After a couple of crazy days of trying to find a better housing situation here in Santa Fe, I have settled into a lovely house. I am living alone, which is a wonderful blessing, but I’m walking distance from a dear friend and I have great neighbors. I’m basically house-sitting for a couple who live in Key West for most of the year; it’s not free, but it’s cheaper than my original arrangement and a better situation all around. There is a quirk, of course, and that is that the owners are coming to town for two weeks in late June. I’ll stash some stuff in the small bedroom and find a place to crash for the time. I have some leads, so I’m not worried, and the trade-off makes this feel like a minor inconvenience.
We had our first day of rehearsals yesterday, jumping headlong into Carmen and Flute choruses. I expect to have a coaching for the step-sisters tomorrow. There are lots of great people back this year, and several people that I know from other gigs in the new crop. All in all, it seems like a great group.
It’s definitely a good year to be an Apprentice. I’m not sure if it’s because of the 50th Anniversary season, but the opera is really showcasing the “young talent.” There are so many good roles being sung by apprentices this year: in Magic Flute, the Ladies, Papagena, and the Guards; in Carmen, the qypsy quartet and, I think, the smaller officer part; in Cendrillon, the stepsisters and maybe the Master of Ceremonies; in Salome, all kinds of Slaves, Jews, and Soldiers; and I think there are small roles in the Tempest, too. Great opportunities all around. There is one Apprentice who has been awarded an incredible role, due to the cancellation of the original artist. I haven’t seen anything about in press or publicity stuff from the opera, so I’m keeping a lid on it, but needless to say, it is thrilling. Micaela is also being sung by a young singer, Jennifer Black, who was an Apprentice with me last year. She’s been in the Met’s training program this year, and has a gorgeous voice. Whenever Micaela would sing on my Carmen recording as I studied, I thought, “I can’t wait to get to hear Jennifer sing this!”
So, we’re under way!