I wrote this email to a friend this afternoon, after getting home from my First Day:
So, it was totally nothing big. Just a rehearsal, just a coaching, exactly like every other rehearsal and coaching I've ever had. Except... know what I mean? Except for having an ID card now that says "The Metropolitan Opera, Principal Artist, Anne-Carolyn Bird," except for almost running into Rene Pape on my way out of the building. (HOTT) Just another day at the office!
I’ll add: except for Paul Plishka accidentally interrupting my coaching; except for the miles and miles of corridors, most of which seemed to be filled with racks of costumes; except for the final dress rehearsal of La Traviata going on in the theatre and all the people outside asking MP and me if we had extra tickets, except…
But seriously, about halfway through the rehearsal, I looked around at the tape on the floor and the stage managers and the director and thought, “This is just a variation on a theme that I started in Mrs. Stettler’s Junior High drama classes…” It’s much less scary when you think of it that way.
And, as always, it’s less scary when you’re prepared. My individual coaching went very well, and I was able to sing just fine. Everybody, it seemed, from staff to singers, has some variation of this bug; ‘tis the season. I think I passed, and I hope that any report my coach will take back to the powers-that-be will be a good one.
Turns out I’m required to be at even fewer rehearsals than I thought, so I am committing myself (publicly, so help me stick to it!) to spending at least three hours (the equivalent of one rehearsal call) on each day I’m not called to the Met at home working on scores. (That was a confusing sentence… sorry.) The list of roles to learn doesn’t seem to be getting any shorter, and the opportunities are only getting greater. Bigger and better and more high profile. So when the call comes, I need to be ready. Today I realized that this spring is not just an opportunity to work at the Met, it’s an chance for me to study. I’m getting paid well for the next 19 weeks, and I’m going to have a lot of free time. I’d better have something to show for it at the end.
So to that end, every Study Day I’ll post here what score/role I’ve pulled off the shelf. Tomorrow will be the first, and I’m thinking Gretel. We’ll see at 11:00, when my Study Call begins. Fun!