Thanks to Erik's arrival on Friday (yea!!!), I have a new internet setup. Unfortunately, it involves going to the cafe up the street and paying $2 to use their wireless, but it's better than nothing. For some reason, the IR port on my phone has stopped working, so I can't use it as a modem. Regardless, the lack of internet was only one factor in my week of no posting - I had an opera to perform!
Thursday was opening night, and I feel like I achieved everything I was hoping for in terms of putting the music first. I felt totally connected to Stefan, the conductor, the whole night, enjoying the partnership of conductor and singer. I don't know why, but in my mind I think I had always viewed the conductor - and reliance on the conductor - as a crutch. You only looked at him if you got lost! But that's not it at all. It is one of those contradictions: the more you are with him, the more free you can be. If he sees that you want to take time or move forward (for expressive purposes, hopefully, not because you can't count), he can make the orchestra respond. If he doesn't get those signals from you, you will be fighting against a speeding train! Not an environment conducive to artistic expression. When I talked with Stefan about this realization after the show, he was amazed that I was only just figuring it out. But, hey, life is one long learning process, right?
In addition to that small epiphany, the rest of the night went fabulously. The audience loved it, and the first review is quite good. (Warning: there are lots of pop-ups at the Berkshire Eagle site.) The paper edition has a photo of me and Charley Temkey, although he's wearing the donkey head, so you can't recognize him. Come to think of it, you probably can't recognize me either. Ooh, I found the photo at another review site. The review is pretty amateur, but you can see my costume! I have a ton of photos to post in my abum; I'll get to that soon. After the opera, we all celebrated with drinks and a 2am showing of Waiting for Guffman! I figured, if Erik was going to be up all night on a red-eye flight from Seattle, I would stay up late in solidarity. Which bring me to...
Erik's arrival! I picked him up Friday morning in Albany, and it has been so good to have him here. We had most of Friday to ourselves, then we spent the evening with Calin and Ian (who came in for the opera and some visits with friends) while waiting for the New York Birds to arrive. They were on their first road trip in their "new" Mercedes, and I think it turned into a bit of a National Lampoon's Road Trip. A three hour drive took nine hours, complete with weekend rush hour traffic, rain, stops for dinner and potty training, and strange behavior by the old car. They pulled in around midnight, at which time Sylvia anounced that she didnt' want to go to sleep! There were three kitties to play with! But, of course, she did, and so did we.
I have two more days worth of adventure to tell about, but I am sleepy. The main idea for now is that the opera went very well, everyone arrived safe and sound and is having a great time, and I am overall a very happy woman. Wish you could be here, too.