it take compromises to make it work? Perhaps. But I consider myself fortunate to have carved out a way of doing both, however difficult it may sometimes be.
And so, I'm giving in to wanting to write about opera, kids, and my life in general. Welcome to the madhouse!