The Finals concert on Sunday was LONG. But there was lots of great singing and some new repertoire that I’m curious to know more about. Operas like The Mines of Sulphur (being staged at NYCO in a couple of weeks) and Cold Sassy Tree (I love this book so much that I’m almost nervous to see the opera, just in case it doesn’t measure up…) and songs by Tom Cipullo and Xavier Montsalvatge. Next year, I’m planning on programming more adventurous rep for myself; I might even try to excerpt something from Ainadamar. The majority of voices in the finals were big, including one soprano who gave new meaning to the idea of a sound blowing your hair back! It was a huge voice! And beautiful, too, so it was extra exciting. My friend AC (great initials, baby!) sang fabulously (some of the best mezzo coloratura I’d heard in a while), but didn’t place. Boo!
I sat with another coloratura semi-finalist, and when we noted that the three sopranos in the finals were full lyrics, it drove home the point that this business is subjective. At this level, it’s not always about how well you sing, but more about what the folks on the other side of the table are attracted to. Please don’t get me wrong: everyone in the finals deserved to be there! No sour grapes here. I just felt a little better about not being on that stage when I realized that I just might not have been what they were looking for.
After the concert, it was time for dinner and drinks with some Santa Fe folks. We were on the upper west side, walking distance from Toast, the bar that makes the perfect martini and, for some reason, a regular hangout for many musicians. I watched the bartender make my martini there in April (it makes an appearance in this old post), and it was perfect: stirred, not shaken, in glass, not metal, three fabulous olives. The size has been adjusted, thank god, so I was able to have two and still walk out the door. My dinner companions were three wonderful baritones: TH, DG, and SA, who has also been mentioned here before. After dinner, we headed down to the Village to meet up with our favorite blue-eyed opera insider, MP. We only had a few minutes with him, though, as he and DG were headed to a cabaret concert/party that promised to have them up until dawn. Ah, New York!! The rest of us relocated to a bar just up the street, where we met up with AC. Over cosmopolitans, we discovered that AC and SA have a very good friend in common and that they will both be in Sarasota this winter. I was so happy to introduce two of my dear friends and have them become friends, too.
It was soon time for heading home, at which time I was, once again, grateful for the ease of the NYC subway system! There was more Santa Fe’ing the next day, then Monday Night Football with my brother before falling into bed. My flight home was uneventful, getting me to Seattle by noon. I had plenty of time to take a two hour nap before getting my voice woken up again for a rehearsal at 6:00! Ah, the glamourous life…
It barrels on for the next couple of weeks. Hold on tight!
Current listening: Beck Radio on Pandora; new (to me) artists: Jesse Malin, Mark Geary