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, so...it 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 weekend...in 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!