Today was one of those days, the kind of day that lets me know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am “living the life,” that I am a professional singer. I’m still kind of floating from the sheer joy of it all! Let me see if I can summarize.
Morning spent, as it often is, with coffee and email and, today, finishing the flyer for the recital. This is just a half-sheet of paper with all the pertinent information about the recital: date (May 17), time (7:30), location (Gallerie Icosahedron, 27 N. Moore St), overview of the program (works by Harbison, Barber, Rachmaninoff, Cohen, Dylan, and a world premiere by Judd Greenstein), and a word about the Bhakti Project-sponsored wine (and cheesecake!) reception following the recital. The morning always goes by too quickly, and then it was time to rush off to meet with Jocelyn.
We spent the time working on Hillula, which is, to use Judd’s word, large-scale! It’s about 18-minutes long, and we’ve had it for about a week, with about another week to go. Needless to say, we went rapidly back and forth between feelings of great joy (it’s a gorgeous work) and great stress! We’ll find the middle ground, though, and make sure what we offer on Thursday is on par with the works we’ve been rehearsing for weeks. This is my New York recital debut, and we want to make sure it goes off without a hitch - not to mention giving Hillula the debut it deserves!
So, another step to that end: checking my Russian diction. I left NYU (where we’d been rehearsing) at 2:15, grabbed a burrito to go, and headed up on the 1 to meet DN at 114th. As soon as we sang through the first song, which I’d learned at Tanglewood in 2003, he said, “Did you coach this with Ken Griffiths?” Indeed I did! Turns out all the little diction things Ken grilled into me at Tanglewood are still there, and, as he studied with him, too, DN could recognize them! We sang through the other two songs, and I was given clearance to sing Russian in public. (What a great language!)
Then I had 45 minutes to get down to the Water Taxi at Pier 11, just off Wall Street, to head over for our meeting with Nadia. Her studio is in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which doesn’t have a subway stop very close by, so Jocelyn and I rendezvous-d (is that a word?) amid much confusion at the Pier. We got on the right boat (no running down the gangplank swearing this time, EHR!) and enjoyed a beautiful ride through across the river. It was a gorgeous day, and the breeze felt absolutely divine. I finally got to eat that burrito on the ride over, and then we were in Brooklyn.
If any of you have ever taken the Water Taxi over to the Brooklyn Army Terminal stop, I think you’ll agree with me when I say that it feels like another country! All of a sudden, we were in Italy or France! The old street car, the supermarket café on the water, and the beautiful old studios lining the street. Charming. We walked towards the studio, but couldn’t locate the address, so I called Nadia. When I told her where we were, she said that she was on the next block, and, still on the phone, I indicated to Jocelyn that we needed to walk “that way,” when Nadia said, “No, the other way.” She could see us! We turned around and found the building, but then couldn’t figure out how to get in. A big truck was in the driveway, getting worked on by several handsome young men, one of whom saw us poking around and said, “You must be looking for Nadia!” Brooklyn is charming and friendly!
We found our way upstairs and were soon drowning in luscious fabrics and colors and styles and ….!!! Nadia was so sweet and generous; she’ll be coming to the recital on Thursday, so if you want to meet the genius behind the dress, come on by. I ended up with two “every day” type dresses (pictures forth-coming) and a long blush-colored Signature Wrap dress for the recital; Jocelyn chose a deep red long gown and the shorter style in champagne. It felt like Christmas morning!! J summed it up perfectly as we were walking back to the water taxi: “I’ve never felt that way in a dress!” It is easily the most comfortable, sexiest dress we’ve ever worn. Get yourself one, or get one for the lady in your life. You won’t be sorry!
We had time before the taxi, so we got a snack at the lovely Fairway: fresh, precut mango; some manchego cheese; and a bar of Lindt classic dark chocolate. We sat across from each other as the taxi zoomed farther over to Brooklyn and then back to Manhattan, grinning at each other in amazement.
Jocelyn headed off to a concert, and I walked on farther to catch the A at Chambers Street. On the way, my manager called: more good news for next season! Talk about a cherry on the top of an already wonderful day. The weekend will be busy – and probably stressful – with studying and more recital prep, but the joy of this day will get us through.