Let me just say that by the time we lay our head down on the pillow Christmas night, we classical singers have done a hard month’s work. I mean for realz. For the first time in months we may actually have a little extra money in our pockets, but we have swollen, tired vocal cords, sore breathing muscles, and aching feet to show for it, and every piece of concert black clothing we own is threadbare. Our brains are officially dead after sight-reading piece after piece for the Christmas Eve marathon, memorizing all fourteen verses of O Holy Night and the First Noel for that last minute gig, and well, trying to read the conductor/organist’s mind as per usual.
Add to that the stress of trying to make it all work around our tricky audition schedules and going back and forth to New York, oh…and if any of us are academic voice teachers…well…forget it. If you make it Christmas in the first place with all your hair, arms and legs, and not mortally ill, you’ve really accomplished something. And you know, sometimes just the emotional strain of hoping and striving for a dream can really wear you out, especially if you’ve been met with some rejection. Don’t worry, singers, you’re not alone.
Believe me, we, like the rest of the world, have worked hard this year, made it through a hurricane and a presidential election. So these are a few gift ideas for all the opera singers on your list, or if you ARE a classical singer, maybe it’s about time you TREAT YOURSELF.
1. Audition Season Detox Bath Pack
So, you know how about this time of year, you start dreaming of being on a sandy beach in warm weather, frolicking in the waves? And you know why you feel so great and relaxed when you come out of the water and lay down on your towel to dry off in the sun? Because you just took a saltwater bath. It literally flushes the toxins from your body, cleansing you from the outside in.
So, put together sweet little box with Epsoms salts, lavender and eucalyptus essential oils and maybe a little loofah sponge. Lavendar is great for a relaxing bath, and the eucalyptus is great when you’re feeling a little congested or think you might have a cold coming on. Add a note about which to use when!
2. Amazon Prime Membership
This would be a WONDERFUL gift. We could order scores, books, CDs, and get FREE two day shipping! Add to that the awesome bonus of access to the Kindle Lending Library, for FREE Kindle books! Dreamy. Never be bored on your audition and gig trips again! Sitting on a bus is just WAY less of a life-sucking experience with juicy reading material.
I have these, and they are not only comfy but look way more expensive than the $19.95 I paid for them. It is just a pleasure to be tooling around town in these with a pair of black pants or jeans. And, they are audition trip approved, in other words: they are as comfortable as a sneaker, but provide a little bit more polish so you look cute and professional.
4. A gift certificate for a great meal in Midtown West
Try this: The Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien
Or this: Ayza Wine and Chocolate Bar
This, admittedly, is where we spend a lot of our time in New York, right, singers? Or for those of you nearer Chicago, San Francisco, or points south, there’s probably a city you travel to often to do the old audition one-two. A thoughtful relative or friend would thrill us if they were to pick a comforting, mid-priced, easily accessible restaurant and get us a gift certificate. I mean, imagine not eating Dirty-Water Dogs (otherwise known as hotdogs from a street vendor) on the street for once! It sounds like a little slice of heaven!
YAY! Oh man I want this so bad! My lovely colleague recommended it, and says it has worked very well for her, but it is a reasonable price, and oh so useful. Even in the teaching studio, where the air can get awfully dry. And you know what dry air means! Long-living virus bacteria!
Even if you’re not a history buff like yours truly, if you sing Mozart, this DVD contains valuable information about the times, the attitude, and exactly what the heck happened during that thing we like to call The French Revolution. It changed Europe forever, people, and influenced a lot of operatic situations, so lets all get behind learning a little something this holiday season. You weren’t planning on just sitting around watching football all day on New Year’s were you?
7. THE No. 1 BEST PRESENT WE COULD RECEIVE: a YES instead of a NO!
Hire us! We will love you forever! Give us the chance to sing something, anything! We want to give what is overflowing inside us, what propels us from one up to an down to another up, what keeps us going when it feels like nothing is working, and nothing is going our way. We want to give you our hearts, wrapped up in a little package called song.
And please email me and comment with more things you’d love or love to give as gifts. I know you have more fabulous ideas for me!