After a week of beautiful weather, it snowed last night and the temperatures dropped down into the twenties. Brrrr!! And this is not “let’s go out and play!” snow. This is just enough snow to make everything a mess, with a wind strong enough to stop you in your tracks and cold enough to take your breath away. Not very original descriptions, I know, but accurate! But, it finally feels like January in New York.
What a week… Ainadamar rehearsals have been going so well that our rehearsal scheduled for tomorrow morning has been cancelled and we only have a three-hour orchestra rehearsal tomorrow. I’m especially glad for that, as my voice is feeling the effects of singing the bright, straight-tonish style that the piece calls for. With my Met call-back audition on Tuesday, I need to try and spend as much timing using my “regular” voice so that it is in top shape. I’m meeting with JD tomorrow (who finally revealed to me that she has a blog!! Once I find it, I’ll post a link. UPDATE: I believe her blog is truly anonymous, so I'm going to keep it that way and not "out" her here. Sorry!) for a run-through of our material. We might be adding Zerbinetta to the mix, or at least putting Glitter back in. It all depends on how my voice is feeling and how much flexibility and control of my extension I have.
This production of Ainadamar is largely a repeat of the Santa Fe production: same set, same director, same staging, and largely the same cast. Peter Sellers is tweaking a few things here and there, refining gestures and dramatic intentions. Half of the women in the ensemble are new to the stage, although all of them have had some connection with Ainadamar in the past: two were covers at Santa Fe, one sang in the Atlanta performances and on the recording, and one sang in the performance (of the old version) with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. It’s a cool convergence!
The biggest change is that we now share the stage with a Spanish flamenco singer, or cantaor. Previously, the role of Lorca’s vigilante killer was sung by an operatic tenor imitating the wild style of flamenco. It was a strange and powerful sound, but nothing prepared me for the voice of Jesus Montoya. This is going to sound weird, but in his voice, I hear all the history of the world. When he spits insults at Lorca, it absolutely cuts me to the quick. So much pain. Since Jesus is not an actor, he is joined onstage by the tenor who sang and acted the role in Santa Fe, Alex Richardson. Alex moves through his old blocking, now acting the strongarm to Jesus’s mouthpiece. With Peter’s guidance, the construct works.
It’s also been a week of fabulous social engagements! If I lived here, it would be so tempting to ditch the budding opera career and just become a socialite! On my calendar this week: a book launch party (where we rubbed elbows with a certain American Idol finalist), an insanely enjoyable caberet show in the Village (where I sang a bit of Sondheim), a 30th-birthday party (at the honoree’s brother’s restaurant) for one of my favorite baritones, brunch with a composer (and partner), dinner with a fellow blogger visiting The City, and drinks in a Prohibition-era office-by-day / high-class-gin-joint by night (these day’s it’s allowed to be a bar all day). And that’s not including the several evenings I stayed home from the Tucker Gala or Sweeney Todd or Candy & Dorothy. God, I love this town.
Hopefully I’ll update more than once in the coming week! Stay tuned.