Beautiful Eugene! This was the view from my hotel room. I did enjoy my weekend there, and can see why many of you were envious. Nice people, nice weather, great arts scene. Not impressed with the shopping, tax-free though it may be. Guess I'd have to go to Portland for that...
This is the beautiful and acoustically delicious Beall Concert Hall at the University of Oregon. So lovely to sing in. I've only recently started to really be aware of the sound of a room (the way your voice comes back to you, or doesn't), and this one was prime. It shouldn't change the way you sing; it's more of a mental thing, I think. The hall for Sunday's final round was very dead (but gorgeous!), the total opposite of Beall. Another challenge to overcome, though, rather than something to get hung up about. I was very happy with my performance on Sunday; I'm really starting to feel like I "own" Nannetta. I'm starting to understand why so many of my teachers/coaches guided me towards it. It feels like a good pair of jeans! I ordered the Falstaff score yesterday, and I'm going to try and learn the role this year.
The rest of the winners (there were five total) were all women, and all highly deserving. I listened to the whole concert on the monitor in my dressing room and heard some lovely things. Four of the five winners have ties to Seattle, oddly enough. Something in the (rain)water... Another odd fact: of the 8 female finalists, five wore red! There were two in black, and I wore gold. I've been thinking about getting a good red/burgandy/merlot gown for my holiday concerts, but now I'm not so sure! We made sure to break up the reds when we lined up at the end; it was a fun puzzle.
I didn't get any good pictures of people at the concerts, but here are a couple of shots from my preparations on Friday. Even with the annoying flash, this is the best pic I got of my hair and jewelry:That is my new favorite hairstyle! So easy, so elegant. I didn't get a full length picture of the dress, but here is the top:The skirt is a simple a-line. (I'm almost to the point where I need to have the bodice taken out a bit, as my ribcage has expanded in the past few years. These days, when I inhale, I add almost three inches to the circumference of my torso! My costumer at Santa Fe just about fell over when he measured that.) I hope to wear this dress for many more concerts; I always get so many compliments, and I love telling the story of where it came from.
So, there you go! Sarah, if I were truly Joan or Melissa, I'd be commenting and dissing on the other ladies outfits! I try to avoid that, both on the blog and off. But I can always dish on my own fashion choices!
What will I do with my prize money, you ask? Well, pay off some of the expenses I racked up in Santa Fe this summer, of course. Take a voice lesson and coaching or two. And, most importantly, pay for my Nov-Dec audition trip to NYC. I'm subleasing an apartment this time, so it's going to be more expensive. But now it's covered! Thank you Belle Voci! And thanks to everyone "here" for cheering me on. It was fun knowing that you all were in my corner.
Onward and upward!