Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Kitchen Sink

Sorry to keep that vomitous post at the top for so long! It’s been a busy week, and I’ve had a lot on my mind, so a “kitchen sink” post will have to do for today.

Glamorous: As I was tottering home from last night’s Gala in my 3.5 in. heels, a voice came over my left shoulder: “It’s a glamorous life, isn’t it?” It was Tom, the head of the wig department (both here and in Santa Fe), offering a tongue-in-cheek summary of the evening. All dolled up, the work done, heading home in the rain to get some food.

I thought of his comment when I got home and read that Netrebko and Villazon had given another Gala performance last week in Paris. That means they sang (and attended the Gala party afterward) on Wednesday night, flew to NYC on Thursday, rehearsed throughout the day on Friday and Saturday, were fitted for costumes and wigs, had one musical rehearsal with the maestro on Sunday, had ONE shot at a rehearsal with orchestra and chorus on Monday, and sang a very high-profile broadcast performance on Tuesday. Glamorous?! Sounds like a terribly stressful and exhausting life to me.

A perk: I have always thought that a mark of “making it” as a singer would be having designers give me clothes to wear when I sing, in exchange for telling people how much I love them. (The clothes, not the people.) Well, can you believe, it has happened!

Jocelyn suggested a while ago that we approach a young designer about collaborating with us for this recital, dressing us in his or her designs in exchange for blurbs in the program and publicity. It’s a perfect idea, really, totally in keeping with the idea behind the VIM series: new approaches to the “recital” and collaborations between young artists. And what is in more need of a makeover than the staid, stuffy recital dress? So I emailed a designer a few days ago and was thrilled when she responded this morning with a “yes!” Details to come, but you can imagine how excited I am!!

Onstage: Today was the day, the day I first set foot on that venerable stage. We had a three hour Suor rehearsal this morning, and rather than being down in the basement, we were on the stage, on the set. And – oh, man – was it exciting. My fellow “Novice,” in more ways than one, is LW; she and I are both making our debut in this production, and we have been absolutely silly with excitement for weeks now. (She also was an Elf-cover in Helena.) The veterans onstage with us, chorus women as well as the other principles, are very kind to us. They tolerate our giddiness, and often smile at us with a look that says, “I remember my first time.”

Now that I think about it, this really is a special role in which to debut. Mr. O’Brien is making several “teaching moments” out of the early scenes in the opera, instructing the elder nuns to take time to teach us, the Novices, about some history or ritual or even gossip about life in the abbey. He has pointed to us and said, more than once, “They are new here; they don’t know about this.” Or he has told them, “When you sing this to them, remember the first time you learned about it.” And while that is true for our characters in the opera, it is even more true for us, LW and ACB.

There is so much we don’t know about working at the Met. Traditions, secrets, unwritten rules, how to get from Payroll to the Artists’ Area without getting lost. The parallels between LW and ACB, debutantes at the Met, and Sister Who’s It and Sister What’s It (we’re still thinking of our characters’ names…), Novices in the Abbey, are strong. I feel blessed to be having this experience of induction, of instruction, of welcome into this wonderful community. Very blessed.

Bloggity blog blog: My mind has also been occupied this week with thoughts of the blog and its purpose, yet again. I was interested to see the Distracted Dilettante touch upon the idea of “blogging = narcissism,” since someone close to me basically said the same thing this week. I kept quiet here until I knew I had something to say, rather than posting for posting’s sake, and I’m still mulling some things over in my mind on this subject.

Why does it matter for me to share with “the blogosphere” my excitement about wig fittings (today!) and musical rehearsals with James Levine (tomorrow!) or my thoughts on building an opera career? These days, with the Bhakti Project on the table, there is certainly a larger aim: fundraising to pay for a new piece of music. But what about the rest? Is it really just me saying “look how cool I am?” Is it, as I have sometimes thought in the past, a substitute for my much-missed teaching days? Maybe all of the above. All I know at this point is that I’m not ready to stop; this is a community that I enjoy being a part of, and I’m honored to make my contribution.

Tomorrow’s rehearsal excitement? The donkey comes to the abbey! I’ll take pictures…


southern gal said...

WE WANT TO READ what you think...what you are doing, all about the excitement of your first time on the stage - migod how thrilling!

We, all your readers, love hearing all about whats going on - whatever you want to share - and those who don't can just STAY away - pooh on them!

You are in NO WAY narcissitic - or if you are then every blogger is - what's wrong with sharing some of yourself with the world.

methinks that person doeth protest too much - could envy be guiding their tongue?

please don't stop sharing - i have been dying to find out about the first stage rehearsal as the premiere draws closer - and who on this earth worth their salt as an artist wouldnt be THRILLED to their fingertips to be in a MUSICAL rehearsal with Maestro Levine.

you just keep going ... we love you for who you are...and toi toi !!

sfmike said...

You're a wonderful writer, period. The fact that you have a few other gifts, like a beautiful voice, just gives you a privileged view to an interesting world which many people in the world are curious about. Do continue, and no apologies necessary. It's fabulous.

Scatterbrained Seal said...

Oh, I don't think it's narcissistic to blog about all that's happening to you! You're right: you're making a great contribution. It's helping me so much to hear about your progress and your successes. I can't really think of anything to say but congratulations! James Levine!!!!

Jessica said...

I LOVE this blog. Seriously, I'm learning so much just from reading it.


Singin'rin said...

Sure. Blogging, exactly like singing, IS narcissist.
We do it because we need to, and we love it. (And if we are lucky, we possess enough skill and talent to be able to hand some of that pleasure to our listeners/ readers). Feel no guilt! :D happy holidays! RS

Janet said...

There are blogs and blogs. In your blog, you're doing something that requires skill and a certain amount of discipline, and that you know offers pleasure and something of value to other people. It seems to me to have a certain amount in common with singing, actually.

Paul G. McCurdy said...

Agree, agree, agree!

These blogs help us all keep connected!

It's a wonder of this age that we can all read about what you are doing and how you are feeling in your life.

Sarah said...

Hold up. A for real donkey? Did you see Clerks II?

Ariadne said...

Random thoughts (5:31 am)

(1) "vomitrocious"?

(2) When you do the calendar math like that, you realize, no, it's not so glamorous. Thanks for filling in the gaps on the schedule of these "glamorous" singers for us like that! It sure is a reality check, isn't it?

(3) Ooohh, custom designer clothes! You'll be doing an interview before the Bhakhti Project Concert and it'll be like the red carpet, "Who are you wearing, ACB?" and you'll say, "_____ [fill in the name of this formerly up and coming now about to be totally fab & famous desinger, thanks to you!]. Girly girls all over the world are rejoicing... [joins in the group sing of "I enjoy being a girl!!"]

(4) Oh, wow, I really love this "Novice" analogy/ coincidence! It really fits here and must enhance the experience of this very, very special time. [See also # 6, below!] And PS nuns names are often double, like Sister Mary Catherine or Sister Anne Margaret (okay that was a joke but you get the idea).

(5) Narcissitic, schmarsissistic. If you're narcissitic (am I spelling that right?), then we're all sunk. Surely, as hyper- conscious singer-bloggers, we don't need any *more* things to beat ourselves up about, now do we? What do you say we grin and shout, "Narcisstic in a good way!" and leave it at that?

(5a) Besides, you life *IS* way cool, and there is much to learn along this Path, so I actually think your blogging about honestly and with a sense of humor/ perspective shows alot of humility and a sense of service, which is what your teaching days were about too, nicht wahr?

[(5b) Besides, you'll always be the PPP to me anyway! hugs... ]

[6] NOW! (Ariadne's stern teachery voice). About that next rehearsal. You posted this Wednesday and now it's... Friday! Well??? We're waiting!!!! How did it go (and where are those donkey photos?)!

alex said...

I just realized who LW is. She's fantastic!

I saw her when she was in the Artist's Diploma program at the same place I went for undergraduate, and it was absolutely apparent that she was something else, besides.

I also noticed that another of the WTOC singers is my college voice teacher! Goodness.

In any case, it seems all things are thrilling and coming together for you -- it's so good to read good things! May they continue!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...