Thursday, December 31, 2009


Tonight is the last of 2009. It has been a crazy, sometimes painful, sometimes glorious year with a lot of exciting moments. It's been so long since my last post, that I thought I better write something down~, even though I am really far behind schedule with getting my hair done and my make-up on for the big soiree tonight!

The holidays were nothing less than chaotic, but I had Joe, and we were together, and that is what really matters. There is so much to report, that I couldn't possibly have enough time to post on it now.

After today and tomorrow, of course, when I plan to recover from tonight, I will be back to role prep and major practice and planning for the the Met comp!

Love to everyone in 2010!

Friday, December 18, 2009


I lived! And it was really fun.

My last round of auditions were Saturday, and I am pleased to report that all three were great. That being said, I already got a rejection letter from one, so hooray for me! The last one of the day was especially promising, and everything worked out so that I wasn't too late getting home. Now that it is all over until the second week of January (besides church of course), I feel I accomplished something personally and vocally with each chance I had to sing. They were not all my very best, some were, some weren't. But I just love singing so much that I hope it comes across to audition panels and WHOEVER I sing to, whatever the situation. We might complain, but there is something really invigorating about the maniacal couple of months we call audition season, and it must have some allure or we wouldn't keep doing it.

Tonight is my big holiday party, and after work I will go home and frantically finish cooking everything. Whatever shall I wear? I have no idea. But my nails look good, so that is what is really important.

Next up, family, Christmas, and then: the Met competition. Mmmmm

Friday, December 11, 2009


My situation hasn't gotten itself worked out yet, and I am currently in the process of making peace with having to sing on very little sleep sunday morning. Which bothers me, because I really do take everything I sing very seriously. Every note is something that represents me and my musicianship in a very real way. So, I warned the other soprano, and at my second job, the solo is low. Which may be a good thing, or a bad thing, who knows. At any rate, I apologize in advance, people. It won't happen again until this time next year. :)

Maybe what is really happening here is that I am delirious from lack of sleep and need to stop just randomly typing everything I think on this blog. Also, it is good to have a reality check for ourselves every once in a while, during which I take myself out of the drama in my mind and repeat this mantra: "This is music. This is singing. I am not saving lives."

In other news, to take my mind off it, I made the most amazing coconut cookies last night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Oh the drama of it all.

So basically, I now have three auditions on Saturday, the latest of which I just found out about yesterday. And it is scheduled for 9:45 pm!!!!!!! I am freaking out a little, considering I have to be back home that night and at church the next morning at 8 am. Would I love to get a sub and skip church? Si. Would I love to just do the audition and stay over night in NY and have a leisurely breakfast and then take the train home the next day? Si. Can I afford to miss any church whatsoever during the season of Christmas presents and Holiday parties, and oh yes...CAR PAYMENTS??? NO. You can understand my level of concern. So I am waiting to hear back from the company in hopes that something can be done. It is not an audition I would consider not singing, either, as they are doing literally three shows chock full of rep that is right up my alley. Mainly, I am just glad I was offered an audition at all, so I am not complaining, believe you me.

I will spend today focusing on it all turning out just right, with me getting home in time to get enough sleep to sing straight tone high As with perfect intonation and gloriousness at 8 am.

Last night I am so pleased to say that I SCHEDULED my practice time, protecting it from all else, and really just got a LOT of work done on my upcoming role. It made me feel so much better and really just more relaxed having spent a few hours getting things going. Tonight will be more of the same, and teaching a new student! I am excited to meet her for the first time.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


Negativity is born in the gap where love has been excluded. Gaps occur in places where we are afraid to see ourselves.

Deepak Chopra

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


Not really sure how, but I lived through this weekend.

Saturday, naturally, was the first snow of the year, and also the day that I needed to drive to Philly for an audition. Despite being really rather ill, Joe came along and drove me, and so it made it easier more fun than going alone. After my last audition, when I felt I had been a bit distracted in the acting part of my performance, my focus on Saturday was to make my showing a truly well-rounded performance, solid vocally and dramatically. There were plenty of practice rooms, and I had time to warm up and primp, and I was feeling good, despite the fact that I hadn't slept well the night before, and my low voice was the slightest bit labored. My middle and high voice is always there, but the low is the first thing to go when things go wrong. I need to remember that a switch in starting arias is prudent if I feel at all tired. Something higher would work better.

The auditions were running behind, but when I was finally called, the panel was very warm, and that always helps, and I love it when auditions are on a real stage. It puts a little distance between me and the panel, and helps me remember that auditions are supposed to be just another performance. The pianist was kind of unorthodox, and played my very familiar aria in a way I had never heard before, which only slightly threw me...but I really started to love the way that he helped me in the phrasing and really played loud enough to make me feel as though there was really something underneath to sing over. I ended the aria wishing it had been longer and that I could have sung with him for a few more minutes. As usual, nerves make any natural effects of fatigue worse, and it was not the cleanest singing I have ever done, but I felt I gave a good performance, and was very committed to the character. At least that's how I felt when I walked out of the room. On the drive home, I did what I always do and began to analyze the notes I wasn't pleased with and stress about the ways it could have been better, and how I need to be perfect if I expect to be hired for any of these things for which I am auditioning. Which, as we all know is entirely counter-productive, and the best thing to do is to just sing and completely forget about it the minute you walk out the door, and go on to the next thing.

Sunday, well. You know how Sundays go. They are stressful in their own way, with my fill of straight-tone unaccompanied singing at nine in the morning, and then rushing to the next job to sing a solos and lead hymns, and then off to school to work a concert afterward. All I can say about Sunday is that I was really glad when it was over! I came home, put on my pajamas at 4 in the afternoon, and took a nap.

Yesterday, I drove to DC for another audition, warmed up before, knowing that there would be no place to do so at the venue. I planned my time of arrival carefully, and went dressed and made-up, so that I could essentially walk in and sing. No such luck. They were running behind an hour, and I let three other sopranos go before me who had planes to catch. Sometimes I wish I could be a mean diva and say no to things like that, but the truth of the matter was, after standing there in the cold, warehouse-like waiting room for an hour waiting, what was another fifteen? All of us were wrapped in our coats, freezing. I felt especially bad for the girl in a gorgeous gray sleeveless dress and no tights!
When it was finally my turn, the auditor kindly apologized for the wait, and the pianist was very good. But I found that when I opened my mouth to sing, what I heard did not sound very warmed up any more. I cracked, something that never happens to me, on the first high note of the first aria, and couldn't spend any time being mortified (until afterward, of course), but tried to go on and make the rest of it so fantastic they would forget. Thankfully, my second piece went very well. So, it wasn't perfect, but under the circumstances, I made the best of it. Then, I went home and finished decorating the Christmas tree, all the while, trying to forget about that frightening crack in my first aria.

Now, I am back at my desk. With work seeming like a lovely, comforting routine, and just glad to be able to SIT somewhere for a while. After this weekend, my round of December auditions will be done.

Friday, December 04, 2009


My day in NYC on Wednesday was good, hectic, but good. It was one of those days when I felt like I might have been menopausal or something. I was having hot flashes like you wouldn't believe. Sweating one moment and perfectly normal the next. I have no idea what was going on, but that audition dress is definitely going straight to the dry-cleaner. Oy.

When I got to Nola, it was utter chaos as usual this time of year, with three opera companies auditioning singers on the same hall way. What a smorgasbord of eyeliner, lipstick, binders and FMPs. Oh, the interesting outfits, earrings, hair-dos, and the screams of delight when singers see each other for the first time since last summer, etc. When I was finally called and I went into the room to sing, it was only a bit unnerving that the panel was talking, almost at full voice for extended periods while I sang, only stopping, thank god, to look up for the sensitive moments in the aria. My voice was in a good place, and I felt my singing was particularly solid, but it was all I could do to stay IN the scene in terms of character, being somewhat distracted by the talking. I know I should be able to block it out better, and the distraction should be no excuse for not having a perfectly rounded acting moment, but hey. When I exited the room, I thought, "I can be proud of that." Not horribly down-trodden or depressed or feeling like a gigantic loser. So it was really a success for me, in a very personal way.

I made the truly bad decision to not change before leaving the studio, since the bathroom is just way too small to think about changing in it, but running to the subway and then to the bus in my audition heels was agonizing. And I was having another one of those hot flashes at the same time, so it just felt maddeningly uncomfortable until I finally made it to the bus and changed in the smelly bus bathroom. But then, I could sit and read and sleep intermittently until we got back to Baltimore ahead of schedule!

Tomorrow, it's off to Philly for another. This time at AVA, not FOR AVA, heavens, no, but at it. That place is slightly intimidating, I have found, in it's old-timey grand austerity, and it's glamorous scarf-enveloped inhabitants. You have the distinct feeling that they are all much better singers than you are. The last time I was there for an audition, however, I met a really lovely mezzo in the pizza place across the street and she personally directed me to the practice rooms so that I could warm-up and made me feel very welcome. I wish I would run into her again tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009


Back from Thanksgiving, back to work, back to singing. I am usually excited to go away on trips, but ALWAYS glad to come home. I love my cat children and my bed so much.

The past couple of days, my throat has been drier than dry and I am drinking herb tea and water like it's my job. I've laid off all booze. From now until, oh, about December 15, I'm going to have to be careful. Audition season has truly begun.

Tomorrow I'm headed up to NYC for another audition, and can't help but be grateful just to have some lined up. My dress is ready, but I've yet to decide what to do with my hair. When you've got bangs, you've got special problems. I've got my i-pod ready too. It is going to be one sexy trip. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

things I like

because I have had one too many berry mai-tais:

1. Berry Mai-Tais!
2. The commercial with the Bach prelude from the first cello sonata
3. Hip-Hop anthems and the bravado that I feel while listening to them
4. Football???? who knew. I really am starting to like it, and I know Melanie will laugh and say it is stupid! :) It may mostly rest on the fact that a lot of the boys are cute.
5. Singing things like Butterfly or Liu and dreaming of it being for real
6. Advent, because it is the season of new beginnings, and then there is Christmas at the end
7. Good bread...not the dumb kind in printed plastic bags
8. Facebook: if you need to reach me with a super important message, please write me there, as I check it every seven minutes and am not ashamed to admit it. Okay, maybe a little ashamed.
9. Handel, especially at the holidays because it is spritely
10.When I know I have lots of exciting shows to watch on DVR


I can't believe I wasted a whole pork loin, a pound of mushrooms and six dollars on an absolutely horrific recipe. There were certain people I thought I could trust, like Martha and Ina. But it appears Martha, or whoever is running her recipe writing racket, because it couldn't possibly be her, with all the country homes and things she is constantly winterizing and spring cleaning, sorely transgressed against her readers with the recipe I tried the other night. Ina, for the record is still about 10-0, flawless as usual. Well, Martha is now I think like 5-1. The pork thing was nothing short of a disgusting disaster. I mean, we ate it. I like rinsed off the meat and put it in between two slices of bread with mayonnaise and it was edible. But these things really make me want to scream. They are disappointing and embarrassing and a waste of ingredients and aaaaughhhh!!!!!!! So I thought about what went wrong, and really nothing did-- I prepared it just as the recipe said I should. But I think I may have discovered an abiding dislike for sun-dried tomatoes. So that is another thing I can check off the list.

I did make one heck of a good dessert, though, to compensate for my losses-- a super easy and delightfully chocolatey pots de creme from a food blogger who is apparently brilliant. Oh my god this stuff is pure heavenly divinity.

Lest you think all I do is cook and eat (let's be honest, I do a lot of that), I also had quite a bit to drink with my darling friend who came into town to do a few auditions. Something about seeing a friend from a really different part of your life is so fun, and refreshing, especially realizing how far you both have come, and what has been accomplished. It's really rare to have a friend like this one, though, who you haven't seen in five years, and can pick up with like no time has passed.

With the operas and all, it was a very intense weekend, and I basically fell asleep last night at 8:30 pm, after my poor sad Ravens fan returned from the game and we wandered to a pub to get something for dinner. I think it's safe to say I'm ready for a few days off!

Friday, November 20, 2009


Well, I survived work last night, and we've only one more to go, at least for me. Other people have to work the other performances. Whew. When I came home all I could think about was food. Cheese, noodles, bread, basically anything with cheese or carbs was all I could think about. I think working out in the afternoon must do that to a girl.

Ms. A and I were out to lunch the other day and were discussing pre-audition rituals, things we need, things that distract us, etc. It's particularly thrilling, since I'm always coming in from a three-hour ride in a vehicle, when an audition is in a studio at which I can rent a practice room to get dressed and properly warm up. That helps a lot. But the chattering thing outside the audition room is counter-productive for me-- everyone is nice, I have rarely had bad experiences with people trying to psych each other out, but A. mentioned, and I'm totally with her, what I need is time to THINK to myself about what is going on here. What I am doing. Who I am about to become as an actress. What my goals are for this particular opportunity. So, maybe the i-pod is our solution! And hey it doesn't hurt to listen to something that gets you a little pumped up about singing, almost as though you were not about to bare your soul and risk the public display of all your vocal flaws in the space of five minutes.

Here is my feel-good audition play list:

1. Beautiful, Akon
2. We're in the Money, 42nd Street, Original Cast Recording
3. Poker Face, Lady Gaga
4. Tubthumping, Chumbawamba
5. All the above, Maino with T. Pain
6. Us, Regina Spektor
7. Here I come, Fergie
8. Imma Star (Everywhere we are), Jeremih
9. Ray of Light, Madonna
10. Like a prayer, Madonna
11. Ave Maria, Franz Biebl, Robert Shaw Singers
12. In the Mood, Glenn Miller Orchestra
13. Jump, Flo Rida
14. Блажен муж (Blessed is the man), Rachmaninoff's Vespers, Robert Shaw Singers

Thursday, November 19, 2009


It's opera week here, and life is a little more frenetic-- I have a couple of fourteen hour days ahead of me, but the awesome part about this week is that next week is Thanksgiving. And I am so excited about that, and getting away, and being in warm weather. Having a grandmother in Florida is lovely.

I got down to real brass tacks this week with my score study for an upcoming role, and it was so fun. I really like the processes involved in learning a role. I like the language part, the rhythm part, and especially the singing part. It's the most exciting thing when you realize how perfectly the music and the words/action of the scene match, and have a "moment" with the composer. We've all worked on piece before which we feel maybe wasn't a great setting of the text, or is awkward to sing, so it makes it even more meaningful to sing the really great stuff.

What's really scary, folks, is that Christmas is upon us, and I have to start thinking about parties and gifts, which I love, obviously. I adore Christmas, but I was in a bit of a negative downward spiral about my particular situation this year-- some significant changes in our families, and the fact that we won't have time to really be all together. I have been truly independent, especially since I moved back East for grad school, and never was one to call her mom every day or even week, or talk to my siblings often on the phone, like my cousins all do. I think I am a little bit envious of that, and I realize more this year than ever how important having a sense of close family ties is to me, despite the fact that differences between us may make it impossible. The great thing is that we've always been able to put the weird stuff aside and have a really good time together during the holidays, and I worry that we won't have that chance this year. Now this is the part that is going to sound really cheesy: I was listening to Oprah Radio the other day. Yes I was. And a couple of her favorite spiritual teacher types were on, talking about bringing more spirit and less stress to the holidays. And the part that I found really comforting was when the moderators of the show took time to remind everyone that Christmas, and all the holidays at this time of year are about finding peace. Peace, Joy, and Love in the midst of chaos. They are a reminder that out of the most difficult and ridiculously painful situations come decidedly beautiful things. I mean, it couldn't have been great fun to give birth to a baby with no epidural in a dirty, straw and manure filled stable, or cave, or whatever they've now decided it was.

That is why I cannot completely embrace the idea that "good" or what our brains process as happiness, bliss or euphoria, is the way we should feel all the time-- yes,okay, so being suicidal really is bad, and you would want to get help, and start some meds or something if it were that pronounced, and, I do believe that keeping a positive outlook is absolutely the most important thing you can do for your body and mind. BUT that is a whole lot easier when you realize that "good" is a much bigger idea than feeling good. What is good? I've heard being in labor is pretty darn "bad" but then you get a baby! And I know first hand that working out really sucks, and I definitely feel absolutely terrible while I'm doing it-- but then you get to be skinny! I've been through some truly icky things in my past, and some of it was pretty darn embarrassing stuff, but I like to think that the things I learned about myself, and the people the situations led me to, were worth it in the end.

While being an emerging artist in this country at this moment, who really NEEDS an opportunity to "emerge" is feeling a little challenging (understatement of the century), for me, the key to holding it all together is the strong belief that there is a place for me in the world of singing, and hard work pays off.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"Hope" is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

Emily Dickinson

This week has flown by, as things start to heat up at work, and life is altogether busier. I have been very fortunate to be getting some auditions, and so the scheduling is becoming a little wild...New York to Philadelphia, back again...but I am so excited. It makes me feel very singerish, and as if I am part of the big gigantic rat race nightmare bloodletting that we call audition season. Now that I have two perfect audition dresses and hot shoes, I am ready to take on the world. My really nice husband has taken the time to work through an aria or two with me most nights, and that is helping so much to keep things in shape.

For some reason, Rusalka's aria is absolutely impossible for me to memorize. Okay, well, I can get all the words right if I am completely focusing on remembering all the words, but we know that this is not exactly the way it is supposed to go in auditions. I need it to BE THERE. Usually memorization is never a problem for me, and it is one of the things I rarely (knock on wood) have trouble with in performances and audition, so I'm getting a little frustrated with this aria. I was just remembering that in grad school I used to learn my rhythms and texts while on the treadmill, and somehow it really helped me to cement it in my order to take my mind off the pain of running, I suppose I probably was able to focus unusually well on the rhythms and texts. I think I should try that again.

I haven't been out to eat in a while, and I am excited to join Ms. M for dinner tomorrow night in the faraway lands of western Maryland. Although, I am starting to believe that lots of restaurants would have a hard time living up to a couple of the recipes I've tried lately-- a broccoli soup to die for and a very simple preparation of ravioli with spinach and bacon that was another one of those "last meal" kind of moments. I take none of the can't have anything to do with my cooking abilities... these recipes are the easiest of the easy. The creativity and skill involved in coming up with a good recipe is a pretty amazing talent.

Speaking of food, Thanksgiving is almost here...and I am going to my grandmother's. Just another reason to work out like it's my job.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


It's the simple things in life.

Yes, and I can tell you that I have never been so thrilled over what is basically a ham and cheese sandwich as I was last night with the most delicious croque monsieur in the whole universe. As I was carefully cutting it with a knife and fork, and slowly savoring each bite, I solemnly said to Joe, "I would like a croque monsieur and pomme frites to be my last meal."

I saved half. It will never be as good heated up in the oven, but even if it is half as good, I will be a happy camper.

I love the feeling of being just knocked on my ass by how good something is. Like you almost couldn't even believe pleasure like that still existed in the world. Kind of like Monday night when I was driving to my lesson and listened to Rachmaninoff's Vespers for the first (gasp!) time in my life. Pure heaven, and especially the recording I had with the Robert Shaw singers. And this year, because of Joe, I came to know and begin to understand the last piano sonata of Beethoven, Op. 111-- another shockingly good and satisfying musical event. As a foodie and a musician, I feel like I am lucky because there is always something new to taste and something new to hear, and even in old familiar recipes and pieces, you find new things sometimes, or hear or taste it in a new way that just gives you the chills.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009


Well, I'm proud to report that I think I AM actually beginning to see results from the time I've been spending at the gym, and even if I am the only one who notices, it's still so worth it. In addition to the working out, Joe and I are trying to be really choosy about eating unprocessed food, and organic vegetables and fruit if we can possibly afford it week to week. But the bottom line is that eating vegetables that are contaminated are I guess ?? better than eating none at all. And my recent trip to Whole Foods just depressed the living day-lights out of me in terms of just what I can actually afford. The fact that I cook so much, and that we eat virtually no prepared food helps matters a lot. I cringe when I think about all those lean cuisines in my past...ohhhh boy.

The results of my tireless lesson-going I think might also be paying off (in some small way) too, as I can feel my voice growing and becoming more solid every day. They say he cells of our bodies regenerate themselves every seven years, and so it is almost like we are constantly becoming new people...I know it is true for my vocal cords...they feel so different than the memory I have of when I first got out of grad school with no middle and a dying top.

I have stopped wasting my time worrying about the application fees, for today at least, and am ready to send off a few more apps today. I feel like I should pray over each one as it goes out or something, though. I will simply stop applying when I run out of money!

Tonight, we're going out to dinner, which seems almost criminal based on the awesome leftovers we have from last night's slow-cooker extravaganza. But sometimes a girl just needs to have an excuse to look hot...wait, I never need an excuse to get dressed up... which leads me to my next exciting directive for this weekend: MUST buy something for myself to wear. I've been such a good little organizer and have completely rid myself of countless things that were just clogging up the closet works, and now I realize why I kept all that stuff-- to make me feel like I had some clothes! I was watching this season of the Rachel Zoe Project, and it's reminding me of all the fabulous clothing in the world. Which is precisely the reason I watch it-- I get inspired, both to take the time to be pretty, and to not EVER, ever talk in the horrifically annoying way Rachel Zoe does, or be whiny like Taylor. But I love Brad supremely, so he is the other reason.

Today, it is sunny and cold, just like I like fall to be, and it's almost lunch time. Life is good.

Monday, November 02, 2009


Happy Monday!

I am back from the long weekend of in-laws and eating out...I think I have gained 20 lbs. But hey!

This post cheered me so, if only to feel like someone sympathizes, as I once again hopefully opened my email this morning...

The extra hour of sleep is starting to do it's magic and I can feel my spirits rising...and tonight I have a lesson!

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Have sparklingly cleaned my apartment, as the in-laws are about to arrive.

The plan is to drive out somewhere beyond the city limits for fall fun in the form of maybe like an Amish market or something. I have had only one bad experience with Amish food, several years ago when eating it on one occaision made me so violently ill, I've never felt so horrible since. But besides that, and since the memory of it has faded somewhat, I can agree that it's mostly delicious, if under-seasoned, because it is soaked in butter. Western culture has proven this cooking technique.

The coffee is on and so is my make-up.

Friday, October 30, 2009


Feeling a little discouraged with the auditions I haven't gotten this year, so today I decided to turn my frown upside down and just hit it even harder: I applied (read: sent my hard-earned, few and far between US dollars) to three more programs today. I refuse to let it get me down.

Tonight the in-laws are in town because Joe is performing a solo recital Sunday afternoon. The program is one I heard him play a couple of weeks ago at another venue, and man is it spectacular. I should have known I would marry a pianist, since I spent hours and hours listening to concerti when I was a lonely, dorky kid growing up in Indiana. Lord knows I tried, but I was never much of a pianist myself, and was very fortunate to have it pointed out to me early on in my college career that maybe I had better focus on singing instead. Although I have never had any regrets about switching to voice, there is still a very big place in my heart for the piano repertoire, and the greatest respect for the amount of work that goes into preparing a program. When we singers complain about how hard it is to have a day job and do everything you have to do to pursue a singing career, I feel like we have it easier than pianists. Maybe our efforts outside the practice room (acting, languages, translating, finding a decent dress, etc.) even it out a little, but still.

Last night, I came home, practiced (ohhh it felt so good), made chowder for dinner and then tried to bake these low fat butterscotch bar things and forgot completely to put in the eggs and vanilla. So that is a very good way to describe both my baking skills and state of mind. Miraculously, and you know this is the sign of a good recipe, it still tasted great, despite looking kind of funny. I think I might try it again tonight after dinner with the 'rents. I must redeem myself.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Today, I went to a much-needed therapy session (remember those? remember when I used to talk about them all the time?)...and while it makes you feel ultimately better, sometimes, I have to admit, talking about certain situations in your life make you feel pretty shitty in the moment. All my family-related drama has yet to resolve itself, and I think I need to just work on resolving within ME and then it will truly be resolved.

I don't like emotional energy being wasted on things like this, and I think my resistance probably adds to the I'm working on that too. I just want to put all my attention into the goals I have for myself musically, and not stress my spirit and voice out so completely with all of the angst that only family issues can bring. So, on my quest, as Michael Scott would say, onward and upward.

This is audition season and I must buck up, get those apps in, get the arias polished up, get to the gym. I've been doing all those things, and I still put my make up on every morning-- you needn't worry about me until I stop doing that!

What I need is a mantra. I need a mantra.

And a cocktail wouldn't hurt either.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The weather on the East Coast has been less than great lately, and I think it's getting me down...I haven't felt like posting on the old blog, and that's a sure sign I'm probably at work actually working and dreaming of my leggings and some stir fry with a lot of noodles. It soothes the soul.

And as for news, besides the obvious, like Kate Gosselin's hair cut is horrific and looks worse than ever, and Lindsay Lohan is looking like she's in her 50s...well, I had my first NYC audition of the year, and my first anniversary.

As for the audition, well, it required all of us to get up a little earlier than we would like, and that was painful. But we had a fun time together, and were remarkably relaxed all the way up until the time when we found out all the times they had sent us in the emails about our auditions were wrong, and that we were supposed to sing much earlier than we thought. I remember standing in the warm-up room, frantically trying to figure out how to get my breath under me, and to feel like my body was ready to sing. I wish I'd had another ten minutes to get ready, but I think I sang well, and the panel was more than kind. It was kind of fun to have a hamburger at Burger King on the way home, which is something I haven't done in a long time. :)

More importantly, I had rabbit for the first time, the evening we went out for our anniversary at that amazing restaurant I was telling you about! As someone who is allergic to any seafood, and is really sad about it, I am always looking for other avenues to widen my palate's experience. For a person who loves food and loves to cook, it really sucks to have a seafood problem, let me tell you. So, when I saw rabbit on the menu, I went for it. Delicious! Our evening was unbelievable-- wine with each course, and a VERY special surprise from friends who had a reservation the same night we were there! They sent us a beautiful card and bottle of wine for our anniversary, via the hostess, and we were so surprised and delighted. So we sent them a bottle of champagne in return, and it was fun to pretend we were fabulous, at least for the evening.

Another particularly wonderful thing that seems to have happened is that I found TWO audition dresses this past weekend and I am beyond excited and thrilled to finallllllllyyyyy have things to wear that fit my many requirements and make me look like a model. okay, well... almost. I did go to the gym today...:) One is plum, and will look smashing with black tights and my hot pumps, and has the prettiest ruffly rosettes at the neck-line to add a little interest around my face. The other is a deep blue and is relatively simple, but a great cut, good fabric, and neither dress is BLACK with is just lovely.

Wow. I just blogged like a house afire. That is something. Well, onto the next thing: working a concert tonight!

Friday, October 16, 2009

ahhhhh Friday

It's Friday, and while I've had a short week, it certainly doesn't mean I feel any less FANTASTIC about it. This morning, I burned a record number of calories in my allotted 30 minutes to work out (sighhhh), and I am...well, both energized and tired. I know, you don't care, and this is a very boring thing to blog about.

I've got some NYC action coming up on Wednesday...excited for the official start of the season for me, and I've had a terrible time coming up with a pianist. What is the deal with these people not calling you back? I think, thanks to Ms. A, I have finally found one. Joe is off the hook for this one, as he's performing a solo recital the day before and will be way too tired to drive up there the next day at 4 am. Yes. I did say 4 in the morning. A delightful hour. I plan to drug myself the night before so as not to be awakened by my neighbors creaking around upstairs.

Last night, I came home from work, went to the grocery store (such a chore in this weather, and all alone), got dinner started, practiced, and, well, drank Côtes du Rhône grenache. I really felt like I didn't have a choice. I made the most amazing Irish beef stew last night with Guiness and red wine...some of these food bloggers really know their stuff. I highly recommend anything on this blog.

When did I become a wine drinker? When all I used to ever want was a vodka soda? I don't know. Probably when I got old.

In any case...a very special dinner is coming up tomorrow night. Our first anniversary, and we are going to Charleston, hands down the best place to eat in Baltimore. I've been planning my outfit now for weeks, and have a pair of those black bondage heels I plan to take out of the box for their first spin. Yay. I keep asking Joe if it's going to be cold enough to wear the fur tomorrow...and the truth is, it probably is. But it's a bit gauche to wear fur in October. So, I'll just wear whatever else I have laying around.

It will be nice to have a basically free weekend, with the exception of church, to work on music and prepare for the audition.

And is anybody else completely over hearing about this kid and the hot air balloon or whatever? Oh to live in blissful oblivion.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Back to the grind. And, actually, I don't mind it a bit.

I can't believe I forgot to mention in my previous post the fantastic movie we saw on Saturday night. Bright Star-- the one about John Keats. Visually, it was like a feast. From one beautiful shot to another. And since I've always been a poetry fan, it was so interesting to see how literature was so much more an everyday part of people's lives in the early 1800s...although I'm sure probably the general population didn't have the degree of education of the characters in the story. There was something so tender about the movie, and so sensitive, without being the least bit "sweet." Joe and I were both basket cases all throughout and about an hour or so afterward. It's a must see.

Maybe watching Bravo instead of reading isn't really such a great idea after all.

Today is a long day. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So, in my Renee Fleming-based plan of becoming just a slip of a thing, I've been taking advantage of my couple of days off to go to the gym and kill myself burning calories. As much as I hate it, it feels really good, and my clothes are starting to feel a tiny bit looser (I think), so maybe it is working. Stu asked me if I was noticing any results the other night, since of course I bitch to everyone about working out every chance I get. My reply was that it's kind of hard to tell because all I ever wear is leggings, and would rather die than weigh myself. But I feel thinner so that is the main thing. Haha.

Today, the plan is to really get a good start on some of the music I must learn for my gig in February, and to continue the ever-elusive pursuit of perfection in audition aria land.

Tomorrow night is my lesson, and the really fun thing we have been doing lately is to break down the role of Mimi and very precisely work every note so that it is solid and at the tip of my tongue and natural. I love doing this. And surprisingly, I don't get impatient, because I feel I am doing the right thing when I work on music in this I am being way more of a responsible singing citizen of the Puccini repertoire when I treat the music in this way than when I cram. And we have all been in this position...whether by sheer procrastination or because you got a last minute call. And in the end, of course, it only helps me.

It has been nice, the past couple of days to feel what it would be like if I were not a person who needed to have a day job, and could spend hours a day with my music and at the gym, and just generally working only at turning myself into the leanest, meanest singer the world has ever known. Someday.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


I love Thursdays, and I can't really explain why. It's just a delightful day. It helps when the weather is beautiful. The only thing that's bringing me down today is that I am SO broke with a capital B. I need this to stop happening, but hello, when all those application fees start dropping, I am just living on a prayer. But I'm not going to starve (so much good stuff in the freezer), and I have lots of great nail polish colors, and I'm getting pretty good at self-manicures. Oh, and I have plenty of wine, so really...what more does a girl need?

I find that while I do love to shop and go to nice dinners, like most girly-girls I know, being kind of financially close to the edge is a familiar feeling for me, since it was how I grew up, how I spent college and grad school, and well, even sometimes in the present! I wouldn't say it's a comfortable feeling, by any means, in fact, a lot of times it downright sucks, but I have to say that I really KNOW how to stretch a meal. I learned from the master: my mother.

In other news, the pollen situation is making my top notes feel a little ick, and things are scratchy and weird in there. Isn't it ironic that we of course have to have auditions during pollen-a-rama? But on the other hand...Fall is here! we get to eat pumpkin things, and watch large men running and jumping on each other in football games, and watch the leaves pile up in our yards, and I couldn't be more excited.

Monday, October 05, 2009


I've noticed a pattern: I very rarely post on Mondays. But today, I'm just full of piss and vinegar. Life is good, despite the Patriots and some ridiculous calls yesterday costing us the game. I followed my tough and amazing husband's lead (since usually I don't even TRY to go to the gym on Mondays...I need a little more time to ease myself into the whole "work" thing), and followed him over to the gym. Frankly, I'm surprised he could get out of bed, considering how utterly despondent he was after the Ravens loss. But duty calls, and he is taking one of those scary boot camp style ass-kicking classes, but I just do cardio and some weights. I have never gotten used to being brow beaten, even when it is ultimately for my own good, and God, if I could look like the other girl in that class, maybe it would be worth it. Although, when I think about it, singers tend to be pretty masochistic people...maybe I'd LOVE the class.

In support of his weekly weigh-ins, I've been trying to go easy on the butter...and made some very healthy things for us to eat this of them being an absolutely amazing recipe for Thai chicken noodle soup that makes me want to slap my ex-wife. I find that if dishes are so spicy that you can't breathe, you tend to eat less. So Asian food is good for weight-loss, since, unlike Mexican (which I dearly love), it's gross if you put cheese on it. One thing I down right refuse to adjust the butter content for, however, are corn muffins. I made those last night too, and have vowed to give them all away or else freeze them so I don't eat ten at a time.

I'm getting so darned excited about auditions this year I can't stand it. But ask me that again in two weeks, when I'm getting up at 4:30 am to get my ass up to NYC. I'm pretty thrilled about singing this year...It's nice to be able to say that since about six weeks ago, I was in a pretty dark place about this whole singing thing. I know I've said this about four million times, but I STILL don't feel like I've really nailed an audition outfit that is equal parts hot, mildly conservative, and memorable. But hey. Has anyone? If I could walk into NOLA in legging like those musical theater people, I would be so freaking happy. And despite what anyone may say, I still feel that I would be judged if I wore pants to an least if there are auditors over the age of fifty. The options are not great at the moment, but we will *fearlessly* make it work.

Here's some Monday love XOXOX!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thursday, part deux

Sometimes it takes a lot of courage to actually do what you want to do.

Because the truth is, there are just a lot of people, places, and things out there that make you feel as though it really isn't the best idea. I guess I have finally gotten to the ripe old age, however, (and yes, I will stop making age-related comments at some point) that I just kind of realize that the people that love me are totally behind my choice, one hundred percent... choices like having or not having kids, buying or not buying a house, pursuing a rather money-sucking career like singing, eating meat, watching Bravo, etc. Okay, well some of those are a little silly.

Oh how lovely it must be-- and in all honesty, I have actually been envious of these people-- to walk around in a constant state of single-minded focus and arrogance, as if all that mattered were my own feelings. And while we know that this kind of person isn't pleasant to be around, would probably be horrible in bed, and further more is a big suck to our global consciousness, I sometimes think that it would just be so damn great to not care what other people think!

As a singer, I wonder what the panel is thinking, what the audience is thinking, how they view my sound in relationship to my rep, if they think I am too young to be singing this, if they can understand my words, and, worst of all, if they see me and put me in that dreaded category of singers who need to lose weight to be believable in their fach. Oh, we could go on and on with our self-analyzing neurosis.

My work for this week (and the rest of my life) will be to practice being fearless, in everything, in every aspect of my singing and personal life. They say be your self, but I say just be. I will own that I have worked on myself, trust that what I do is a product of that hard work, and I think you should too. *wink*

No fear.


CRAZY week. But fun, and what is even more fun is that it is almost over! This weekend is going to be great...lots of friend things, and then, of course, the Ravens are playing the Patriots, and so, Sunday will be shot.

In practicing this week, I've noticed a couple of new things about my voice. My lower middle is SO loud these days, much more resonant than I remember, and it's such a great feeling to be able to really SING down there, instead of just fighting through the fuzziness that I had for so long. It's the classic problem for young sound pretty good up high, so you never bother to sing low, and day, you realize: I have no middle and low voice, and my life sucks, and I will never sing Mimi and Suor Angelica and the Marschallin, not that I was going to any way, but now I've got to get my booty in gear, or my fondest dreams will be shot all to hell.

Now I really have trouble believing that even if I had been really working that part of my voice in undergrad, I would have been able to get the sound in that register that I am beginning to achieve. I think that it may just be one of those things that require age and maturity? I'm grasping for something to make me feel validated for being go with me on this. Remember how your teachers always told you that bigger voices just need a little longer to settle in? I think they may have been right all along. Not that I'm a huge voice or anything, but I'm not small, and I have always felt like something of a late bloomer.

The first round of New York auditions are coming up, and besides arranging the transportation (carpooling with two other is that really a good idea??? :)), I've begun to really hone in on the spots that I'm not completely feeling fantastic about in a couple of my arias... just taking the phrase out of context, then putting it back in, and trying not to resort to the inefficient method of just singing through the whole aria over and over again. Which, frankly, especially with Je dis, really wears me out, and makes me long for vodka. My teacher assured me (and he has never been wrong) that this is the tried and true method for fixing my little problem areas. So far, it's working.

When I was in school, I tended to dread studio classes and rep classes when the other singers were allowed to just kind of make comments randomly and pontificate about each other's singing. It felt like there was something usually a little weird or not quite in the best interest of the person singing about it, in a lot of cases. A lot of times people were very nice, but the other part of it was that the only feedback I really wanted in that situation was from my teacher. That may have been bratty, but miraculously, now I find myself thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to put together a little audition evening thing with a few other singers I TRUST (oh boy) and spend time helping each other with ideas for interpreting and better communicating our audition rep. Maybe the pain is worth the gain?

Happy Thursday! don't forget to watch my fabulous NeNe on Real Housewives tonight!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Another Tuesday post

I had the most wonderful weekend in recent memory! It was great to have my family here, in my house, and I got to cook for them, and my very closest posse all gathered to help me not be at all depressed, but instead exceedingly happy for the start of a new decade. I can't believe I just said posse.

At any rate, I was determined to start my birthday off right, so first thing, we got up and went to the gym and pounded away on the treadmill. It was absolutely nothing short of cathartic, and didn't hurt that Real Housewives of NJ was on too while I was kicking my own ass. As I walked home, hand in hand with my equally sweaty husband, I was overwhelmed with the sense that since 20-30 had been so wonderful, so full of exciting events, not so exciting events, a TON of personal growth, and several big dreams coming true, the next ten years are bound to be even better. So, maybe it was the endorphins, but I was feeling pretty positive about the day from the very start. Not to mention that my fingernails had been manicured the night before with a shocking shade of red (Chanel Dragon), and that's enough to boost anyone's mood. I have never understood those who don't take the time to spruce themselves up a bit, since even the smallest detail can have such an effect on your psyche. I've always said that I'm the one who has to look at myself in the mirror, and I just feel a whole lot better if I've taken the time to ensure that things are looking good. Thus preventing a lot of internal drama every time I walk by a mirror.

One thing I will remember best about this weekend is that I laughed and laughed and laughed. I almost didn't stop laughing the whole damn time. Between Aunt Becky, Allison, Stu, Brent, my good friend Pinot Grigio, and well EVERYONE, it was non-stop entertainment. Even the one or two icky things that happened were really non-events.

The one mistake I made this weekend was not getting subs for my church jobs-- they both proved to be rather stressful, and when I got home, everyone had left...and the house was SO quiet. Not that quiet is a bad thing... and there were lots of left-overs and open bottles of wine in the fridge.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Has anybody SEEN Renee Fleming lately? If not, please directly click on the link for OperaChic's blog to your right, and omg. There she is. Stunning, stunning, stunning, and skinny as a rail. Last night at the Met opening, well, she was in this unreal dress, and her figure is such an inspiration to me as I drag myself to the gym in the mornings before work. Especially in light of the supremely annoying thing that occured yesterday.

We all know that a good fifty percent of the battle is just getting yourself out of bed, packing the gym bag, putting on a horrible sports bra and heading out the door. Which is why it was such a lame realization, when three minutes into my cardio, I remembered I had forgotten to bring pants, which really sucked. My time is limited, since, I kind of have a job I have to be at, and I knew there wouldn't be time to go home for pants and come back, was a complete waste. But this morning I tried again, and the whole gym thing worked out better. I won't look like Renee any time soon, but I'm working on it.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Audition season has officially opened. Or maybe more like, it's open season on sopranos? Either way I'm doing better than I had expected: so far, I've been rejected from one audition and accepted for one, and that one, I just found out yesterday, is conflicting with JURY DUTY. I want to kill myself.

While I'm planning to try to get out of my civic duty, something tells me that a letter in writing stating that I really need to go to an opera audition in New York City is probably not going to get me anywhere. Heck, I'm from Baltimore City...and the pool of non-convict citizens is very, very small. I get called steadily once a year. It's a drag, but I usually don't get as annoyed about as most people until this year.

Maybe if I explained to the bitter, hardened-by-lies person that probably processes the requests that I really need them to throw me a bone here: I'm one of thousands of sopranos, and I'm just so damn lucky I even GOT an audition that it's ridiculous, and I just have to go. I don't know. We'll see what happens. I have great hope that it can be rescheduled, as it's a company I've never sung for, and have wanted to.

Count down to my birthday: 7 days til the big 30

Monday, September 14, 2009


Saturday, the audition was fine. It really was. I mostly loved it, which is why the couple of questionable notes among dozens of other good ones really piss me off. I felt like I was really present in what I was doing, except that for some odd reason, I could feel my poor little knees shaking, and it seemed impossible that the panel didn't see it. I think what needs to happen is that I need to get a longer dress to cover these things up. But then, of course, once I did that, the shaking would begin in my hands instead, and there's no way to disguise hands.

Most of the time I leave an audition feeling energized, excited, like I've really done something good, and am ready to party. Other times, I leave thinking: "I put on a face full of make up, pantyhose, and curled my hair, printed out resumes and repertoire lists and warmed up and obsessed over my low notes and high notes and everything in between, to go in there and sing one aria? After which I am so exhausted from having given so much emotionally and psychologically in a six-minute aria for perfect strangers who reward me with not much more than a 'thank you' that all I can think about is pasta, wine and a nap?"

What is it called when you do the same thing over and over again and expect different results? Oh yeah, insanity.

Well, that was Saturday, and after the audition, we went to Macy's for the one day sale thingy, and ended up buying a crock pot, which is embarrassing to even admit, but fun none the less.

Sunday, things started to feel a little less weird, when an anthem I expected to go exceedingly horribly went well, and it was really a beautiful day outside, and Joe was all excited because of his Ravens, and I decided to try a new recipe, which I always get jazzed about.

Well, it turns out that the recipe neglected to mention something rather crucial like USE A NONSTICK PAN FOR THIS RECIPE OR YOU WILL CRASH AND BURN and I ended up with the first batch completely and indelibly sauteed to the bottom of the frying pan in a way that I you don't often see. Well, I think all my pent up emotions from the weekend kind of got taken out on that particular disaster of a frying pan situation. I started cussing and yelling, and Joe ran in the kitchen and took the pan out of my hands as I was probably about to throw the whole thing on the floor, wildly scraping at the contents with a metal utensil like a deranged person.

In other news, I am turning 30 in less than three weeks.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Tonight is the opening game of the NFL season, and my husband has been waiting for it all year. It's almost like a reward for slogging through all that music with me last night. At his request, I made chicken rice soup, and decided to try this new quick bread recipe with cheese and beer and onions in it, which catapulted me to hero status, as he sits watching our two rival teams battle it out.

Last night was really fun, and when I am done singing a recital, I always wonder why I was so nervous about something that I so thoroughly enjoy doing, that I get such a rush of energy from. I mean, there were some moments I wasn't particularly great with, like the Mimi aria-- there were moments when I really felt myself losing some control because of sheer nerves, and had to think and focus so hard just to get back to a place where I felt like I was the one singing the aria, and not it singing me. But in the end, it turned out well, and my "altro di me non le sapprei narrare..." was spontaneous in exactly the way I wanted it to be.

Now I know, however, that I have to sing that aria many more times before I can take it to an audition, and before I put it in the context of the whole opera in February. It needs polishing, and that was the whole reason I sang it last night. In any case, I get the most consistent feedback, from audiences and teachers and coaches, about Mimi than about any other thing I have ever sung: it's exactly right. And it feels that way too, like finally my middle voice has some time to shine, and in a very comfortable way, with a range of emotion that I feel I can relate to.

Now I am going back to my glass of wine, because I haven't had one in awhile, and it's almost time for the Real Housewives of Atlanta. I wouldn't miss a word NeNe says.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


Tonight, I'm singing a little joint recital with a friend, with the sole purpose of brushing up the audition arias. It's nothing big, but I am feeling slightly insecure, as two of the arias are BIG and new to me-- the first time I will sing them memorized in front of anyone! Everything else is very secure, things I've been singing for a long time, and have no reason to worry about. And after all-- it's supposed to be for practice, so a mistake or two wouldn't be the end of the world.

I love singing, but the words to Rusalka are stressing me out, people. I really can't commit them to memory as easily as usual, and I'm attributing it to the Czech situation. Lots of the same words, over and over, in different sentences so that it just ends up being really confusing. And you know what they say about simple arias...they are the hardest to pull off.

Since I have an important audition this weekend, the performance comes at a good time. There were no specifics given as to what the panel is hoping to hear, and so I expect I will simply do an edit of my binder and bring in everything I could feel comfortable singing, so that there is a wide variety to choose from. I'm not excited about this audition like I usually am, and I think it's really the unknown factors that keep me from feeling like I can be really and totally prepared for some reason. As with all auditions, however, I think it's really just a matter of going in with an ass-kicking kind of mind set, and being in the moment, being the character, and being professional before and after. Serenity now.

The plan for tonight is to wear a strapless cocktail dress that makes me feel hot, and hopefully will translate to my singing as well... Can you tell I'm nervous?

I'm excited to a have a drink after this thing tonight. Yes I am.

Friday, September 04, 2009


Tomorrow I am singing a marathon wedding, by marathon, I mean there are a lot of pieces, and I am going to have to drive to the eastern shore in the middle of major beach traffic. The fact is that it will be an all day thing, and I am not getting paid nearly enough for it, but I will take any money I can get for singing. And I am really a little sad about how pathetic that looks when I see it written out on the page! :) Ahhh well.

In other news, I would simply love a pedicure, maybe I can get one this between practicing things like a fiend so that I won't forget my words for the recital Wednesday.

It will be a fun relaxing weekend, and for the first time in a while, I simply cannot be bothered to be too stressed out by the idea of a recital. I have spent a lot of time learning to sing, and by golly, I'm just going to do it! Now my anthem for church, on the other hand...what a killer.

Because I am obsessed by the concept of braising things, this week, pork shoulders were one sale, and it was like four dollars to buy this huge beautiful thing that I plan to cook in beer or madeira (can't decide which) with herbs and dijon and all that wonderful stuff for a few hours. I get scared when I realize what I am excited by these days! Cheap pieces of meat cooking for hours in the oven. Oh, and corn muffins. I am really turned on by those too.

What a Labor Day weekend it will be!!!

Thursday, September 03, 2009


That was what you might call a break from blogging, because I simply didn't have anything worth writing! No new is not necessarily good news in blogging, at least for me, as I'm only usually in the mood to write when good things are happening that I can tell you about. I suppose that I have written about my self-doubt and crazy psychotic issues many times in the past but am becoming more and more uncomfortable with talking about it when I feel that way these days...not just in blog form. I tend to want to spend time at home, with myself and my internal drama, not talk about it (except for texts to cousins), cook up a storm, and take it out on my poor husband. :)

But as of late, things are going brilliantly well. I have a gig this weekend (money! huzzah!) and a recital at the beginning of the week with a friend. The function of which is to get my little self back onstage to get ready for auditions. I had a lesson last night that helped me work out a couple iffy notes in my passaggio that for some reason were just irking the hell out of me. OOOhhh annnnd my eee vowel. It hasn't been behaving since I took my little break. So now he is fixed, and things are as they should be.

I never anticipated that Rusalka could be so all-fired difficult to memorize. In fact, I was expecting it to be kind of an easy aria in general. But, friends, it is not. It's always the simple arias with the very sincere emotion and lack of psycho-bitch drama that trip me up. Because there is simply no where to hide any of your vocal flaws, rhythmic mistakes, or the occasional pitchy note.

In other news, I fully intend to try out Ina's new corn muffin recipe tonight! It will be fantastic with chicken chili. So perfect for this AWESOME weather!

Monday, August 24, 2009

stunning new realization

that, perhaps, I am simply putting the cart before the horse. There isn't anything to worry about until there's something to worry about, and the revelation came to me in my coaching on Saturday that perhaps I'm just a little burnt out. It's been an intense summer psychologically and emotionally, and taking a week off from singing wouldn't kill me. So this week, besides church rep, I am just going to take it easy, and stop forcing myself to be such a driven girl for just a week.

It was a fun weekend. I rearranged the living room and did some girlie stuff like that, and spent time with people I hadn't seen in a while.

This weekend, I am really excited about a trip to Pittsburgh to see my family...always drama, but rejuvenating in a way, too.

Happy monday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I am soooo out of it, and not feeling particularly well. I have no idea why, but I just can't seem to get motivated to do anything-- not practicing (although I dutifully do it anyway), not applying for things, not working is a very weird feeling for me. Usually, I goal-oriented to a fault. I must just be having an off week, or maybe I can blame it on the muggy, hot weather?

While I have gigs early in 2010, at the moment, there is nothing pressing (except for the weekly church solo) and while I have finished my recording, and added four new arias to my rep this summer, I feel somehow as if I haven't accomplished much. I spent all of last summer and fall rehearsing and learning new roles, and well, there was my wedding, and everything was such a whirlwind that this summer's relaxed pace has kind of freaked me out. Or maybe this is what summer is supposed to feel like?

As silly as it may sound, it actually scares me a little that I have had so much time to cook, and that it's something I'm so into, because I feel that the opera singer side of Jessica is feeling a little jealous of all the attention the other side of Jessica is getting, and the real fun I have making new recipes. Like perhaps that's energy that would be better spent learning new rep, saving every penny for applications, going to lessons, coachings, etc. That is the small sneaking suspicion that is always in the back of my mind.

Then there is the ever looming question of YAPs. As a person who is lucky to have a job that pays the bills and provides insurance, I don't think I could just up and quit for something like a young artist program. So the very thing that makes me feel a modicum of security, also makes me feel a little trapped. While it's true that YAPs don't have a corner on creating successful careers, I guess to me, right now, and with the current state of opera in America, it kind of feels like they do. While my stated directive this year was to audition for everything humanly possible (because I finally feel that I am at least approaching vocal readiness for something like a larger YAP), it seems a bit ridiculous to think of spending the money on applications for things I couldn't forseeably just abandon my source of sustenance and pick up and move for. I do feel that having these things on my resume would be invaluable, however, and I'm just very confused as to what to do.

The great thing, and the upside of this whole story is that there are several summer-time YAP options that would work out well, and if I were to be selected for one, it wouldn't necessarily have to lead to the collapse of my entire life as I know it. So we will focus on that, and when I get my mojo back, jump back on the horse.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Not that any of your are pining away or anything, but I'm back from the beach, and back to normal life, except with an absolutely killer tan. Almost normal-- I have to get my a** back in the gym-- just couldn't bring myself to do it today, my first day back at work. Sigh. After an incredible weekend-- one of my favorites in months!! The week at the beach was good too, let me tell you, but coming home is lovely, I must say. I think I am just in love with home. It is comfortable, and my cats are there, and my pots and pans and gigantic television and piano.

I was a little worried about the fact that I hadn't opened my mouth to sing in a solid five days-- but let's just say, I should do that more often! It was like riding a bike, only better, with a completely rested, easy sound and lots of focus in the lower middle, and an easy E-flat. Wowzers. It's a little sad that I didn't have any auditions to go to or anything, but now I know. Rest is a good thing, and obsessive practicing (or recording) is counter-productive. Which, at my ripe old age, I suppose I should know.

One of the reasons this weekend was so great was that, after having just finished the book of the same name, I went to see "Julie & Julia." It was just a purely wonderful movie and a fabulous way to spend an hour an a half or so. That was last night-- after I had spent Saturday and most of Sunday cooking, was a little worn out, and a lot emotional...why? No idea. I guess there is a little wonder involved in cooking for me, kind of like singing. Just like sometimes I still can't believe it when I sing something well, I couldn't believe it when I roasted a whole chicken all by myself and it was SO good, as was the stock I made out of the bones, and the pot pie I made with the left overs. Talk about satisfying.

Except that I will always prefer singing, because at the end of a performance, they clap for you, and you walk away and there are never dirty dishes.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Friday: finally

Last night I made chicken, my grandmother's green beans with bacon, spinach, and mashed potatoes for dinner. It was one of those old timey kind of meals that went sadly wrong, and I'll tell you why. The recipe for the chicken with pan sauce was down right disgusting. I should have paid attention to the warning at the bottom of the page: "The Food Network has not tested this recipe, and therefore cannot vouch for its results," or something like that. I'm starting to think I should only make recipes that my favorite food bloggers recommend, because I trust their descriptions and honest analysis of the food-- since, frankly, I can't keep wasting money like this. The chicken was edible, I guess, but I was pissed. We wouldn't have starved, though, because the green beans and mashed potatoes turned out beautifully and were really delish.

I think it may have added to my annoyance, however, that I had just done seven takes of various soprano arias for a recording, was tired, and HUNGRY. The recording is nearly done. Michaela's aria is literally killing me-- in what I thought was the PERFECT take, the recorder cut off, flashing that the memory was full. Shame on me for not checking these things. So I still need to get a good recording of that one, but the other four are done. Now for the editing, and then we're off to the YAP races, and I will be sending my CDs to the four corners of the globe. Good times.

Next week we are off to Hilton Head, and I have to say, I feel like we deserve it. It's been quite a summer of drama with my family, friends, and, yes, myself. I need a pedicure before I go, but other than that: I'm ready.

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Still not done recording, and I am wanting it to be over.


Wednesday, August 05, 2009


RECORDING!!! It usually makes me very nervous, crazy, scary focused, and neurotic. "Scary focused" is a technical term, that has come to be used by my husband to describe me when I am literally unable to smile, laugh, converse or think about anything other than the thing I'm scary focused on. If it happened too often, I think my marriage would end in divorce...just kidding. But really, it's probably not that far off.

The hall I had been using to record in the past is about an hour away (the very ridiculous and ironic part is that I work literally steps from four perfectly lovely concert halls every day-- but can I use those? No.), and the plan yesterday was for me to drive up after work...RIGHT at rush hour. After thinking about that for, oh, about five seconds, I realized that it was one of the dumbest plans I've ever made. Having just assumed we should do the recording in that particular space because we always have-- but still-- to drive up 95 at rush hour, on top of how nervous I usually get about making a recording...well, it would have been a disaster.

Well, it seems, my friends, that I had completely overlooked the perfectly wonderful recording venue in my OWN living room! Wood floors, high ceilings, silent neighbors, shutters to block street noise, and the best piano around! It seemed to good to be true, but we just thought: Let's try it, and see what happens. I felt so relaxed, happy, and, well, at home in my surroundings (having silenced the phones and taken the cats bells off), that I was able to get a great version of Donde lieta and Porgi, amor in two takes each. I tried for Je dis, but by that time, I was tired, and the aria itself makes me even tired-er, so, while one of the takes had some surprisingly good things in it, there were some not quite in tune moments, and some Renee-like over emoting problems. I didn't stress about it and sing it five more times (always to my poor little voice's detriment) like I usually do, because there is always tomorrow, when you are recording in your own house. Talk about unbelievable fortune, to listen to the play back and hear that the quality was great. I have never been more thrilled.

So tonight, we will come home, eat a normal dinner (Melissa's 4 step chicken with spinach and mashed potatoes because I have some Yukon golds that are on their last legs), and get back to work on finishing up.

Monday, August 03, 2009


What an insane weekend it was! I am barely recovered even now. I had the best time with Pierce, Nat, Mel, Shan, Joe, and the precious child. I love my friends. They are truly fabulous.

It was great seeing the newly-weds last night too!

This evening, it's time for a lesson-- and tomorrow night I embark on another recording adventure. My dreaded recording session each summer...and for some reason this time I am not nearly so nervous as usual. I will drink lots of water today and tomorrow, but beyond that, and not screaming or drinking to excess, there is nothing I can do. The CD will include, in no particular order (we'll see which turns out best!):

Donde lieta
Porgi, amor
Je dis que rien ne m'épouvante
Ah! fuggi il traditor
Měsíčku na nebi hlubokém
Kiss me not goodbye

Porgi, amor is the one that might not make it onto the recording...since I need that up-tempo Mozart, and Fuggi fills the bill so well, and is so blessedly short.

One might make a case for singing Mi tradi, or Dove sono in place of either of the two I mentioned above, but my thing is-- in auditions, if I'm not singing for the roles of Donna Elvira or the Countess, why not sing the more succinct of the options, they'll still know I can sing Mozart, either way.

In other news, I find myself wanting to write more and more about cooking... which is lame I know, when your blog is supposed to be about a soprano, not Top Chef. What to do, what to do...

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I need a vodka soda. And a shopping spree, and a pedicure, and, well, a lot of things.

My mother has just announced she is moving onto a boat.

Time to drown my sorrows.

And did I mention I'm going to be thirty in less than two months?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My my. I am an awfully good little blogging girl these days! Not much to report, really, except that I am enjoying this week, and the complete lack of a real schedule, a nice change, really.

Last night, we grilled burgers and had possibly the best three ears of corn ever grown by mankind, along with some parmesan garlic oven fries. The slight restlessness I feel due to the fact that, well, I don't know what to do with myself when I have five minutes in which nothing has been scheduled, has given way to a lot of boredom-induced cooking experiments. Most have been successful, and tonight, we try a spicy cheese grits recipe. I am most certainly a grit girl. I could eat grits, mashed potatoes, risotto, or any combination of the three all day long, every single day. If only I were an ancient Roman with a serviceable vomitorium, this might be a feasible way to live life.

I do feel the mild tug of a little bit of wanting to go to Wolf Trap and see some opera. But it is so hot and we are so comfortable at home, and I need to get the arias polished for my recording. And Susan has brought me a bottle of wine (something white and delicious from France) that is calling me.

Monday, July 27, 2009


It's Monday, again, and I noticed just today how few of my blog posts are ever written on a Monday. Must be because I have not an ounce of wit or creativity left after dragging myself out of bed and into the gym for the first time after a weekend off. In any case, this weekend was fun-- church was painless, I had a coaching with Ms. G, there was a fun evening at Cinghiale for Ms. Z's birthday, and yesterday I bought a new sports bra and 2 for $5 flip flops at Old Navy. :) Talk about fabulous.

As for my singing, I find that my current dilemma is discerning the best choices of repertoire, based on who I am, what I look like, and what I know I is special about my voice. In my coaching on Saturday, I brought a few oratorio pieces that I like and have worked on casually for a while, just to get an opinion on what could potentially be a hit for me. I adore Bach. I mean I really do, and while most of it feels really painful for me to sing, I do have a nominal level of comfort with "Blute nur," from S. Matthew Passion. And I guess because I love it so much, I have been rationalizing it right into my repertoire. Truthfully, I am not sure I'm always thrilled to hear the chirpiest of little boy sounds doing the soprano solos, and in fact one of my very favorite B-Minor Masses ever had REAL soprani for soloists-- you know, the loud kind. Or kind of loud, at least. But honestly, if I could really knock the socks off of a Brahms' Requiem and an Elijah, there are Bach specialists for the Bach, and there is no sense putting myself in the hospital over it.

In other news-- I made a successful risotto from scratch with bacon and asparagus! It was divine, and I am getting excited about maybe taking a cooking course with Ms. Z, too, in all my spare time! Just what I need! Another un-profitable hobby!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I think it is time that I, shall we say, get my shit together. I've decided that I will do my recording early next week, which means I've got to take it easy on the wine, etc., this weekend. And that can be a real drag, if you know what I mean. But I have to say, I feel better than ever about this year's aria line-up, and for once feel that each one is a real winner for me, and something that shows my voice the way I want it to be shown, not to big, not to small.

IF I get it ready in time, my intention is to a apply for a grant to help pay for all the application fees this year, and some of the travel costs. Which may mean, friends, that I will also be able to pay my rent and buy groceries...

It's going to be a big year for me-- a milestone birthday, particularly lofty goals for my singing, and the return of Jessica to the GYM. I expressed my desire to a fellow gym rat yesterday: "I would like to be a supermodel by Christmas." And he laughed, saying that he thinks that chance may have come and gone...don't you have to be like 14 to be a model these days? About that milestone birthday...

So today, I've decided to make the obligatory yearly checklist for applications: who needs what, when, and where it needs to go. There is always the tiniest bit of fear that all will be in vain, when, as a soprano, I start to realize what the odds really are to even GET an audition. But it's what I have to do, and I will do it. And I will LOOK good doing it, and definitely do everything I can to SOUND good doing it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Because this is a blog about my life, I am happy to report that there's a good deal more going on in it than just singing (although the more the better...hint, hint). However, finding ways to talk about it in a very public format without feeling that I am compromising my own privacy (privacy! what a novel notion!) and that of the other people in my life is a bit more challenging. Which is why I usually just stick to singing and the many layers of drama surrounding it. But, besides my ever-growing preoccupation with Czech, and the fact that I NEED need need to get a recording made stat, there's really not a lot to report on that front.

This weekend, though, Joe and I drove to the Midwest to help celebrate the wedding of one of our very best friends. It was such a fun trip, and so great to spend time with friends who came from Baltimore to help with all the details. I have often said that weddings bring out the very best and worst in people, and when you are the person getting married, you really discover in the truest of lights, who your friends are and what they are made of. The whole weekend had such a feeling of working together, and I felt like everyone who was there really wanted to make it a wonderful wedding for this special couple. The process was nostalgic for me, since it reminded me of ours, and the emotions are so intense during those few days of a wedding weekend. I am sooo lucky to have even a few people in my life that I know I can count on, and I wanted to be that kind of friend to my friend. Now that the wedding part is over, I can rest assured, too, that the marriage is going to be great, and that she is well taken care of.

Coming home Sunday night, it was funny to observe in myself how completely excited I was at the thought of cooking again! This from a girl who used to frequently exclaim "I just DON'T cook. Sorry." So last night, we had farm stand corn and green beans cooked with bacon the way my grandmother does it. I was a little nervous about those bean, I have to say, since I have spent pretty much my whole life eating them the way she makes them, and have always felt that even my mother, who is a fab cook, couldn't quite get them right. Well, I did it. And it was transcendent to say the least. :) Along with the vegetables, I decided I would go with my tried and true chicken crusted with panko and asiago, and went totally bonkers and made mashed potatoes too! The real kind, because I would never, ever feed myself the kind in a box. It's the closest thing to sin I can think of, and I don't even believe in sin.

Tonight, Joe's grilling some pork I've been marinading in lime, chilis, garlic and soy for about 24 hours, and I think there is no possible way I'll be able to wait til dinner.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday again!!! Time to blog

What a week since the last time I talked to you! The auditions were great, and they are over. I sang a very solid Donde lieta at one, and a semi-solid Je dis and very solid Fuggi il traditor at another. I have been working very hard lately at singing AS THE CHARACTER. Not as someone who is just pretending to be the character...which happens, I find, when I am singing with mostly technique in mind.

When we get back from this weekend's wedding, which, by the way, I am really looking forward to, I'll get to work on Rusalka, and start putting together a new recital program which will include just a ton of Brahms. Joe and I are addicted to Brahms.

I am really boring, actually. I pity any of you who try to read this!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


I embarrass myself at every turn. This morning it was when I was on the elliptical at the gym. The Today Show (I hate the today show) was on the big TV and the obligatory replay of the Michael Jackson Memorial was on. It wasn't long after the gospel choir began singing "Soon and very soon," that I started to feel the tears welling up, as I frantically tried to keep pedaling. By the time we got to the clip of little Paris' tribute, well, I had kind of totally lost it. My iconoclastic self was fighting it all the way, and I looked around, hoping that my ridiculous tears were blending in with the sweat.

Who ever heard of crying at the gym?

I mean, I still can't believe I even go to the gym.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


There is so much internal drama for me these last couple days that I am waking up with headaches and it's been tough to get myself to work in the mornings...but today, I made the very brilliant decision to listen to some Freni/Pavarotti in the office, before anyone else showed up. And I feel better already.

The beach was beyond fun. Poor or not poor, you can always count on a nice sunny day, and a gorgeous tan to bring you out of your financially-driven mood slump. I am very lucky, also, because there is no one in the whole world I would rather hang out with than Joe, and the fact that I happen to be married to him makes life even better.

This week and next, I'm getting ready for several auditions, and my first lesson in over a month. I'm feeling a little jaw tension these days-- not necessarily when I'm singing (we singers are super careful to make sure that isn't allowed to sneak in), but just walking around in everyday life, and I'm a little concerned about that-- might be time to start sleeping with a bite plate. And I'm pretty sure the headachy stuff is related as well. We shall see. At this point, I don't think it's affecting my singing, except for the fact that I don't particularly feel like practicing! Don't tell my teacher, but I pop an advil and then head to the piano to warm up.

After the auditions and my friend's wedding are over, the next directive is my audition recording, and making some decisions about repertoire. It's difficult to know where to place myself on the sliding scale of vocal weight and what to sing when I can't hear myself in any real or trustworthy way, until, of course, the recording is made. It's so easy to hear someone else and know just what I think they should sing! But everyday, it's more clear exactly where I fit, and I do feel that the roles in which I've been cast of late are placing me into a category that I like being in: big Italian. This is good. The hardest part about being a singer is wishing you could be a kind of singer that is NOT what you actually are at all. Now, beyond the fact that it would be wicked cool to be able to whip out some Queen of the Night on someone's ass, I have always wanted to basically be a lyric soprano. And, folks, it looks like that's what I am. I think my look works for that type of role as well, aside from not being a supermodel yet. But we're working on that. Four damn days a week we're working on it, people.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Well, the riveting news today is that I went to the gym for day one of the opera singer/super model directive. I've got the height, I just need the skinny.

It was ACTUALLY fun to work out, I have to say, although I bet I will be sore tomorrow. One bad thing was that I forgot to get a bath towel from the desk and had taken off all my clothes and had a leg in the shower before I realized I didn't have a towel. That was a drag. But the gym is bright, new, clean and upbeat, and I am happy to be there, and very happy with how I feel after I'm done.

We're taking off for the beach tomorrow afternoon, and I have to say, at my level of brokeness, I just don't know how much fun can be had. But then, it doesn't cost a cent to lay on a beach. It's just the eating and the drinking, really, that's the problem. :) Ah, life! We'll be back in time, however, to mooch off my mother for the Fourth of July on her roof top deck... But with the sun shining, and a three day weekend, how can life NOT be fantastic?

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Oh. My. Goodness. I have a headache. Last night was tooooo fun. Stu and I just had the best time at musical theater night. Well, I did. I'm not sure, but Stu may have been really embarrassed when I belted out the high C in "Tonight."

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I found a real Czech to help me with my Czech!! Sweet Ms. T, a faculty member here at school. She has set aside a little time to help me and I am so grateful.

It was a weekend full of going places, DC, Alexandria, Annapolis. And I'm pretty sure tonight I'm going with Stu to musical theater karaoke night at a bar somewhere outside the city. Which, I 'm sure will prove to be quite humiliating. But hey, if you drink enough, you don't even know you should be embarrassed.

I can't believe I am actually doing this, but I am joining a gym, people. I've really been holding out, because, besides your average walking I absolutely despise exercising. I mean really hate it. I hate sweating, I hate showering and getting dressed in public places, and it's just generally annoying. But desperate times call for desperate measures, and I need to look like a model to be a successful singer, apparently. So, here I come elliptical machines. At least I will have a chance to really catch up on my magazine reading.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I'm home, and every time I come back, I realize how much I love being here. Why would I ever want to leave? Every time we go to NYC, we talk about moving there, but then I come back to darling little Balto, and it all just feels right. For right now, at any rate.

My children (cats) missed me very much.

When I was on the way home, I got the call from a company I sang (well) for a few weeks ago, offering me a small role in a Verdi opera. It was a really good feeling, I have to say. It's a small part, but a showy one, and I am kind of flattered to have gotten it, never having known the artistic director, or worked for the company before. Maybe I am doing something right? Maybe?

In other news, I am way too excited to go to the grocery tonight and get back to cooking. It's a dorky thing to say, but I am delighted nonetheless. I'm thinking asiago-encrusted pork chops, grilled asparagus, and a big salad. It's time for horrific West Virginia food detox. Definitely.

As for West Virginia, our hotel was very nice, and family non-dramatic, though slightly irritating. Only a little. :) The food, however. Well, they need to work on that. But Aaron and Matt made up for it last night when we got back and they took us out for a delish tapas meal at Pazo.

Love to all you bloggles!

Monday, June 15, 2009


Wow. What a weekend. So many fun things to do, that I'm afraid I need some recovery time. :)

Today, I have kind of promised myself that I will get down to business really learning some of my new pieces, but I can't seem to motivate myself. Usually, I can do anything thing if I say that after I have learned 10 or so pages I can have a grape vodka with club soda. But today even that is not working.

Wednesday and Thursday, we are in New York, and it will be a fun get away, except that I am really hoping we don't talk about piano the whole time, as I will be with a bunch of pianists the whole time. That could only end in me feeling rather dumb. Perhaps I can run away with Brent for a little while.

In other news, I am not quite sure how it happened, but I have accidentally bought a couple of pretty bags on E-bay lately, and am kind of addicted. This can be quite deadly for a girl who really needs to spend all her extra money on vocal development. I can't stop myself from opening up my favorite searches and looking through bag after bag, barely able to ward off the temptation to click on "place a bid." Because they are such wonderful deals, and such wonderful arm candy, and I am very good at rationalizing any number of things and why I most certainly deserve to have them. But being broke helps keep you from doing dumb things.

It's almost time for lunch!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


I twittered that I think I might need to lay off red wine pretty much forever, as depressing as that is. Last night, as I sat around the kitchen table with the girls, it just tasted SO good! But it always makes me mean and groggy the next be forewarned. :)

The concert Friday was so much fun, and my audition Saturday went well, but now here am in a place I haven't been in a while-- wondering what to work on next. I should get an early start on Mimi, but I'd like to take a break from Boheme for a month or so. So, my teacher, ever the intuitive listener, great confidant, and ultimate encourager, who knows me so well, suggested I look at Rusalka. If you had asked me about that a year ago, I would have said it's crazy to sing that if you're not Renee Fleming-- and I'm not. Obviously. But listening to it, it's just too heavenly to refuse. God knows where I'm going to find someone to teach me the Czech, but in the face of that gorgeous music, it seems like only a minor detail. (Insert Czech people throwing shoes at my head) Gotta love Dvorak melody.

In other news, I applied for an audition in New York that, upon doing some research, I'm pretty sure is a scam. Thank god I hadn't bought a train ticket or anything, or spent hundreds of dollars. I suppose we singers (sopranos, for sure) are easy targets. Thanks for exploiting us and our dedication to our calling, jerks. **this is the red wine talking** But I figured it out before I paid you the $40 that's one trap I didn't fall into. I missed the Preakness for a lame audition experience, and you can bet I won't ruin a trip to New York for one.

Happy Tuesday!

Friday, June 05, 2009


It's been a miserable couple of days out there, but in here, I have to say I've been having fun! I really enjoyed rehearsing for the concert tonight with a tenor friend and Joe, and there is a lot of joking and loud singing. Which I love so very much. There is only so much choral music and anthem singing one can take when one is supposed to be learning how to sing over an orchestra.

I am dutifully at my desk right now, but where I would love to be is at home with the BBC's Pride and Prejudice. Why? I don't know, and I don't even have my hands on a copy, but it seems like such a great way to spend this icky weather day, and put me in the right mood to sing some Countess.

Tomorrow, an audition for a new company, who really isn't doing any rep in which I could see myself a viable lead-- but there are plenty of secondary roles for voices like mine, so we will drive out there tomorrow and knock them dead. Ahhh comprimario singing...all the fun and none of the stress.

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Last night, while out with the girls, we saw the most fantastic rainbow I have ever seen. Way better, even, than the ones they have in Hawaii!

Today, I'm excited to try and marinade a flank steak for several hours and then grill it outside...then, there's those amazing-looking fingerling potatoes that Ina makes that I've been wanting to try forever. Although I am currently also obsessed with the opportunities the discovery of DuFour prepared puff pastry offers...and the fact that I have some leftover in the freezer... :)

Somehow, I need to find time to look at the pirated Hugo Wolf song-turned-church-anthem that I'm supposed to sing tomorrow.

Monday-- Turandot in Washington. I'm so excited to see this favorite of mine for the first time, in a production everyone is saying is great.

Friday, May 29, 2009


So tired. Not much sleep last night, and I feel a little off today.

I did, however, manage to catch up on the DVRed goodness of The Real Housewives of New York City Lost Footage in the wee hours of the morning. So it wasn't a totally wasted night of insomnia.

The recital went well, and I was pretty proud of myself being able to hold it together throughout a difficult program, though lord knows I was wiped out afterward. I learned a lot too, just as I hoped, about how things come off in performance, and which pieces I will be keeping and which are going to the back of the binder. I do have to report that there was quite an incident with a cell phone, however, that nearly drove both Joe and I to distraction. It seems it was an older lady who couldn't find her phone in her purse, and when she finally did manage to get it to stop ringing, it began to ring again! All during, of course, the most sensitive moments of one of my favorite pieces of the program. And then there is the righteous huffing and puffing over the cell phone that makes almost as much commotion as the actual ringing itself. But hey. I stayed with it, and it was just another night at the theater.

This weekend promises to be one of trying new recipes, learning an exceptionally hard anthem for the Christian Scientists, brushing up on some duets for next weekend's concert, hanging out on the patio, and some girl time.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

water, water everywhere

I'm drinking it by the gallon, and will be right up until about two hours before I sing tonight. Trying my best to counteract the effects of the air-conditioners of the world. I decided to give up worrying about the length and breadth of my program tonight, because I really think it will be okay, and I'm feeling good about all the pieces, many of which I know well and have known for several months. It will be an awesome prep run through for the concert next weekend and the new CD I need to record before audition season rears it's ugly head YET again. After this, I will know what I needed to know about a couple of the pieces I am still questioning, in terms of their use in my regular repertoire. If I can't perform them the way I would like tonight, in front of the most supportive of audiences, I think I will take it as a sign.

Joe was great last night, and I realize that I am lucky to married to someone by whom I am so musically inspired. The poor dear is now currently back to the piano practicing like a fiend for my little performance tonight, even though he probably doesn't need to.

I'm looking forward to it, actually, and also, to the martini I plan to have afterward!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I'm giving a recital next week. And I accidentally programmed way too many hard things. At least that's how it feels now. Hormones and allergies probably have something to do with that...but in any case, I'm working to sing through things to build up my stamina. This is soooo the hard part. And I'm looking forward to the fun part, when I can forget about notes and memorization and perform the words of the pieces.

Summer is a time for singers to get a lot done. Whether by singing themselves into the ground to add roles to the old resume (this is the traditional method), or making a new recording, getting new pictures, revamping the website, learning the next role, or coaching the heck out of our audition arias. For me, the recital is in partial preparation for my new demo recording (I so so not sound like my old one any more, and I've thankfully realized I have no business singing "Vedrai carino."), and to try out some new repertoire ideas on an audience. Maybe I should hand out comment cards before the performance, to get everyone's opinion. Wait. No, I am not a masochist. And what a terrible idea.

Last week's audition was a disappointment. I can always count on my voice-- and I usually spend the half an hour before an audition counter-acting a rising freak-out with those very words. I've worked tirelessly on my technique, and it's starting to pay off for me, consequently, I've been in some less than ideal *cough, cough* audition situations and I've been able to pull it off because I could forget about the drama and just sing. Well, I can tell you this, people: there isn't a terrible lot that your technique can do with vocal cords that are swollen beyond recognition because of the hormones coursing through your veins. There are certain things you can muscle through and it will sound reasonably okay, but especially with delicate pianissimi and ridiculous register jumps, etc. you can just forget about it. Sometimes it's worse than others, but last week was not one of my best vocal moments. So Joe took me out to lunch, we had a beer, and I tried to just forget about it.

That is behind me, however, we're moving on with life. Now, to work on my translations.