Friday, January 28, 2005

It's a small blogging world

I’ve recently felt more and more a part of the phenomenon that is the Blogging Community. I had an email from a colleague who said he found my blog listed in Alex Ross’s Music Blogs page. Imagine my surprise! I’ve been reading Mr. Ross’s (Alex’s? How formal is the blogosphere?) blog since last spring, and have a link to it right there on my sidebar. (Somehow I missed the post in which he mentions my blog…) The Rest is Noise is a wonderful reference point for all things related to living music, and by that I mean music that is performed today. Concerts, new recordings, new compositions, etc.. Not just classical artists, thank god, but also highly gifted and creative people like Sonic Youth, Bjork, Radiohead, and the team behind ABC’s Alias. (My Queen of the Night is modeled after Sydney's mother, Irina Derevko...) I have enjoyed reading the writings of someone whoses aesthetic is very similar to my own, but who is much more knowledgeable than I.

I assumed he had simply repaid the honor of my linking to his blog by giving me a “link-back,” but some of my more seasoned blogging friends say it might be more than that. He liked it well enough to recognize it on his page, and might even read it himself… Are you kidding me?! Once again I am amazed to think that people other than my friends and grandparents read this. Why do novice bloggers think no ones reads us? It’s not like we’re writing in a diary with a lock and burying it under the bed! I think it’s because there is so little feedback at the beginning. So, I’ve enabled the “Comments” feature on The Concert. If you read something you like, or have something to add, or just want to say hello, leave a Comment.

Now, I’m going to email Mr. Ross…

Friday, January 14, 2005

Photo explanation

My trip to NYC was wonderful, although I didn’t win or make the finals for Liederkranz. I feel good about my singing, but I think they took fewer people to the finals this year. I was a little disappointed, but I know how it goes! I’ll try again next year.

Now, to explain that photo. I thought it might be an interesting insight into the life of an oft-auditioning singer to see the warm-up space I rent when I’m in NYC. (Is it annoying that I always call it that? Should I actually write out New York from time to time?) Before this year and the once-dreaded move into Coloratura Land, I was fine with a simple warm-up: humming in the shower, singing a few mid-range scales while I got dressed. Nothing too excessive, and I didn’t feel bad making these sounds in Mark & Elizabeth’s small apartment. The most important thing at that time was getting the breath moving. Well, now it’s a different story! Now that I’m spending much more time in my high range, I find that I get tired too quickly if I don’t have a good warm-up. So rather than annoy my hosts with half an hour of scales that go ALL THE WAY up (my favorite: two octave scales and arpeggios; great for keeping the breaks smooth), I take advantage of a uniquely New York business: music studio rentals.

I get a small room with an electric keyboard (or upright piano if I can get upgraded to a bigger studio), some chairs, and a mirror for $14/hour. The larger studios have a full wall of mirrors and are often used for dance classes, theatre or dance auditions, or musical coachings. In my hour, in addition to vocally warming up, I’ll take care of all the other presentational details for my audition: applying make-up, curling my hair, changing out of my comfortable walking shoes (see embarrassing photo) into the heels that perfect the outfit. The audition location is usually near the studio, so I can handle walking six blocks in heels. Also notice the wool sweater over the dress; my “winter in Seattle” coat doesn’t quite cut it in NYC. My pre-audition outfit is pretty dorky! But in that little studio on 72nd, I transform into an opera swan. Hopefully, a better-singing swan. And one that doesn’t die afterwards.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Strange Photo

I'll explain this strange photo in a post, coming in a few minutes. I decided to do it this way so that this embarrassing picture of me won't be at the top of the page too long! Posted by Hello

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Once again, to NYC

I take off tonight for a quick three-day trip to New York, this time for the Liederkranz Foundation competition. And, as usual, some QT with my niece! It’s a bit ill-timed, as we are moving into our new apartment this weekend, but, hey, what can you do. I’ve boxed up and toted over many of the essentials – linens, dishes, pantry items, not to mention my shoes! – so all that’s really left is the furniture. Erik will have lots of help, so I’m pretty sure it will go smoothly. Joel even thinks we’ll be finished before the Seahawks playoff game! We’ll see about that…

It’s a pretty low-stress move, since we don’t have to out of the house completely until February 10. We want to get settled before that, though, so we’re moving in now. Next week I’ll finish packing up the house with all the things that are going to storage – non-essentials like china, lots of books (but not all), tools. All the home-owner stuff that we won’t need while we’re renting. Hopefully we’ll be homeowners again by May.

That’s all for now! Happy New Year, if I haven’t said so already. Hopefully I’ll post next week with good news about the competition…

Monday, January 03, 2005

Andrea Gruber talks

Andrea Gruber, a soprano who we heard at Seattle Opera last spring as Minnie in La Fanciulla del West, is talking publicly about her struggles with drug addiction. She was on the fast track at the Metropolitan Opera in the early 1990’s, but her addiction quickly got in the way of her work. She was “not rehired,” as she says, until 2000, after she had gotten clean. Read the candid and inspirational article here. (The New York Times requires that you log in, free of charge.)
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