Thursday, December 13, 2012

First Semester Finished!

I can't believe I'm already finished with the first semester of grad school. It's been quite an adventure. I had my one written final this morning, and since then I have been working on the Midsummer Night's Dream DVDs. I should have at least a few that I can distribute at the cast party tonight (and in the spirit of Hannukah, it's a Latkes and Vodkas party!)

In a few days I get to return home to California. This was such a productive and fruitful semester. I think I've made a lot of vocal progress with Nova, and she and my coach have given me a lot of guidance on what to do next in my career. I am applying for several summer programs, which should help me network with people in the field as well as get some hands-on training with professionals who have been in my position. Now it's a matter of auditioning and finding out how to pay for them :/

Having Midsummer and opera scenes finished is a big sigh of relief from me. I had a good few days to getr all my final papers in order. I think they all came out pretty good. My mother was impressed (impressing a Literacy Specialist with my words... w00t w00t).

The last choir performance was absolutely spectacular! The Symphonic Choir performed again at Carnegie Hall (how lucky are we!?) and this time with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra and Gustavo Dudamel! He is just so, so amazing to watch and hear. The orchestra is a group of young people (high school and college ages, roughly) and they are so amazingly enthusiastic and brilliant, brilliant performers. It's such a pleasure to work with them and an inspiration! Those of us who have been in education know how hard it is to instill that kind of discipline in young people, and this Venezuelan orchestra was born out of some of the most impoverished neighborhoods in the world. Il Sistema has been such a wonderful program for young people to learn music, and look at them now! I'm humbled.

Now that all has been said and done for Fall 2012, I'm going to go visit with my friends, have a beer, and enjoy the couple of days left in New Jersey before heading home for the holidays.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Day of the Show!

I can't believe it! All the work and today is my one chance to perform it for people. I'm glad I learned the role of Tytania, I think she's a great study for me. The technical challenges of the piece were extensive, but enjoyable none-the-less.

The rehearsals have been long and a bit tedious... That's not to say it wasn't worth it! The final result is fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed watching last night's cast perform. Seeing all of the work we've all put in come together is magical.

The Benjamin Britten score is just such an amazing thing to hear with the orchestra and with the staging. The use of motif is so wonderfully characterized. Each group of characters has the most well-planned theme. The interludes of fairy music have now been filled (in our staging) by adorable interactions between the fairies. And the fairies are just so darn cute... Watching them last night was my favorite part of the show, along with watching Francis Flute in the Thisby costume for the "play with a play." He really steals the show in the last act.

I hope to have some pictures to post soon. It looks absolutely amazing. The costumes are edgy and sexy, and though the set has a simple construction, it offers a lot of layer and texture to the scenes. I think audience members will enjoy the aesthetic, despite it straying from the traditional Elizabethan or Greek look, often used for this show.

 Well, I can't wait to put on a show tonight! Better have my breakfast and start my vocalizing!

Broken Heart and Raspy Voice: The California Fires

I am so so heartbroken for all the people who have lost their homes this month in the California fires. The flames were visible from my pare...

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