Wednesday, August 17, 2011


I think we all have an aria that haunts us. The one you pull out from time to time, and think: "If I can ever, at any point, sing this competently and with relative ease, I will know I'm amazing." It's in your fach, its something that you "should" be able to sing. It's just that it never feels quite right, and it's not something you ever feel great about when you are done singing it, for whatever reason.

My haunting aria is from a role I've actually done before. It was the sole reason I did not sleep soundly for weeks during rehearsals. It literally kept me awake at night. The tempo never settled in. The tessitura, the coloratura, the wide interval leaps never settled in, despite my practicing them for at least an hour a day. I drove Joe crazy making him rehearse it with me over and over.

Okay, people, here's the big news: I did it. Maybe it was just a fluke, but yesterday, I sang through, and it was actually GOOD, exhilarating, fun, not like slogging through the mud in rain boots. Maybe I have actually learned something after all these years. Maybe.

What's your haunting aria?


Mendel Markel, said...

Don't fret, you're in pretty good shape. For those of us starting out that's every Aria lol. But I know what you mean. Right now I'm working on Una Furtiva Lagrima. We chose it because... well, it's my favorite aria, but also because it is within my reach technically but yet when it comes to applying what I do fine with exercises to an actual aria, suddenly it's different.

Luckily I have a fairly easy time with the coloratura because of my familiarity with cantorial works, the tough part is that it resides almost all in my head register, which is where I need the most development.

I'm used to singing sort of in a baritone's key because I didn't even know I had notes up there and actually always assumed I was baritone, but I'm actually in the helden to spinto tenor area. The funny thing is how ever since I started lessons my tessitura has actually changed. I naturally now start the prayers higher than I used to because the comfort zone of my range is much higher than it was.

Anonymous said...

Anything Handel. Specifically, Tornami. On the one hand, I can sing it in my sleep. But there are one or two spots that more often than not, just aren't perfect. And let's face it, if you are going to sing one of Handel's most popular had better be perfect. Am I right?

Out of a desperate desire to retire it from my audition list, I'm currently working on Da tempteste instead. Alas, I think it's a bit too low, because it just doesn't "pop". The curse of the LC!

Stuart said...

My haunting aria: "Flower Duet '99" by Luminaire. ;-)

AlisonDee said...

My haunting aria... and even though it is not a tough one it gives me trouble is 'Ach Ich Fuhl's' from Die Zauberflote. I get so nervous because I really want to sing it well that I run out of breadth in the run... every, single, blooming time hehe.

Mendel Markel, said...

Classic case of paralysis by analysis. Running out of air due to thinking about it too much. I would know :)