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!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

A more substantive post to come, but in the meantime a fun little goodie for those of the word-y persuasion (thanks, Kent)

Anagram maker

Here's to a new year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Small glimmers of light

I admit it - I've felt hard done by and hard hit, and there have been times in the last days where everything seemed pretty futile. The grim news headlines are enough to make anybody want to pull the blankets over their head and stay there, and the continued bad news for us personally was getting pretty hard to weather.

But this week, pinpoints of light ahead. Only small, but they're there.

The first real light emerged yesterday with a small offer for the spring - it won't completely "fill the gap" left by the cancelled contracts next year, but it's an opportunity to sing wonderful music with extraordinary colleagues, and I have no doubt it will be a great experience (and a lot of fun!). I'd have been happy to do this particular gig under any circumstances, but at the moment it's particularly meaningful.

Continuing to try and look at the glass half full, my audition season went well and is done for the time being (no more frantic trips up to NYC for a while! I love going up there, but it does get exhausting when it's several times a week!). I sang well throughout and, although one never really knows whether an audition will lead to something (word of mouth recommendation and previous collaborations lead to being hired as much as anything else), I know I did my best to "show 'em what I do" in each of my 5-10 minute opportunities to strut my stuff, which is the part that's up to me; the rest is down to so many variables, most of which are entirely outside my control. But a good audition is never wasted, as "word of mouth" can come from many different sources - I can walk away from this season knowing I presented myself well and that's a good feeling.

So, even while the bad news continues to top the headlines, at least for me today there's a sense of some kind of balance I recognise, and I fully intend to savour it and use it to keep myself going. Light ahead. Keep moving. Don't look down.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hard Times

It's been a tough week. The first wave of personally-affecting bad news from the economic kaboom hit not merely close to home but AT home, as my local opera company declared bankruptcy and cancelled the remainder of the 08-09 season and all future plans which sadly includes a couple of (good) contracts of mine. This has of course been bad news for me personally, but is also distressing for the longer-term impact on the local arts community, the opera industry in general and the sadness that goes with the loss of a respected institution. People are shaken, to say the least. It wasn't entirely unexpected - there'd been rumours - but it's still something of a shock. As a performer, you get used to the idea that you won't necessarily have the security of a permanent position, but once you HAVE the contract in hand for a gig, that's always felt safe. Not any more, it seems.

Thinking it all through, I realise that the demise of another company away from home - even if it had cost me the same amount of lost work - probably wouldn't have shaken me as much as this has done. There's something about the collapse being here, where I live, in my face that makes it more unsettling. And, of course, one of the reasons we've stayed where we are is because having two good-sized companies who both used me regularly made family life much easier by providing quality performing opportunities within commuting distance, allowing me to avoid being on the road all the time. The loss of a good company less than 7 miles from my front door will be a big change in my personal professional "geography" for the foreseeable future; the world has shifted, in however small a way.

My understanding is that the company's plan is to restructure, regroup, and resurface, but at this point? Who knows where it will all go (or not); worst of all, I'm powerless to do anything other than watch the rest of this particular drama unfold - it's currently all up to the unions, lawyers and economic outlook, and we artists really can only sit back and wait to hear the next installment after it happens, which is a pretty unsettling position. Watch and wait.

But, life goes on and now the process of moving sideways to move forwards begin; we've redrawn our family budget, auditions are continuing and all I can do is look beyond the immediate changes around me and keep pressing ahead. I keep thinking of that line from The Sound of Music about "Where a door closes, a window opens" and am most profoundly hoping it's true!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Umm... WOW!!

Taken on Thanksgiving day, a chance capture when I spotted the frozen leaves while outside clipping herbs for the turkey. This piece of ice fell off its perch and shattered into smithereens seconds after the shutter was snapped.

I am, to say the least, delighted by the outcome!

First Place Winner, Dgrin Challenge #13 "Clarity or Diffused"

Iced Foliage

Friday, December 5, 2008

Musings from another branch of the arts

An interesting, if possibly controversial, article over at The Strobist. I'm not quite sure how/if it can (or should) apply to the musical world, but it's certainly interesting food for thought.