Monday, June 15, 2009

New York Trip Day 4

Well, I had another exciting day. I met some great people and had a great time making great music with the greats.

My day began with a self marketing class with one of Luciano Pavarotti's friends, and a former CAMI agent, and currently a career consultant, Connie Barnett. She is one of the nicest people here and she gave us some great advice on management and self management. Most of it is business details, but one of the things that I thought was so sweet was when she began speaking of Luciano Pavarotti, she started to cry, because she missed him.

The next event I had was a lesson with Arthur Levy. He is one of the very best teachers in all of Opera, and definitely one of the very top teachers in New York City. I was so excited from the beginning to have an opportunity to sing for him. I was totally amazed at what he did for my voice. I had incredible freedom up high and he gave me a lot of inside knowledge of singing the "power notes" with precision, flexibility, and comfort. He taught me a new vocalise that I love. When I have a high note, A flat or higher, he had me break that register and sing immediately into that note, much like one yodel followed by the full sound of the high note. When I did this, I had so much ease into those high notes, so much control, it felt amazing. The next thing I did was to sing "ah" up the scale for an octave and continue on for another major third on "oo" and back down, so an eleventh. Well, that gave me so much control, I was able to vocalize all the way up to D flat (almost an unnecessary note, because I know of only two things written higher than that). In the end, I had just an amazing lesson. We talked a little bit, and I am very glad that he took such an interest in me, we will be talking in the future.

Next I had a very interesting lesson with the director for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Steve Crawford. The Maestro is likely the most detailed musician I have ever known. He payed so much attention to details of my arias. For example, he needed my jaw to drop two inches for just one of my eighth notes, and needed slightly more grounded grace notes, very detailed things. He also is a genius of musicality and quotes. One of my favorites was that "the map doesn't match the terrain". That was intended to mean that even though Verdi wrote it with those notes, he couldn't show all the musicality he intended because the inflections are so small. But, he had wonderful ideas on the musicality and was incessant on the result. I was proud of my quick learning efforts, and I knew he desires more than the most, but for as intense as it was, it was worth the effort to find those short moments of satisfaction, and it ended with a booming fifteen second long high B flat, that left a small smile on his face (totally worth the time and effort).

We concluded with a breath technique seminar, which had all of us laying down and propped and stooped in all kinds of crazy directions to feel particular muscles engaging in our breathing. It was fun, and we got to know our bodies just a little bit better.

Tomorrow's Schedule: Tuesday 6/16

Lesson from Thomas Goodhart - professional baritone for the NYCO - 10

Lesson with Valerie Trujillo - vocal coach (the person who told me about all of this, and the reason why I'm here) - 10:40

Recitative Workshop 11:20-12

Consultation with Scott George - President of New Century Artists - 1:20

Power Auditions Workshop - 2-5

New Century Artists Audition Recital - 6:45-9


  1. Bryan, sounds like you are learning so much. It also sounds like a whole lot of work. Do you ever get any time just to veg-out or go see the sites?

    You missed some very stormy weather tonight. Lots of tornados in Kansas and large hail. GB barely missed some real bad stuff, but the wind was unbelievable. Our tree out front had a pretty large branch break off. The wind even scared dad, our resident storm chaser!

    Take care. We miss you.


  2. Hi Bryan, Grandma here. Every morning or late at night we are so anxious to hear from you. Although we don't understand the details very much we love hearing about it. Yesterday we cleaned up from the River Festival. Our proceeds were about double from last year. Bierocks definately were a hit. Next year the new food will be fried oreos. We too had storms around here. Charlotte was on her way home from Beloit and Uncle Al had her stop here for a while because between here and Hesston there were 80 mile an hour winds and driving rain and hail. We didn't have any of it -

    Thanks so much for the daily reports. They will be great for you when you get home besides being great for all of us.

    Take care - is your brain getting full?

    love, gma and gpa


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