Sunday, December 11, 2005

First Messiah

My first Messiah’s are officially on the books! I performed this weekend with Skagit Opera’s Starry Night Orchestra, the group with whom I sang Magic Flute last March. It was a whirlwind weekend, with dress rehearsal on Thursday, a performance Friday night and two on Saturday. We performed a “highlights” version, but all four (and a half) of my arias were there. Beautiful music, but a lot of singing! Oh, and to add to the marathon, we ended each performance with TWO Hallelujah Choruses! One as part of the performance, and one as an audience “sing-along.” That’s a lot of Hallelujah!

I was nervous about getting through three shows in 24 hours, seeing as how my voice is only just starting to get back in shape after my cold. The last remaining element to fall into place is stamina, so I really had to concentrate and not overdo it early in the day. I tried my best to not talk a lot, which is a real feat when I’m surrounded by 40 people! Or in a car for three hours each day with my good friend and sometimes roommate, Melissa. But, I made it through with no damage and no real glitches in the performance.

Unless you count choking on my own saliva and having the first “Shout!” of “Rejoice greatly” come out like a hiccup... Oh, boy, that’s so fun! (Not.) It’s amazing how delicate the balance is between one’s mouth being too dry and too wet. And if you don’t (or can’t) swallow at just the right time, bam! There goes your beautiful legato… But, it’s all part of the joy of live performance, and as long as you can keep going and finish strong, most of the audience won’t remember that glug. At least you hope!

It now officially feels like Christmas, so I think we’re off to get our tree today. But first I plan to sit in front of the TV, watch some football, and work on Christmas presents. I am knitting the coolest thing; after I give it I’ll post a picture.

Happy Holidays!


mezzogregory said...


I would love to play seconda donna to your messiah prima.

Mezzogregory, who feels like he has nothing to do this Yuletide.

TJM said...

Ah, saliva. Can't sing with it; can't sing without it.

Congrats on your first Messiah!

Sarah said...

That's it!? That's the only thing that happened to you in three Messiahs in 24 hours as you're recovering from being sick?!? I'd say that pretty much rocks. Congrats!

ACB said...

TJM!! Hi, Stranger! Good to see you... =]

MG, I'd love to sing with you, too, but you'll have to fight Melissa for it! She seems to be my alto of choice these days: we have THREE concerts together this year!

Sarah, I didn't include the mad dash to the bathroom in the very last seconds of intermission, causing me to be totally out of breath when I started "Rejoice," or the eating of a piece of chocolate with nuts right before the final chorus (soloists were offstage), causing me to just about choke on a little nut while singing "KING OF KINGS!!!!!" And then there was the licorice...

hahahaha =]

Matthew Hayes said...


I stumbled accross your blog, and lucked out: it is really enjoyable!
What role did you sing in the Magic Flute, Pamina?


ACB said...

Welcome, Matthew! I actually sang the Queen in Magic Flute, possibly my one and only performance of the role... I was terrified! These days I'd rather (and most likely) be cast as Papagena.

Thanks for reading!

Ariadne said...

Hey, sweet girl! Just wanted to pop over and say thanks for continuing to blog, you're giving me alot of courage to continue. (Thanks for that #, too!)

The chocolate cake and choking on a nut is really, really funny, not ha ha funny, but oh my gosh we singers can really identify funny.

(Sarah can tell you about a messiah sing along I did where I'd had all 4 wisdom teeth out just 5 days before, and was virtually popping stitches on each & every King of Kings!)

We should start a "Messiah Blog". It would be really funny to hear everyone's stories...

Thanks again for being just your lovely self.

Merry Christmas!

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