Wednesday, February 21, 2007

On the “Piano”

If I had a piano, I’d have several stacks of music piled on it these days, things I’m learning or revisiting for upcoming events. I haven’t done an entry like this in a while, so I thought it might be worth a look. Here’s what’s “on the piano” these days.

For a last-minute audition tomorrow for a recital foundation:

Rorem, “In a Gondola”
Schubert, “Gretchen am Spinnrade”
Bellini, “Per pieta, bell’ idol mio”
Poulenc, “Violon”
Rachmaninoff, “Zdes xhorosho”

These are all songs I’ve sung before, nothing new, but I’m having to spend a little extra time with “Gretchen,” making sure the words are in there. I’ve been asked in the comments to explain how I memorize words, and in order to really know that I have them, I have to write them over and over and over again. That’s really the only way for me! And I think when I learned “Gretchen,” I didn’t really go through the process. I crammed it. So now, when I look at it again, it’s not on autopilot like it should be. More on the memorization process soon.

For an opera competition next week:

standard audition repertoire
plus the new addition of Juliette’s first act aria, “Je veux vivre.” (Another “big girl” role making it’s way into my rep.

For the Oratorio Society Competition:
Come unto Him, Messiah, Handel
Jauchzet Gott in allen Landen, Cantata 51, Bach
Laudate dominum, Vesperae solennes, Mozart
Lua descolorida, La Pasion segun San Marcos, Golijov
Carmina Burana, Orff

The requirements for this competition are one aria from Messiah, three arias from contrasting works, and all the solos from one complete oratorio. I feel like this is a good program, showing a little bit of everything. I really hope they ask for the Golijov…

For the rest of the season at the Met:

Suor Angelica and Il tabarro
L’elisir d’amore

For the summer:

an opera (How’s that for vague?!)

I recently learned who will be directing the opera, and it’s someone I’ve wanted to work with for a while now. We’re both excited for the opportunity, and knowing he would be there made this experience even more appealing! I think we’ll have a lot of fun.

Back to Gretchen and her spinning wheel…


Scatterbrained Seal said...

I LOVE "Gretchen am Spinnrade"! We just covered Schubert and lieder in Music History (did you ever have Haas?), and Gretchen has always been one of my favorite ones to listen to, and now to study. Your rep. is really impressive! Good luck with the audition tomorrow and those coming up!

Michael Manning said...

On the plane trip back from Las Vegas, the movie was "Copying Beethoven" and I wondered if you caught it?

Janet said...

Re memorizing words: Do you use the copying method even if it's a totally unfamiliar language? For instance, did you do it that way for Jenufa (I'm assuming you don't know Czech)? (I recently had to learn some choral music in Russian, and the effort to memorize it utterly defeated me. I could no more have written it out than I could have composed it in the first place.)

And thanks for writing about stuff like this. In common with your other commentators, I greatly appreciate the chance to find out how a real singer works.

Ariadne said...

That one really gets to me. "Meine Ruhe ist hin, mein Herz ist schwer..." I have definitely felt that in my life saga, so far! Sometimes it's hard to sing something that cuts so close paintfully to the bone.

On the other hand, from a humorous point of view, did you notice that you can keep just singing this one since the ending line is just exactly the same as the beginning? Oh yeah...

This means one could sing it to annoy people (who know it, like me) by singing it endlessly 'round and 'round, like "It's a Small World After All" or that kids' favorite "This is the Song That Doesn't End..." ha ha

Anonymous said...

regarding "an opera," how vague can it be when you list it on another site? Really, most folks have already begun announcing their work at the same program this summer. No need to hide anymore. KPW will announce formally at the top o'March. Congratulations. It is a lovely area.

ACB said...

Janet, my lines for Jenufa were short and few enough that I just recited them over and over, rather than writing. The most important part of any memorization process, but especially if you haven't studied the language, is to know your translation cold, word for word. I sat with my score (translation written in under the words, IPA written above) and read it out loud until it was in my muscles!

Anon, yes, I know... Can't say why I put it there and not here! Site traffic, maybe, and another cast member has it on his site there, too. I'll post about it this week...

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