Note to self: Don’t come home and dive into an intense hour of singing after eating a huge brunch, no matter how inspired you might be after reading this month’s Opera News. Just don’t.
I have the worse case of heartburn I’ve had in months. Ouch!!
What was so inspiring? Here are some quotes:
Emily Pulley on rhetoric: “Professor Como said that the basis of good rhetoric – you know, the kind we never hear anymore – is to be a reliable source, speak the truth and love your audience. And something in my mind clicked. That’s the kind of singer I want to be.”
Diana Damrau on Aithra: “I’m looking forward not only to sing this but to play this role!” Opera can also be about the words!!
From a review of LHL’s Neruda Songs: “[Regardless of] the music on offer…, the mezzo could create for her listeners the illusion of complete spontaneity; she made every word and every not her own, performing with the commitment and pride of an artist who was delivering a piece that had been written just for her.”
Also, I’m sure I’m not the only singer who “does the math” about other singer’s ages when reading biographical articles. We all wonder how we’re doing, whether we’re on a track to achieve the same level of success by the same age. Of course, we know that each track is different, everyone gets to their peak at a different time, blah blah blah, but we can’t help but compare. I was inspired by doing the math on Emily Pulley, who reveals that she will turn 40 this year; she made her Met debut in a small role in 1993 (she was also a Met Competition winner that year), so at age 26. In the last 14 years, she has slowly worked her way from that small role to a full plate of roles at top houses and a reputation for success in American opera. We younger singers very easily forget that success isn’t handed to us right out of grad school, or right after a summer at a top YAP, or even after signing our first Met contract. It’s a long time coming. We work now to achieve later, if that makes any sense.
After all this, plus a few pages of Song of the Lark, I was ready to come home and get down to business! But my poor overstuffed belly didn’t appreciate getting pushed around by my overzealous diaphragm and abs, and now I have heartburn. So it’s armchair work for the rest of the night: L’elisir translations and diction work. Also very important steps towards achieving that success, but not quite as viscerally fulfilling as singing scales and arpeggios…