Friday, 25 May 2012

How do you choose what the right step is next?
I have recently been offered some awesome things.  Here is a fun list.
Paid work to sing in the chorus of a three-week run of Carmen this summer.
Sing at the Kleinersaal of the Berlin Philharmonie for a chamber music series.
Pay to sing Gilda/Rigoletto in November.
Sing Barbarina/Le Nozze di Figaro for the Lyric Opera Studio of Weimar.
Sing the Brentano Lieder in recital in Berlin with a great pianist/conductor.
Sing a concert of Händel and a new(er) song cycle by Jonathan Dove at home.
I also have two auditions over the next fortnight that are important to me.
Ok.  Help!! I currently don’t officially have a teacher.  How the blazes do you decide what to go for, what to say yes to, what is too much, what might be better to do later?
With sleep, a level head, instinct and thinking loosely of a long-term plan.  Speak to your friends and people you trust.  And listen to them.
I jumped at the chance of being paid to do Carmen.  This is a great way of getting stage experience in a small summer festival that takes place in the lakes south west of Berlin.  Plus points: it’s local, good contacts and paid.   I decided against singing Gilda.  I asked so many people their opinions, and firstly the resounding response was; NEVER pay to sing in a professional house.  The performance would have been an einspringen (jump in at the last minute, minimal rehearsal) and I am still very young.  Rigoletto is Verdi after all and better not to scramble the old vocal chords in your mid-twenties.  I also decided to turn down Barbarina, it clashed with Carmen and was a summer course that had a hefty price tag attached.  Lovely offer and was a great confidence boost, but I think I will be glad to be staying in Berlin for the summer.  Singing in a chamber concert as part of a group of singers at the Berlin Phil – YES please.  Singing Händel at home?  Amazing – I get to see family and friends and it will be the first time I’ve been home in half a year.  Learn the Brentano Lieder as well as all my audition rep…  Hard, but not impossible if you’re focused and have time to prepare with the right coaching and assistance.
The task now is to really learn all of the repertoire required.  Mix solo work with chorus work, recital with oratorio, opera arias with auditions and song cycles in concert.  I feel like I have musical dots coming out of my ears.
Luckily I am going to PARIS for a week in two days.  My music is going with me, so it won’t be the most relaxing of holidays.  I plan on doing a couple of hours work on getting all the new music into the ‘body’ (as the Baron would say) and working on the text each day.  Our temporary neighbours in the Bastille are going to love.  I will not get distracted by everything going on in Berlin and instead, I will get on with memorizing and studying (and maybe some sight-seeing and wine drinking).  I’m really excited.
I think I’ve made the right choices.   And I genuinely can’t believe all these things seem to be coming my way.

Lucky girl.

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