Our performance at Merkin Hall last weekend was grueling but wonderful. It taught me a lot about myself as a performer.
It becomes clearer to me everyday that energy and focus and commitment can make a performance sparkle, even against the odds. With less than adequate rehearsal time, a barely tonal piece and little access to a piano (I am so spoiled at home, I realize) except for an hour each day at Nola, I was scared to death, but the performance turned out well. I was sure when I arrived in New York I had memorized carefully, each interval, and the feeling that each note had in my voice. For these kinds of works, it can be a scary situation, because I was almost totally leaning on muscle memory to find each pitch, with next to no help in the piano part. Then, I was suddenly onstage to rehearse and it was like my whole vocal center of gravity had shifted, and suddenly things weren't feeling the same. Joe told me that what I was singing was right, and I had to rely on him that everything would be okay. The lovely thing is that the audience would never know...but I would know, and the composer would know, and god knows I am good at beating myself up over these things.
There is so much to be said, however, for just willing it to be right, and giving it everything you vocally and dramatically.