This has been a very full week, not only rehearsals and performances and all that goes along with putting on a show, but also so much going on in my head. Big changes are coming in the next year or so, and well, big changes are hard.
With all of the big events of this trip – successful cover rehearsals, securing a management team (who, for now, will stay unnamed on this blog), auditioning for and being (all but) hired by the Met (contract still pending…) – I have really been thinking about my career path. Not only the future, but the past. I realize that, in part, I have gotten to this point based largely on my talent and good luck. Sure, I’ve done some work, and been ambitious, but I know I can work so much harder. And now is the time for hard work!! There are lots of talented people, and luck can run out. Getting a manager and a contract at the Met is not an end-point; it should be only the beginning. I feel like I’m ready now, for the focus and drive that this next phase is going to require.
To that end, I have a list of roles that my manager wants me to learn asap. Not just look at, but really learn. These are roles that he feels I can be hired for right now, and he wants to know that if someone calls him and says, “We need a Sophie next month!” he can recommend me without hesitation and that I will go to the job and make us both look good. After all, as my brother said the other night, “It’s not just you now, 10% is Msr. Manager.” True indeed.
What’s on the list, you ask? Many soubrette roles, a few “coloratura” roles, even a light lyric thing or two. In short, a perfect group of roles to exhibit all my strengths. No more struggling with trying to label myself – I will be Fach-less. If something on my audition rep list doesn’t make sense to an auditor, let them ask me for it so I can show them that it belongs there.
The List: Olympia, Sophie (Werther and Rosenkavalier), Echo & Naide (Zerbinetta is on a different list…), Zerlina, Blondchen, Nannetta, Oscar, Marie (Daughter of the Regiment), and a bit of Gilbert & Sullivan: Mabel and Yum-Yum.
That should keep me busy! I’ve compiled a list of the scores I don’t own, so if you’re wondering what to get me for my 30th birthday next month, I have a few ideas…
We made several role lists, my manager and I. The Priority List is above. Then we have “Useful immediately, but wait to learn until hired;” roles like Baby Doe and Zerbinetta are here, things that I, an emerging artist, probably won’t be hired for in the next two years. Once I’ve learned the Priority Roles, I’ll move on to these. Next is a list of Future Roles: Gilda, Anne Trulove, some bel canto.; Msr. Manager feels that my voice needs to develop a bit more heft before getting into these roles. Finally there’s the “Forget about it” list: operas that are so rarely performed that I don’t need to spend time on the roles until I have a contract to sing one of them. Eurydice (both Gluck’s and Offenbach’s), Hero and Ophelia, and a handful of lesser-performed Mozart operas, among others.
How exciting to have something specific to work on that isn’t connected to an upcoming gig, and how motivating to have someone expecting results! I look forward to mapping out my studies for the next few months…