“All is peace… until they go at it again!”

August 2, 2009 at 1:31 pm (Music) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

That’s a line from our translation of the Impresario dialogue.  All is peace indeed… for a moment.  We concluded our run last night with a successful second of two shows.  Now I’m waiting for my ride back to NYC.

The shows went really, really well.  It seemed like every time we did it, from the rehearsals on, it got better.  I mean, that’s how it’s supposed to be, but how often is it really?

The first night felt just perfect.  I recorded it and listened to it.  It was mostly excellent.  I did get a little chicken-chirpy on the trio again, but there were other places where I successfully smoothed it over.  I practiced it to make sure it was good for the second show, but I didn’t record it so I’m not really sure how successful I was.  (it FELT good at least.)

The Friday show is the one that was video taped, and I can’t WAIT to see it!  The DVD they made last year was fabulous.  And I received a lot of compliments from both Gena and Al on my characterization of Mme Herz- I mean, Joan Sutherbelle- so hopefully it looks as good as they said it did.

Last night I had my own personal financial meltdown- at the same time I found out my bank account was almost empty (this is what happens when you have all your bills on auto-deduct but aren’t rich enough to keep much money in your checking account), I also was informed by the nice barista at The Coffee House that my credit card was expired.  Crap!!!  They must have sent me a new one to my apartment in NY while I was up here in Geneva!  I managed to use the LAST $30 in my account to charge the latte and get a $20 from the ATM to get me through the next 36 hours, but you can imagine I felt stressed out.  On top of all the other debt I have, with the album and various expenses (like the trip to Santa Fe) I need to pay off.  So this got me in quite a funk.  I even brought Amanda White t-shirts to my dressing room to sell to my co-singers, but I was in too much of a depressed mood to actually ask anyone if they wanted to buy one.  (Which is hard to do even if you’re in a good mood.)  Fortunately, I’m the kind of person who can totally go onstage and be 100% no matter what kind of mood I’m in offstage.  I’ll resume my moping the second I get off, but once I’m back on I’m totally in the moment.  It’s funny.  Just goes to show how quickly we can become happy when we stop using excuses to be sad.

Anyways, now I have my paycheck for this show and should have a few more waiting for me at home, at least I pray, so don’t start sending me canned goods just yet.

So both shows were fabulous.  Gregorio Rangel, Gena’s son, playing my husband, only came in time for the dress rehearsal, but did a marvelous job.  He had all his blocking, all his lines, and he was hilarious.  And I’m totally proud of everyone in the cast.  It’s a cheesy thing to say, but they really really did do an amazing job.  Angela Libertella sounds so good and is hilARious!!  I hope for much, much more G&S in her future, ’cause she just powned it.  Sara Thomas totally brought it onstage- not everyone can survive a coloratura catfight with Yours Truly!  Kris Whiteleather and Charles King are a fabulous comedy duo.  Matt Fitzpatrick’s personification of the Defendant in Trial was to die for.  Michelle Seipel I only got to interact with briefly (she played one of the spoken roles in Impresario, and they added some music for her- she was also my cover and stepped in for me as a Bridesmaid in Trial when I was out of town), but she was spot-on in her Maria Callas spoof.  And the chorus was one of the highlights.

Agh, I gotta go!!!  Love to all, see you in NY- more album recording tomorrow!!

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Impresario tonight!

July 31, 2009 at 4:29 pm (Music) (, , , , , , , , , )

Hi everyone!

Of course the catch-22 is, the more you have to blog about, the less time you have to blog.  I’m in Geneva, NY, on the Finger Lakes, sitting on the back patio to our dorm and enjoying a cool, sunny breeze off of Seneca Lake.  In an hour or so I have to be at the theatre to prepare for opening night of The Impresario and Trial by Jury.

So here I am again with American Landmark Festivals.  Remember, last year we did Fledermaus up here.  Last year was a whole nother animal- I still had my blog on MySpace!

I know I haven’t blogged in awhile, and even if I gave you any pretails about this show they were probably spotty and a long time ago.  So let’s back up.

First, there was all this drama because we didn’t know what opera we were doing.  I was told Orpheus in the Underworld, and dumped a lot of money on recordings, DVDs, and a score.  But 1. I was confused over what part I was supposed to do, because I thought I was doing Eurydice, but the other soprano I know from this company was told she was doing Eurydice, and then 2. They scrapped the whole plan and eventually settled on Mozart’s Impresario and Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, much to my dismay.  I didn’t want to do Impresario because I’ve already done Madame Herz, and I didn’t want to do Trial by Jury because I’m sick of Gilbert and Sullivan.  I tried to suggest Entfuehrung instead of Impresario but they thought it was too big or hard or something.  So whatever, I’m still happy to do it because Madame Herz is a good role for me and the production I did of it last time was just this tiny thing with like one rehearsal, so I thought it would be nice to be in a big fully staged thing.  And I love being up here in Geneva, and I love American Landmark Festivals, and I was- well, I THOUGHT I was going to have a slow year but you know how these things are, everything popping up.

I was sick for so long, remember, so I couldn’t even practice my music.  I was actally quite relieved to find that my high F’s were back several solid weeks before rehearsals started- between the double-header cold that wouldn’t quit and forcing myself to squeak out Sorcerer all those times, my voice was pretty gone.  I still don’t feel back to normal above a G, but then who really needs to sing above a G anyway?  So I haven’t even really been trying, not when I need my voice for more important endevors.

There was some iffiness over whether or not the proposed Silberklang could be up here for the rehearsal schedule, so when the producer brought up replacing her, I mentioned my friend Sara Thomas, who would be perfect for the role (she is a soprano who sings coloratura stuff, but not the extreme coloratura stuff like I do- ie, an ideal Silberklang to my Mme Herz), and who I happened to know was free those two weeks.  So I referred her for an audition and she got the part, and I was happy.

So a little under two weeks ago we drove up to Geneva (I love friends with cars) and I’ve been having just a wonderful time.  I just love it up here.  It’s a picturesque lake town and we stay in a big dorm with a glorious view.  I love all the people I work with, I love walking the mile into town for coffee every day, I love going out for bar food with the gang every night, and I love singing in the fabulous Smith Opera House.

The first week I feel like we’re worked really hard, as far as opera goes.  We have two really hard rehearsals a day, mostly full run-throughs until our time is up.  I don’t mind the hard work but what trips me up is that it doesn’t leave us any time for individual practicing.  I mean, as far as hours in the day, it does, but you really just don’t want to be singing that much, especially not working out technical vocal things, which can be trying.  Yes, in theory, we should all have perfect technique and everything should be settled in our voices before we get here, but in practice, our voice boxes and our bodies are living, growing things, and there is always something needing adjustment.  And then you get to rehearsal, with a conductor, with blocking, with other singers, in a new space, and you find things to which you need to change your approach.  So that’s one thing I’d wish for.

Then I went home for two nights to start recording my album, but we’ll talk about that later.  It was a big drama- whether or not I could leave, what bus I could take, who would drive me to the bus, etc etc.  But it finally worked out- I was exhausted but that’s not an unfamiliar working condition to me.

Starting this week we’ve only had one rehearsal a day, so I actually got to practice.  Thank God.  Madame Herz is hard!!!!  Even for an “extreme sports coloratura” like me.  I mean, this is what i DO.  But it’s still hard.  There’s nowhere to breathe in the whole opera, ever!  No, I’m exaggerating, but I do feel like Mozart was trying to kill someone.  Death by Coloratura.  Today I referred to it as a role with “High F’s and Other Problems.”  Problem: long, complicated runs.  Problem: extended lines with nowhere to breathe.  Problem: Above-the-staff 8th notes that sound like chicken chirps if I’m not careful.  Problem: catfighting so hard you run out of breath.  Anything I can’t handle?  Not at all!!!  But I do need to work at it, be in top form- it’s the kind of thing I have to warm up for, and not be sick.  I’ve even been trying not to eat much dairy, though that’s hard as a vegetarian subsisting on bar food.

So the dress rehearsal last night went great, and things have been steadily getting better.  And now I have to go get ready.  Talk to you later!!

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