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, January 1, 2011

2010 Roundup

A well-timed nudge expressing pleasure that I'd "finally posted again" (!) reminded me I hadn't yet posted my annual roundup for the year. Somehow while working on that I was also moved to experiment with a "new year, new look" for the blog so apologies for any glitches - work in progress! So, without further ado:

In 2010 .....
  • I finally caught up on about 5 years of British television I'd managed to miss; this project started out merely as entertainment, but quickly became something much more artistically important and, in a way, prompted the theme of dramatic exploration that drove my performing year. We started the year with North & South and were bowled over by this amazing production - it would be hard to overstate what a tremendous artistic "reboot" it prompted (it even warranted its own blog entry). Impressed as we were, we decided to give some of Richard Armitage's other productions a try which led us first back to Spooks (MI5 in the US) and then to Kudos Productions' other series': first Hustle, and then Ashes to Ashes. We'd given the original Life on Mars a try when it first came out but, for whatever reasons, hadn't really connected with it; Ashes, however, immediately drew us in and we were hooked - actually, more like completely pole-axed as this powerful series worked its magic on us. As with North and South, while we enjoyed the series just as great television and entertainment, the intensity and brilliance meant it became more than that: the artistic impact those performances had on me was profound. Watching emotional layer upon layer expressed sometimes with no more than the flicker of an eye was a very powerful reminder of just how much we can achieve as performers, and how much we can and should - must! - strive for.

  • My daughter and I took a spontaneous whirlwind trip to Vancouver to take advantage of a friend's invitation to see the dress rehearsal for the opening ceremonies - it was every bit as much fun as it sounds and we were just grateful to make it there and back between the brutal snowstorms that hit the east coast the week we traveled! We got incredibly lucky with our flights (and even luckier that close friends put snow tires on their car every year.....!)

  • I performed a well-received duo recital which prompted ideas that came to fruition later in the year...

  • I enjoyed a wonderful festival production: fantastic colleagues in an idyllic setting was pretty much a guaranteed recipe for fun and it was a terrific experience. Despite being a role in a genre I don't sing all that much (and also sustaining a miserable foot injury which slowed me down more than I liked), it was a rewarding summer both artistically and personally and given the chance I'd repeat the experience in a hearbeat! It was perfect timing to work "outside the operatic box", too, with a great deal of "real" dialogue (George Bernard Shaw's original text was reinstated for this production) - the entire process was very different from the usual opera production, and while it was sometimes challenging, it was enormously exciting and satisfying to stretch my dramatic wings in different ways.

  • I got home from New York and hit the ground running, putting the ideas sparked at the spring recital into practice. The result was a concert in the words and format first tried out in March, but this time based on a unifying theme: the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe. The idea seemed to spark a lot of interest, and we benefited from some terrific publicity including a nice piece in the paper and a fun interview with the classical radio music station.

  • We lost our much-loved Bearded Collie at ~14 years old. He was a venerable old man and it was time, but that never stops it being hard. The animal was a hairy saint and we miss him terribly; hopefully 2011 will include a small furball addition to the family at some point...

  • Continued to take many, many pictures, and photography certainly didn't wind up on the back burner! A series of headshots for young performers, a chance to meet and work with The Strobist (aka David Hobby)as part of an advocacy journalism project, and even a small competition win were just a few of the many projects I undertook and enjoyed this year.
Which I think brings us to the end of the year and makes me wonder.... what's in store next? What adventures that I haven't even considered yet are waiting in 2011? I have no idea, but I'm game to find out! Here's to a fresh, open page ahead of us - I've never liked the idea of "resolutions" for the new year, but I love the promise of possibility ahead.

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