Monday, January 08, 2007

Except…

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!

6 comments:

Scatterbrained Seal said...

Awesome! I can't imagine what that's like. Speaking of score work/role study, when is the right time to start preparing roles? My voice is too young to pin down which roles I'll actually be able to sing, but what's your advice? Good luck with it!

Pattyoboe said...

I'm finding this all so exciting ... and it's so great that you are filling all your readers in on this. Thanks!

Now if only I could get to NYC sometime .... :-)

coloraturaaah said...

How is your SIS (Self-Imposed-Studying) going today?
Have you discovered the magic of wireless internet and a free schedule yet?
The numerous blogs, foreign language papers, silly cartoon sites, Youtube, and any other distraction that can lead you from one google search to two hours later?
Maybe that's just me.

I start off strong and then-- well, you can let me know how Gretel is going..and I can let you know how Zerbinetta is going, deal? :)

Good luck with everything including the new day job at most-famous-opera-house !!

coloraturaaah

Chiara said...

Ooh, I'm glad the first day went well!

Thomas said...

Hi AC! As a fellow singer, I'm wondering what your study regimen is like when you're taking a look at roles that you haven't yet been hired to sing but you know at some point you will, and might even get called to sing these roles on short notice.

It's hard for me sometimes to prioritize what to do with my own limited time and vocal resources (only so many hours one can sing a day!). So do you actually sing through the role? Or just watch/listen to the opera a few times with a score? Or something in between? Inquiring baritones want to know....

:)

Janet Pascal said...

I really appreciate your posting all this. It's been a thrilling vicarious trip so far. When I started reading, as a Seattleite transplanted to NY, it made me nostalgic hearing about Seattle. And then the whole process of auditioning and getting hints of interest and moving to NY...and then the other day I read the roster list in the back of the Met program, and felt a surge of pride when I saw your name listed there! Thank you for sharing your experiences so generously, and please do keep posting.

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