Ariadnes 1 & 2

December 11, 2009 at 6:26 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

It’s almost time for my second and last Zerbinetta of this run, and I haven’t written about the first one yet.  You know what else I haven’t done since the first one?  Practice.  Bad!  It just didn’t happen- a lot of work, gig, writing, running around, trying to wake up at a non-zombie hour.  Every day I wanted to, intended to, but it never worked out.  No practicing, no blogging.  And tomorrow (tonight, really) is the second show.

The show went alright.  I haven’t heard a recording or seen a video yet (though I did see one of the Prologue of the dress rehearsal, which was pretty good), so I don’t really know how it looked and sounded.  I took a lot of time to warm up and practice a few things after church in the upstairs room.  All these parish kids kept running in and out between my high notes, getting their coats and looking for each other.  They all said they liked my voice. :) Anyways, despite the practice time, I will admit I wasn’t in my usual good voice that day.  I’ve mentioned before, though I have excellent stamina, sometimes I get worn out singing straight tone for long periods, especially in high tessitura.  Mind you, I love straight tone.  Love it.  Singing it, listening to it.  Don’t believe it’s vocally unhealthy, don’t usually have trouble with it.  But- in moderation.  When it drags on for hours, and when I’m singing up in my passagio (which tends to fall around G-A above the staff, which are the high notes for most choral music), I get vocally tired and icky.  For some reason church that morning was kind of a screamer- lots of singing, lots of high singing.  I did feel like it affected my voice, which is rare but does happen.  So I was feeling vocally bleck.  Not saying I missed my high notes or tripped over any runs, just felt vocally clumsy.  Hopefully, and probably, it’s the kind of thing only I can hear (most of my HUGE PROBLEMS with my voice I’m always trying to work out are tiny things nobody can hear but me), but don’t you ever just have when you’re singing and you’re like, “Bleh, this isn’t what singing’s supposed to feel like.  Singing is fun, this is dumb!”  I spend enough time singing that it’s a big part of my voice and it should be enjoyable.  Especially during a big exciting performance!!

What else, hm, it was so many days ago now… the audience loved my “clowns”!  I think they kinda stole the show. :) Got tons of laughs, from the moment they walked onstage during the second half.  I think the whole “wo ist sie” part of the 2nd quintet (a trio at that point) was the funniest part, the guys are so hilarious there (running around the theatre pretending to look for me), and I’m sitting on Harlequin’s lap in the audience making faces at them and being silly.  We improvised a little audience interaction which just made the bit.

Oh, here’s a good story- I mentioned before the Najade (OK I finally looked up how to spell it- so many options- Naiad, Nyade, Nayade, etc etc) was not double-cast, so I started learning her part just in case she got sick.  So she DID get sick, but they called in the girl who was supposed to be her double but who dropped out due to schedule constraints, and she did the first show.  I was sad, ’cause I really wanted to do it!!  But then our real Najade was still sick for the second show (my first Zerbinetta, as I was in the second cast), and the “cover” couldn’t do that one.  I wish they had said something to me- I had expressed interest in singing it, and they said “but then you couldn’t sing it on the nights when you’re Zerbinetta” and I’m like YES I CAN SILLY, but nobody listens to me, no!  Anyways they had no Najade so they had a flautist play her part.  On the flute, from the orchestra.  Weird.  I totally could have sung her part from the orchestra pit- I only have one line during Najade’s scenes and I’m offstage for that line anyways, and it doesn’t overlap.  But nobody else realized that except me, and nobody asked me, and whatever, somebody can play flute, it’s not like she says anything that the other characters don’t say or anything.  Presumably the actual Najade will be back for tomorrow’s (tonight’s) show.

There was a person from the Epoch Times there!  I guess that’s why there was a guy snapping photos in the front row the whole time.  See?  Here’s the write-up, featuring a big picture of me making Opera Face!

That can’t possibly be the best picture he got of me.  But I guess it’s not TECHNICALLY all about me.  This time.  (Really it is, but not TECHNICALLY.)

Oh speaking of pictures, my friend Philine came and took mad photos.  I was going to embed a bunch of them here, but she does this thing with her flickr account where you can’t download or link to them.  They’re like super-secret or something.  So you just have to go look at them here. Tons of good shots.  enjoy!

Oh another thing about the show, I don’t sleep on Saturday nights/Sunday mornings.  Not very much at least.  I’m a night person, and night for me is later than for many other people.  Like right now it’s 6:30 am and I’m still up.  So even if I stay in Saturday night, I can’t necessarily just fall asleep and wake up for a matinee on some kinda full night’s sleep or something.  But tomorrow I’m singing at a humane hour, hooray!  See you at 7:30pm!

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End of tour, selling albums, Zerbinetta, holding your breath

November 5, 2009 at 4:23 am (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Hi everyone!

Just a hodge-podgy update, I guess.  I mean, it’s been wayyy too long.  Except where I posted the Bubblegum Slut review the other day.  Still happy about that!  Hope you’ve all read it!

So, what is up… I finished my tour, it was fun.  I had been sick, and was trying to coax my voice back for a couple reasons- most urgently, to sing an audition with Fargo-Moorhead Opera.  I just barely, barely went through with it.  I wasn’t sure up til the night before (really, the morning of) if I was in good enough condition to sing.  I was still under the weather, but I had my high notes back, so I went through with it.  They even asked for O zittre nicht, which I offered as an alternate (I know small companies do Magic Flute a lot and aren’t such sticklers about voice size for their Queens of the Nights), and that goes up to an F, and my F was totally fine.  Yay!  I gotta say, I was chugging Emergen-C, and I also found that this one Vitamin Water which was vitamin C enhanced, I think it was purple and it was like reduced calorie or something.  I found it to be really soothing on my throat.  So I had a really nice audition with them, and my gig the night before in Fargo was really fun!  It started out with me playing just to one person, but several more drifted in as the show wore on.  I had a really fun time- played everything I knew, and the one kid who was there from the beginning asked me to sing Glitter and be Gay a capella.  (He had asked what my rep was, and wanted to hear it since he’d just started reading Candide.)  It was pretty hilarious.  This one guy in the audience- I hate to say “redneck” ’cause that’s like racist(?)… is there a non-offensive way to say “total hick”?  He said it was so loud I hurt his ears.  I was like, “OPERA WIN!!” I love my life sometimes.  Oh and the one really sweet kid who came to see me on purpose bought my CD.  Yay!

So I’m back, I need to sell wayyyyy more albums.  Who wants to buy one???  Or ten?!?!?  You know you do.  I’m trying to hit up my friends, but I feel bad, especially ’cause it’s usually a matter of people not having money today but they’ll buy it next week, but I don’t want to keep asking again and again.  The simple truth is that since I’m not on any sort of label whatsoever, and am not yet famous, I actually do have to rely largely on people I know to buy my shit.  At least for now.  Oh yeah and you guys.  :)

For the record, it’s still in processing for CDBaby, so the only thing to do for now is to order it by PayPal off my website.  Which is me going to the post office and mailing it to you.  Oh, but if you want a digital download, that you can buy now, on amandawhite.bandcamp.com.  The iTunes thing, still processing, etc, but I get more money anyways if you buy it from bandcamp (and I’m not an expert on these things but I think the sound quality is better too).

So!  We’re in rehearsal for Ariadne auf Naxos.  Today was our first full-opera run.  It was my first time doing any of the second act stuff at all (we had already rehearsed the prologue).  So fun!  People are sounding better than I expected.  Like, I was really worried about the quartet of men (before hearing them), but they are actually really pulling it together.  I managed to impress the cast, but I think that’s because I was doing push-ups between phrases.  Hey, with Zerbinetta you have to be prepared for lots of physical activity!  Even though I doubt they are going to seriously stage it.  It’ll probably be largely a “do whatever you want, just start here and end there” kind of thing.  Nothing that will really knock my breath out- but at least I should be prepared for next time.

SPEAKING OF BREATH.  This is amazing.  Tim Ferriss’s blog (one of my like top 3 favorite blogs in the whole world) teaches you how to hold your breath for ridiculously long times. I got to 3 minutes on my first (bumpy, not sure what to do) try, without even pushing myself until the last like 5 seconds.  (I wasn’t willing to try to really push, as the author had mentioned being fuzzy-headed for a couple days after, but I am curious if I could do better now that I get it…)  But like seriously, I didn’t even start wondering how long it had been til about 2:30.

I wonder what kind of implications this would have for singers.  I’m curious to try it but instead of holding my breath, trying to sustain a tone.  Of course normally in an opera one doesn’t get all that prep time to work up your breathing, but it could still be a really interesting thing to experiment with.

I’ll leave you with that thought.  Everyone have a great night!  See you soon.

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