Well, reality has hit like a ton of bricks - in a good way. I have had several coachings already. They have gone somewhat well. One that I had yesterday really has helped in many ways. Helen Todd, the director of the opera program at Sugar Creek, had me sing through some things. She was very blunt and honest, which is sometimes a tough thing for people to hear, especially for me. But, I have made some small but radical changes as of late. People have always complained to me that I have sounded thin in the past, and so I created a more robust sound, but other things have suffered for that - most noticeably the squillo of my high notes. Squillo refers to the brilliance of the tone. Well, with one small change, I have been able to sing so easily with great depth. I have had to make myself not be so athletic...I can overdo it sometimes with force. Ever since that ego check, my voice has been in great shape. I am very excited for some other performing opportunities coming up to show this new sound off, and get used to the feeling of it all. That is the only way that this will become habitual. Very honestly, I feel like a tenor for once. With my voice, there was always something that was too baritone-y or too young, but now I feel like it is in a great high, ringy place. I am excited to show it off this fall at the Conservatory.
I sang a recital last night that seemed to go well. The oddest part was that there was a giant window behind where we were performing that you could look out into a parking lot and the neighborhood. At one point, a homeless-looking man slowly walked from the far end of the parking lot towards the window at a very slow pace. Upon reaching the front of the parking lot - now just across the street from our performance - he made a right turn and walked along the sidewalk until he was out of view. All the while - the entirety of his walk - he was picking his nose! He had no idea that right across the street 50 people were watching him the entire time while an aria was being sung.
My home stay, as you may know, is way out of town in the middle of a corn field with hundreds of gigantic wind turbines surrounding it. This has made my living situation incredibly relaxing. I haven't watched TV since I arrived, which is an amazing feat in itself. At night, the fields light up neon green with millions of fireflies - it's one of the most incredible things you'll ever see. The turbines, which rise hundreds of feet into the air, all have a red light that blinks on their top. These hundreds of turbines all blink in unison. It is quite a nice place to be...and the stars at night are incredible!
That's all for now, I will be back every other day or so...perhaps with video sometime...but I have been very impressed with the artists here, and the support. It is great to hear so many positive comments from everyone. I am very excited for not only the near future but what my voice has in store in the long run. And all the singers out there can attest, it is awfully difficult to be critical of yourself and enjoy the outcome. It's one thing to do something right once, and yet another thing to repeat it. Right now, I am so excited that something has stuck, and it is working well!