Friday, June 19, 2009

New York Trip Day 8

Well, I'm getting down to business now. We've been working really hard, and spending a lot of time trying to replicate and absorb all the information and teaching that we've been getting over the past week.

This morning I had a lesson with Sherry Overholt, one of the nicest people here. She is definitely one of those up front people who will tell you exactly what they think but she's a Midwesterner with a great work ethic - work hard and keep it simple. We just sang through some scales and she is trying to teach me a very important lesson which is teaching me to teach myself. It is very different to be the teacher, and it is a very strange sensation to teach myself because I cannot hear myself. If I do, then I'm resonating in my head somewhere and not letting it out into the room, so in a way, the more resonant (pingier or louder) I am, the less I am able to hear, sort's hard to's much more of a feeling than a sound, especially high notes. Anyway, so I am trying to learn the feeling and placement of vowels and pitches in where it needs to resonate or where I imagine it resonating. I can only barely hear a difference but I can really feel when it is right or wrong. It is very interesting.

I went through my staging with Elizabeth, and I felt so bad for her because she had an allergic reaction to the soap I used from the bathroom. I hope she doesn't feel too bad about me, if you're reading this I'm so sorry! We also had a master class with the conductor from the Connecticut Opera. He was great, and had so many ideas about musicality and work ethic and how to get hired and rehired, all kinds of great things. I also heard a great aria from Vanessa (it's an opera, not a person - well, it's a person in the opera too) and I have also sang an aria from that before, but I would really like to do that at some point.

We talked a lot of my future planning, and I expect I will still hear much more feedback, and I continually get requests and suggestions for roles and arias. People here are very opinionated, and they are being paid to be opinionated. I have heard the whole gamut. I will say this however, there is a general consensus, that I can be very successful if I keep giving myself opportunities, work hard, make myself known, and perform well; they have been very very optimistic about my talent, but that's only a third of the business (management and luck are the other 2/3rds). It is a guessing game; the best singers don't always get the gigs, but I have to keep it going and snowball my way up (wait, that's usually a negative phrase, oh well, you know what I mean). The faculty here definitely want all my musicality and my most free and frontal tone. I am a baby, only 24. I have received suggestions from people thinking I should capitalize now on my talents, but I run a high risk of singing too much heavy literature for my voice to handle, and that leads to very short careers. Others want me to take a very light repertoire approach so I can stretch my career out as long as possible - 30 or 40 or more years. Even that has its own opinion bank, with whether I should be auditioning for companies straight out of the box, or do high profile summer programs, or go get my Doctorate right away. There are definite pluses and minuses to every one of these. I have a very pure voice, healthy and resonant, and I will do what it takes as long as I continue to sing to keep it that way; it will be a full Lyric voice at some point in the future and I hope to take advantage of that.

I have been very happy and proud of the work I have done this week. My voice has improved so much, especially with the help of Sherry Overholt, Arthur Levy, and Audry St. Gil, and I hope to be able to keep replicating this. I really can't express the difference it has made. And, everyone always compliments Dr. Pittman for his great teaching. I was able to get so much out of this program because I didn't have to worry too much about technique issues, so I am very proud and thankful to have such a great teacher at K-State these last 6 years helping me out. Also, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the help and donations from my friends and family back in Kansas, especially UUMC in Salina. Thank you so much!

But this is just my side of the story. Dusti and I will be beginning our marriage and who knows where that might lead us. There are so many variables to our future that it can be so overwhelming yet exciting and so we will just have to deal with what we can decide at the moment. But, I am so excited, and teared up a little bit (I know Dusti can't believe it, but I have proof) thinking about our wedding in August. I am so excited, and I know she is too. Love you, babe! She's such an inspiration and strong person; we have very difficult schedules and she has to deal with all of my traveling during the year and wedding invitations this week without me there, and I can't tell you how much I appreciate her and for all the help and support she gives me. *smootch*

Tomorrow's Schedule - Saturday 6/20

Dress Rehearsal 10:30-12

Concert 2 (we staged Questa o quella - the beginning of Verdi's opera Rigoletto--for me to sing that is, everyone else is singing their own things as may be a VERY long concert)


  1. Oh Bryan, you made ME tear up just reading this! I am so proud of the man you've grown up to be. Dad and I often become speechless (imagine that!) when we think about how God has blessed us SO much with 2 amazing sons like you and Brent. We are so undeserving.

    Sounds like you have so much information now that it must be swimming around in your head by this point. Have a headache yet?!

    Good luck at your concert. (Now for the parent question: Are they making any videos/cds of the performance that we can buy?)

    Thanks again for taking the time to post this blog.

    BTW, we couldn't ask for a more wonderful and beautiful daughter-in-law either!!

    Love you,

  2. We will be anxious to hear more first hand. Grandpa and I will be anxious for a Sunday noon "report". Have a great "last day" and we'll talk to you when you hit Kansas soil.

    love, grandma (grandpa too)

  3. Babe,

    I am so happy that you have been able to partake in this experience. It looks like you have had so much fun and you really were able to see what your career could be. I am so proud of you and just like you said, we have some decisions to make. I cannot wait to be with you on the exciting journey. I love you very much!

    Dusti Jean

    PS: I would like to see this proof you speak of.


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