Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chautauqua Opera & Sugar Creek Auditions

What a wonderful day to hear all the encouraging responses to my last post.  My two auditions today went swimmingly and I am very happy with how they went.

First, I had Sugar Creek auditions.  This time, when I chose to sing "Lenski's Aria" the pianist actually played "Lenski's Aria"!  It was in a very live room and it went very well.  Since the audition was around noon, my voice was fresh and even a little more full than normal because I woke up not too long before the audition.  I usually would be worried about that, but for Lenski, the effect was pretty impressive.  After I finished the first aria, the judges chose to hear "Here I Stand" from The Rake's Progress.  I was also very happy to sing this because it is very difficult mentally.  It takes a good musician and a good mind to sing it well.  It is a complicated score and I was so happy to sing this so it would take the "pick on the smart kid" taste out of my mouth from yesterday's audition.  I just sang the recitative for the aria, as I suppose they were wanting to hear me sing in English.  They smiled and one wrote a short note to the other - passed it along the length of the table - the other judge looked at it and gave a head nod and I was given the signal that they had heard what they needed from me.  I was very proud of how it went and as I walked past out the door, they stopped me to ask my height.  A short comment, but again the small questions make me feel encouraged because it shows that they are interested in me.  Hopefully I will hear from them after they are finished with their auditions.

Shortly after Sugar Creek, I sang for Chautauqua Opera.  If you remember, I had to reschedule these because my flight was canceled twice. They were gracious enough to reschedule my time.  I also sang "Lenski" and they also chose "Here I Stand".  My voice was even more free for "Lenski" which allowed me to make even more of an emphasis on some musicality elements.  The aria went very well again, and they were very interested in my performance.  Last year, I felt my best experience was with Chautauqua, and again they were very welcoming.  I sang the last half of "Here I Stand".  It was a little rusty and I did not sing the end very well compartively, however I did experience another audition oddity.  Sitting in on the auditions were two donors for Chautauqua sitting in on auditions for the first time.  I assume they were just curious and excited to see how it all went.  But, they made little remark after Lenski.  When I finished "Here I Stand" which has a spoken line at the end saying "I wish I had money!"  They both clapped out loud saying lovely remarks.  It was an older couple, and I have never had applause in an audition, but I was very grateful and acknowledged their applause and thanked them later.

In the end, I learned a lot on this trip and I felt that Sugar Creek went the best, closely followed by Chautauqua.  I think you can guess how I feel about Crested Butte.  Afterwards, Dusti and I went to Central Park and participated in a movie shooting for the movie named "Tower Heist" coming out next year.  It has Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, and Matthew Broderick in it.  The scene we participated in was in a fake Macy's parade scene where a car chase goes into the parade and causes havoc.  They recreated the parade with a band, giant balloons, banners, floats, crowds, and Tom Turkey.  It was really neat.  We also visited the Plaza Hotel, and the Met (naturally).  Later, we ate with one of Dusti's friends at Alice's Tea Room - kind of a modern version of an Alice in Wonderland tea party set in a little girl's bedroom (as Dusti described it).  They had great food and I know it sounds weird, but incredible scones.

We are flying back tomorrow, and I have rehearsals all day for the Monteverdi concert.  Don't forget to come  to the concert which is at the Church of the Visitation at 51st & Main in Kansas City on Tuesday at 7:30.  It will be an incredible concert with baroque orchestra comprised of two professional groups from Kansas City and St. Louis, the Conservatory Singers, and I have quite a few solos. I am very excited!  Also, many of the KCVI charity auction items are ending soon.  So please place your bids if you haven't already!  All of the proceeds will provide free music education for children and families in Kansas City.  For more information please visit www.kcvocalinstitute.com/auction.

Thank you to everyone for your encouragement!

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