Friday, February 29, 2008

A Paradox

You know you’ve been running like a madwoman when you’d kind of rather sit home on the couch instead of go out with your friends for your birthday! But, never fear. I’ll get over it…

It’s been crazy hard to be productive today, what with the overwhelming outpouring of birthday greetings from friends old and new, virtual and real-world. I guess when you have a birthday so unique as this one, people tend to remember! At least, every four years they remember. Thanks to all; I have felt warm and fuzzy all day.

My head has felt a little fuzzy, too, as my somewhat standard end-of-a-run cold is lurking. I’ve started the Zicam and am drinking tons of water; I would hate to have to cancel my set at my own birthday party concert! Our Sing For Hope program has been listed in TimeOut New York as the Critic’s Pick for Sunday, so come on out! The listing even includes my first official pun on my name in publicity: “Soprano ACB’s friends flock to this birthday-party-cum-benefit-concert.” I have arrived!!

The concert last was a great, indeed, a wonderful end to a wonderful but exhausting tour. Today I had a good “state of the career” meeting with my manager and cleaned the apartment, including filling receipts from my recent travels. Tomorrow I’ll meet with CAM to rehearse my songs for Sunday, and then Sunday is the show! In between I’ve been running Rosina texts and melisamas nonstop in my head. Next week it is pretty much all Rosina, all the time. My roommate is going to be out of town, lucky guy, so he won’t have to hear it over and over again. I’m sure my neighbors will wish they were with him.

Thanks again for all your thoughts and wishes today!! Eight never looked so good, I have to say...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


After a day that was a true comedy of errors, last night’s concert turned out to be one of those performances that makes it all worthwhile. Something magical and special was created in that concert hall last night; duende was present in each and every musician on that stage.

I won’t go into the craziness of the day, but a few hours before the concert we discovered that the folk singer had been delayed in his flight to Ithaca and was not going to make it. Fortunately, Evan Chambers, the composer, was with us on the tour and is himself a folk singer (among other things). So, sure enough, the Cornell audience not only got to hear a work by a living composer, but they got to hear that composer give an incredibly honest, open, and committed performance of his work.

As Evan sang the first two movements of The Old Burying Ground Suite, I think everyone on stage woke up just a bit more. He was inspiring, and we all wanted to join him in his performance, to meet him at the very high bar he had set. I know that Nick felt it, too, and I could see Ken, our conductor, gently easing everyone into the mood that was developing. We all seemed to walk a line between a relaxed performance and a heightened experience. It was thrilling.

I’ve written here before about the dangers of crossing the emotional line in performance, of going from telling a story and making your audience feel it to living and feeling the story yourself. Last night I walked that tightrope again, and this time experienced an incredible synergy of control and release of control. I will never cease to be amazed at the things I learn in this job about the way my brain functions…

One of the two movements I’m singing on the tour of The Old Burying Ground is called Emma; the epitaph used in this song is that of a very young girl:

Emma Spaulding
Daughter of Abel and Mary Anne
Died September 5th, 1847
Aged 2 years and 7 months
Sleep on, sweet babe, and take thy rest.
No sleep as sweet as thine, no rest sure.

The composer has set it beautifully, heart-breakingly, as you can imagine, and the more familiar I get with the piece the more I have delved into the voice of the character singing: her mother. Evan opens and closes the movement with spoken calls of Emma’s name, each with a subtext written in the score: where are you? are you there? Harp, shimmery strings, and an expansive interlude of brass and woodwinds work together to create a sound world that is equally mournful and peaceful. It is a truly masterful song, one that I loved the first time I saw the score.

Last night, about halfway through the song, I felt myself “going there.” The mood we had created had opened me emotionally, and I was starting to feel the loss of Emma personally. So I made a deal with myself: I would hold off the emotional onslaught until the last call of her name; at that moment my singing for the evening would be finished, and I could join the audience in truly experiencing the catharsis of the movement. I continued to sing, acting fully and and yet saying silly words in my head - rutabaga, hippopotamus, spatula - to keep me from getting farther across The Line. We came to the final section, a reprise of the opening, and I sang the last three phrases, each one a call of its own. “Emma?” Then the downbeat of the measure, my last word.

I was supposed to speak just after the downbeat, but my intake of breath was halted by the emotion welling in my chest, and my eyes filled with tears. At that moment, I was a woman asking a question to which I knew the answer. I had to force the word out of my mouth. “Emma?”

I made my way to my seat, slightly numb, and listened as Nick closed the Suite with a triumphant and uplifting epitaph, sung with joy and played with incredible energy by the orchestra:

“Oh, drop on my grave no tear,
But rejoice for the freed one
whose fetters lie here.”

It was an incredible honor to stand together with Evan and Nick and Ken and Keith (who read poems about the epitaphs, one of them his own) and the orchestra. A performance we wouldn’t soon forget. AND it was only half over! The orchestra went on to give a performance of Mahler’s 5th Symphony that was equally inspired and joyful and moving. Ken said he’d never had so much fun. This is an incredible group of students, and it’s been a wonderful tour. When they launched into “Hail to the Victors” for their encore, I was on my feet clapping with everyone else, smiling a huge smile and feeling a bit like a UM alum. Hmmm… honorary doctorate, maybe?

We’ll be doing it all again tomorrow night, only this time we’ll be at Carnegie Hall. If you’re in the city, please do come by. It’s a wonderful program that we can’t wait to share with you.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Guess who's also a Leap Day Baby?

Hmmmm... I wonder if I can get her to come to my concert on Sunday...

(As JSU says, I haven't mentioned it in a while, but we are ON! I'll write more tomorrow, err, later today...)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Packing miscellany

Sorry, this visit home was waaaay to short to get any blogging time in!! I’ll have my laptop on the road with me this weekend, though, so hopefully I’ll find time to jot down some thoughts. I’m sure a story or two will pop up on a tour with a bunch of college kids; it sure was weird during the recording to be the veteran… I’m probably ten years older than most of the orchestra, on average, which is not a negligible difference. Lots of experience in those ten years… But the fact remains that I still often feel like a student, like I have no idea what is next or what I’m doing or how I got here. Weird.

Tonight I packed between Rosina study sessions, and tomorrow morning will be more of the same. I’m using smaller suitcase this time, with new cool packing things (an early birthday present from M&D!), but since the trip is only five days I can’t really feel like that’s an accomplishment. Nick and I will be making all legs of our journey together (including a stint on the orchestra bus… flashbacks!); maybe we should do some kind of blog swap!

Three days at home. Lots crossed off the to-do list, but also time for dinners and breakfasts and beers with friends. Oh, and an opera. I took lots of mental notes. Lots. So many choices!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

New York Moments, Episode 2

In line at the LGA cab stand, I heard the guys in front of me talking about going to Midtown. I observed them for a while, noting their suits, tight haircuts, and carry-on bags. Wall Street guys, I figured. We got to talking, and decided to share a cab since we were headed in the same direction. Before long, I realized I wasn’t with stock brokers... and not too long after that, I realized I now had some pretty high up connections should I ever find myself “in trouble.” (Whatever that means.) There are certain business cards that it’s just nice to have in your file. You meet the most amazing and unexpected people in this city...

Then last night, I headed out to the street to try and watch the eclipse. Fortunately, the snow that was supposed to come in didn’t, so the sky was clear. I parked myself on a corner, leaning up against a lamppost (no comments, please). Within a few minutes, a couple of other folks had stopped, one even saying “Thanks! I had forgotten about this until I saw you leaning here.” By the time my toes insisted that I go inside, we had collected about a dozen folks, everybody talking and enjoying the sight. Talk of science abounded, as did stories of other times folks had found themselves hanging out with strangers in the city. One man had a pair of high-powered binoculars, and we all took turns passing them around. Gorgeous. It was such an unusual moment, talking and making real eye-contact with strangers; even the folks who didn’t stop to watch exchanged smiles and words. We all enjoyed the reminder that we live “on a planet,” as one of guys said, that we are miniscule part of a larger universe, but it was also a good reminder that we are not alone.

(NYM, Episode 1 is here.)

Monday, February 18, 2008

Italian Lessons via Opera Libretti

Words I didn’t need to translate in the Barber score, thanks to my time with Figaro:

biglietto - letter
cugino - cousin
guardare - to look
sigillo - seal
ebbene - well then
ragazza - girl
gridare - to shout
rabbia - rage
testa - head
lontano - far away
foglio - paper
niente paura - have no fear
cervello - brain
pazzo - crazy

Not to mention all the verbs and pronouns and adjectives… And, of course, the expletives: ohime! maledetto! scellerato! indegno! ohibo! cospetto!

Corriam tutti!!

I’m in a hotel, in a comfortable chair at the window, looking out on the State Theater and listening to the wind. This day was filled with yet another icy drive and then six hours of music written approximately 220 years after the Mozart masterpiece I’ve been immersed in for the past three weeks. It hardly seems possible that 24 hours ago I was slinking out of yet another post-show party, headed home to get as much sleep as I could before moving on to this next job. New city, new collaborators, new concert...

But let me not get carried away waxing philosophical… Ma non perdiamci in vano! I’ve got a show to document! Time for bullet points.

* In the final dress rehearsal, there were two lines that I’d previously stumbled on over and over that I finally got right. One of them was in Act III, when (spoiler alert!) Marcellina and Bartolo have been revealed as Figaro’s parents. On Wednesday I finally said “Let’s go tell Madama and my uncle about our adventures!” in the correct order and in smoothly flowing Italian. The line that comes immediately after couldn’t have been more appropriate: Chi al par di me contento? - Who could be has happy as I am?!

* I hit most of the things I’d been struggling with and focusing on, but, of course, there were things I missed that had always been solid. Not many, at all, and overall I was very pleased. I didn’t quite get the Act II Finale down as well as I would have liked; that is one hell of a sing!! By Saturday I had learned how to keep my body calmer (more on this is a stagecraft post soon) and I was much happier with the result, but I think I’m going to need another run at the show before I’ll really make it through as well as I’d like.

* First “wardrobe malfunction” on Friday night: the uncooperative veil. In my zeal with the wedding veil in the opening scene, I managed to get it stuck in my wig! Uh-oh… quick! Switch to Multi-Voice Brain Mode! I kept on with the recit with Figaro, working all the while to get the veil out of my wig. One voice was making witty repartee in Italian, and another was saying, “Oh, so it’s going to be one of those nights, huh?” After a few lines, Figaro was standing in front of me and my line was Sei tu mio servo o no? - Are you my servant or not? As I said it, I pointed to my head, asking for his help! He got the hint, and we kept on with the scene. We missed one cute bit of blocking in dealing with the veil, but all in all we came out unscathed. MB was a wonderful stage partner at all times, but especially at the unpredictable moments. I feel blessed to have had such a wonderful partner for my first Susanna. Thank you, Mullethead!

* The Second: In Act IV, in the fit of pique that comes upon Susanna when Figaro is teasing her, I stormed around behind MB, resisting the urge to hit him with my fan. I turned on my heel to march Stage Left and sing my asides when BAM - I was on the boards. I managed to land on my softest parts, and so I wasn’t hurt, but I did break a nail. As one part of my head went on and somehow managed to keep singing (che smania, che furor! indeed), there was a voice that - honestly - worried about my nails! There was yet another voice that said “This is NOT the time to be thinking about your nails. Get back in the game!”

I wore a different veil at this point in the opera, and I’d been struggling with it throughout tech week. We finally had it secured for opening night, but as soon as I landed after the fall, it popped right off. I fought with that thing so much during rehearsals that it seemed fitting somehow that it wouldn’t cooperate in performance, either! I picked it up, did my best to get it back into my wig until the blessed moment when I got to throw it across the stage.

* I had friends in the audience for the final dress and opening night, and I found myself wondering how things were being received… They are both musicians, one a singer and one an instrumentalist; it’s always a bit of a head game having knowledgeable peers in the audience. It’s not just a matter of “will they like the show?” Knowing their areas of expertise or snobbery (stagecraft, musicality of a high degree, general love and knowledge of opera), every time I got back to my dressing room and had a brief ACB moment, I wondered… how was it going? I certainly didn’t change anything because of their presences; I just wondered. It was fun reviewing the show with them, and they told me they loved it. Whether they were being honest or just being kind, I was so grateful for their presence, feedback, support, friendly faces and shared brunches.

* Briefly noted: Singing “Deh vieni” in context was just as wonderful as I’d hoped. I was so proud to stand in the wings and hear my colleagues kicking ass on their arias. I ate a Clif bar every night during the Act II / Act III intermission. Cute shopping in the Grand Rapids area: Paperdoll! Tomorrow I’m buying another suitcase... Good night, Ann Arbor!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Note to Self:

Fitting all your things into one suitcase doesn't mean you have less stuff. It just means you have a heavier suitcase...

New Day

Up before the sun again, this time to pack up and leave this TH behind. I will miss my little blue room, the coffee ritual that emerged here, the lake and its ice-fishermen, the cozy couch by the fireplace, and my lovely hostess NP.

Two performances of Le Nozze di Figaro, back to back. I made it!! I had an absolute ball, learned so much, and am so grateful. I will miss my cast and our special moments on and off stage... Here is a review from the local paper; thanks to Sid, Patti, and BD for sending it along. You can be sure I will write more about the “uncooperative veil!” What he doesn’t mention is that it happened twice, and that the second instance came about because I took a banana-peel-style slip and the darn thing just flew off! Details to follow…

For now, I’m packing up my car and headed back over to Ann Arbor to record with Nick! It’s so fun to go into a rather daunting job knowing that I will have a friend there to lean on! And to hug! Other folks are involved, too, of course, including some folk singer folks. I feel bad that I haven’t talked about this project much here; hopefully I’ll get a few words down in the next couple of days.

Thanks for all your sweet words and thoughts and wishes. More soon; stay tuned!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Pre-game show

I had planned to write about all the stagecraft things I’ve learned on this gig, but my day has gotten away from me! I got a fantastic night of sleep, almost sleeping until noon, then spent the afternoon working on the program for the Sing For Hope concert. It’s going to be fantastic. March 2nd, UWS NYC, 3pm, be there.

About an hour ago my hands started getting clammy and my nerves started working, so I went to go start warming up my voice, hoping to settle down a bit. I’ve been humming and lip-trilling absent-mindedly (sp?) all day, but it was time for Phase One of my game day warm-up. (I promise another post with specifics, if you care…) It worked, mostly, and now I’m eating some black beans with polenta (my starch of choice these days), and gathering my things for a night at the theater! I didn’t get my cards done for opening night, so they will closing night cards, but I did pick up a few little gifts yesterday. I did manage to find a darling dress for the opening night party (pictures forthcoming, I hope), so I need to get changed soon. The question for tonight: wear my cute black pumps? or wear the snow boots and then change… dilemmas, I tell you.

I’m meeting TM in 45 minutes to give him his ticket for tonight, and then I’ll disappear into my dressing room to do my pin curls and complete my pre-game show: a bit more warming up, studying my notes, reviewing those lines that I managed to get right in the final dress but am still a bit nervous about, start praying that I’ll make it through that Act II Finale with a bit more grace tonight.

Here we go!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My First Time

The sun is out in a blue sky for the first time in weeks, and the sparkling snow is a sight to behold! The ice fishermen are back on the lake behind the house, and the cardinals and finches and sparrows and the lone mourning dove are causing a ruckus, fighting over the feeders outside my window. A beautiful winter day.

Tonight is our final dress rehearsal, and our first time with an audience! We should have a fairly full house of local high school and college students, as well and friends and family of cast and crew. I’m pretty excited, and more than a little nervous. My hands have been clammy all day, my one “tell” of nerves. They’ll dry up once we’re up and running, but my poor Figaro, who will have to kiss them in our first scene! Nothing says “romance” like clammy hands...

Yesterday it really sunk in that I’m doing all of this - this role, this opera - for the first time. That while I’m struggling to remember all my lines and develop my character and her relationships with the others, I will get to do it all again someday. When the curtain comes down Saturday night, it’s not *really* over; all the hard work will pay off again in future productions. (I say all this assuming and hoping that I’ll get hired to sing another Susanna!) So I can relax a little. Sure, I want to get as many things “just right” as possible, but this role will grow with me for years.

In order to get as much right this time around, however, I’ve developed a bit of a routine. In the past few run-through rehearsals, when ever I come offstage for more than two minutes, I go to my dressing room and make notes of the things I missed or messed up. There are certain lines that for some reason will not stick in my head! I fell asleep last night reciting one of them over and over: “Voliamo ed informar d’ogni avventura…” I will not miss that one tonight! I then review those notes, and the ones from previous nights, before going on the next time. I had more time offstage than I thought, plenty of time to recollect myself and refocus, should I get out of the zone.

I’ll try to write more tomorrow night, after a day off spent with friends and doing a bit of rehearsing for the UofM recording. Off to study a bit before dinner and the show!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Could be worse

I am nerdier than 62% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

I often find myself having the nerd/dork/geek conversation. Which are you? Which would you prefer to be? I think I'm a bit of each from time to time, as evidenced by the fact that I took this quiz in the first place... (Thanks for Em-Cat for the quiz! She and I were choir dorks in high school...)

Status updates


… loves reading about people she knows in major publications.

… also loves it when her friends win Grammys!!!

… wore leg warmers today. In a non-ironic sense. To a donor brunch at a country club.

… was reminded yet again of the power of the Sitzprobe.

… is proud of Leon Fleisher.

… is grateful for a good cast, sweet friends, and strangers who go out of their way to say kind things because they “thought you should know.”

… still really misses her Granddaddy.

… loves the cold, but not the ice.

… is grateful to her father for teaching her to drive in bad weather.

… is hoping against all odds to find a sassy dress for opening night somewhere in the greater Grand Rapids area.

… has a big To Do list this week, but has time To Do things.

… can’t wait for her day off!!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

A party

Today I’ve been repeating to myself a line that I heard in several acting classes: “Self-pity doesn’t read onstage.” Or something like that. The idea being that if you are going to choose an emotion (or, preferably, an action) to play onstage, no one wants to watch you be sorry for yourself. This little lesson had nothing to do with Susanna or Rosina or any character studies, but rather with the little pity party I kept trying to have today. (In truth, it started yesterday; ask my colleagues…) I talked myself out of it eventually, but it was rough going for a while.

It was a hard day, I’m not going to lie. Last night we did our first (and final before tech rehearsals) run-through of the show, wrapping up at 10:30. I came home to try to calm down the brain and sleep; I think was out by 1am. I then got up at 6:30 this morning to drive to Ann Arbor (two-ish hours away) for a rehearsal with the orchestra there, our only rehearsal before the recording sessions on the 17th & 18th. I left at 12:30 to get back to Grand Rapids by 3 for one last working rehearsal. I made it to all my rehearsals on time, mostly (I got a little lost in Ann Arbor), but I was not at my best at the orchestra rehearsal. No where near it.

The drive home was pretty miserable, as I was berating myself for not delivering a flawless product at the rehearsal. I did a lot to prepare, but there is always more that I could have done. I left feeling like I had to make excuses for myself, and that is not a feeling I am used to. I was tired, weary, and wondering how I managed to so overload myself. Um, well, I said yes! And so I have to deliver. No one wants to hear me complain about having too much work to do, and none of my employers want to feel that my work for them is less important than my other work. If I say I’m going to do something, I have to do it. If I over-commit, I still have to figure out a way to get it done.

My colleagues were very sweet to ask how my rehearsal went, and I told myself going in that I could be honest but that I had nothing to complain about. I got myself in this situation, and I’ll do my best, but no one needs to hear how tired I am or how many entrances I missed. (Well, I guess you’re hearing it now, in a sense…) We managed to have a fun afternoon, putting finishing touches on some complex scenes (there are one or two in this opera), and then we all went our separate ways for quiet nights in our TH's.

Getting the job done starts with making sure my voice is healthy, so tonight I’ve rested: lots of water, a steamy shower, and I haven’t talked to anyone except to get briefed on the laundry by my hostess (who is a singer and voice teacher) and get some tips on streaming tv shows online from MR. (That’s four...) Tomorrow afternoon we have our Sitzprobe, an important rehearsal to be healthy for, and then we start tech week.

All of our rehearsals next week are in the evening, so during the day? I will be studying.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Two sure-fire ways to cheer ones’ self up at the end of a long and tiring day: I can haz cheesburger and an iChat filled with laughter.

A hot shower to relax the tight muscles, and now into bed for a good sleep. I guess that’s a total of four cures… a long-day drug cocktail, if you will. Add a bourbon or a nice piece of chocolate and we’re nearing perfection.

But, in truth, the laughter was enough.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Notes on Rehearsal

* Clothes make the maid: About thirty minutes into rehearsal on Saturday, I noticed that my stance and my walk were very “un-Susanna.” They were very modern; sassy, and not in the quick-witted-maid sense. I quickly figured out that is was due in large part to the fact that I had forgotten to put on my rehearsal skirt. I had never really paid much attention to the importance of a rehearsal skirt, preferring to inhabit the character without the aid of costumes and such. But when wearing my favorite black skinny jeans, the ones that really make me feel like a rock star, I just couldn’t seem to shake the “attitude” they give me. After putting on the full white tea-length rehearsal skirt, however, Susanna’s stance was back: weight evenly on both feet, posture firm but subservient. Even my interactions with Figaro were more “period appropriate,” less modern. Boleslawski wouldn’t like it, but I apparently need my rehearsal skirt in order to be Susanna.

* Fixin’ Diction:
We don’t have a prompter or Italian coach here, so it’s up to us to come to agreements on things like how to navigate notes with more than one vowel sound. Our maestro helps, of course, but sometimes we can fix it ourselves, even without talking. (I’m not sure I can really explain this in words; it might be a “you had to be there” moment, but I’ll try…)

In the Act II Finale, there is a moment when Figaro, Susanna, and the Countess say together “how will this end?” - “com’ha da finir?” There are rests between the words, so it’s kind of like this: “com / / ha / / da / / finir” The first time we sang it (in a staging rehearsal), Figaro and I noticed that we were putting the M at the end of “com” in different places: I before the rests and he after. We sing the line twice; the first time we exchanged a look that said, “Wait, did you just…?” The second time, the look was “Oh yes, you did; we’d better fix that!” But when we paused, we got busy with staging stuff and didn’t get a chance to discuss it.

I did check in with our Countess, though, to see what she was singing. She was with me, putting the M on the end of “com,” and we were fairly confident that we were right. (Of course! FG, care to verify?) We ran the scene again, and when we got to that line, Figaro gave me a look: “Oh, we didn’t fix this!” My look back said, “I did!” The repeat of the line came and we both turned to the Countess, who pronounced the line together with me. Still singing, Figaro snapped his fingers and gave us a look that said, “Rats! Outnumbered!” and we all carried on, smiling.

It was really a sweet moment of nonverbal communication and collaboration, one that wouldn’t have been possible if we weren’t enjoying working together so much. This is a great cast, and we’re all having a ball. A bit of a stressed ball, but a ball nonetheless.

* Flashbacks:
When we got together in NYC and ran through things (Count, Countess, Figaro, and I), singing through the Act IV Finale brought back some beautiful memories. First, the bittersweet moments as Barbarina, saying goodbye to Cherubino during “Tutti contenti…” (In the Met's Miller staging, Barbarina and Cherubino don’t end up together.) But then, when the music shifted to the upbeat final section - “In contenti e in allegria” - I was suddenly transported to the woods of Vienna, VA, where we used that music as the opening to our Instant Opera programs! I never had this flashback during the Figaro’s at the Met, though, because there I was singing Barbarina’s line, and at Wolf Trap I sang Susanna’s! It was a wonderful stroll down memory lane.

There was another flashback tonight, when I overheard our Barbarina singing her aria. That will be a special aria for me for a long time, I think. I was taken back to the dimly lit stage, to the warm lights coming from the orchestra pit, seeing Mo. Jordan on the podium and the beautiful Met house behind him, hearing Bryn’s quiet “Barbarina, cos’hai?” My opera career is just beginning, so I know these moments of “flashback” are going to start overlapping, running together as I do repeated productions. Yet I can’t help but think that those moments, those sweet, dream-like moments of late 2007, will always be special.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

February 1, by the hours

12:30am - fall into bed after obsessively checking the weather all night long
5:00 - alarm goes off, promptly (accidentally) turn it off
5:45 - wake up from a dream of someone telling me to wake up
6:30 - catch a cab for La Guardia after confirming that my 8:00 flight to Chicago is still miraculously “on time”
7:00 - arrive at LGA, get through security, go to gate and see that flight is now scheduled to leave at 9:15
7:15 - get Automated Alert from United saying that my flight is delayed. Thanks. Eat first breakfast.
7:45 - announcement that flight is now due to leave at 11:00
8:30 - get rebooked on another airline for an 11:30 flight to Grand Rapids via Milwaukee, go back out to the main terminal, check in, put on some makeup
9:00 - eat second breakfast, then go back through security to my new gate
9:15 - get alert from United that my original flight from Chicago to Grand Rapids has been cancelled - good thing I changed routes!
9:30-11 - study Figaro at the gate, try not to stress
11:45 - up in the air! Onward to Milwaukee! Read Barber recits on the flight. Looks like I’ll be on time for my connection to Grand Rapids, and hence for my 3pm rehearsal. HA! Fool!
12:50pm (Central) - land, head to my gate, discover flight is delayed, set to leave at 2:30 instead of 1:20.
2:30 - discover that flight is now leaving at 3:15.
3:30 - walk out onto the snowy tarmac to board the tiniest shuttle plane I’ve ever seen, giggle nervously
4:30 - land in Grand Rapids, text my ride to say I’m on my way out
5:00 - arrive at rehearsal, and jump right in: staging the Act II dressing scene with Cherubino
6:00 - dinner at China Buffet, almost cry when I see that they have TOFU!! And veggie egg rolls!! I am revived.
7:00 - back to rehearsal: working the chorus into the Act I scene, then a run of Act I. Feel totally energized during rehearsal, wrapped up in loving the process. My voice was even fairly functional, considering the hours spent in recycled air.
10:00 - suddenly realize that I. Am. Beat. What a day!

I’m glad to be tucked back into my comfy bed in my TH (Temporary Home, a new acronym you’ll see a lot this year) after another high steam shower, set to get a full night’s sleep. Only six hours of rehearsal tomorrow with plans for a nice dinner afterwards, then Sunday off!! Of course, a “day off” these days means a study day, but I’ll also have time to sleep in and have folks over here to watch the Super Bowl.

More on rehearsals in a bit… sleep now…
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