It was so hard to leave. I cried. Isn't that embarrassing?
First of all, I have never seen a group of singers all get along so well. There was no conflict and only brief moments of tension. Everyone was consistently supportive of each other, and because we expected great things from each of our fellow singers, I watched many, many great moments happen. Onstage, at dinner, in coachings, in lessons. You might find it cheesy to read that I truly felt like I was surrounded by love the whole time I was there, and the effect was transformative.
No, we were not going around hugging each other and singing kum ba ya. It was just that every single person was profoundly obsessed with singing, singers, opera, and the stage in general. How exhilarating to never have to feel bad if all I wanted to talk about was the subtle differences between the full lyric coloratura and dramatic coloratura rep. Or the advantages of the Countess singing the top line in ensembles instead of Susanna. Or whatever!
Among the great people I met was the lovely Kim, a mezzo with a gorgeous dark voice, who sang Olga's aria in the final concert, and writes a great blog dedicated to helping our generation see opera in a new way. It's in my link list, but check out Opera Rocks! I'm excited to follow her on her journey as she goes to Bard to study with Dawn Upshaw this semester!
I'm happy to be home, because I have all my scores and can start learning MUSIC!
ALSO: if anyone is interested in the program I went to, please feel free to email me! I'll be happy to tell you about it.