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 of...it's hard to explain...it'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 well...it may be a VERY long concert)