I'm losing track of whether I'm living a double, triple, quadruple or other -ple life these days! It's been pretty crazy - in a good way, I hasten to add, but crazy!
Last weekend was singing what may be my favorite work in the entire world: the Verdi Requiem. I'm a fan of most of what Mr Joe Green gave us, but the Requiem is extra special (and especially for the mezzo). The schedule this time out was very compressed and singing a massive work like this (the equivalent of a full opera, and then some!) four times in three days definitely demanded every ounce of stamina I posess, but so worth every single moment. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.
This is the third time I've been privileged to sing this extraordinary piece, and each time I've discovered new things not only in the music, but in my own singing. I've found reserves of strength, stamina, colour and nuance I didn't know I had - could anything be more satisfying than that? I only wish I could sing it more often. I once joked that if I sang nothing but the Verdi Requiem and 3rd Lady (in Mozart's Magic Flute) for the rest of my life, I could still feel musically fulfilled, but I'm not sure it's such a joke - it really is the most immensely satisfying music to sing.
In the midst of this, the Bearded Collie Specialty was in town (a "Specialty" is a dog show which only focuses on one breed, in this case, Beardies). Not only did we want to head up to say hello to some old friends who we hadn't seen in way too long, but our breeder had heard through the Beardie grapevine that our boy was growing into himself as a rather handsome prospect, and she wanted to see him for herself with a view to possibly showing him.
I have never been involved in the conformation dogshow world, and this boy was always intended to join us as a family member rather than a show dog. I had no idea how he'd react to all the hubbub of a show environment; he typically gets way
overexcited around other dogs and new experiences (rather than fearful - he's absurdly confident) but even
though he was interested in all that was going on around him, he was
clearly in his element. I shouldn't have been surprised - he's a real
when he knows he's being admired, and you can't take him for a walk
down the street without somebody stopping to ooh and ahh over him. But seeing him "switch on" the way he did made it no surprise to learn that he is indeed full of show potential, and that she does indeed want to take him for a spin in the ring. I'm not sure if I'm bemused or terrified to have another performer in the family (hence the title of this post) - that makes all four of us! Heaven help us the weekend we all have conflicting performances....