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Showing posts from 2012

Stress: It's Really a Killer (Especially for us Thespians!)

Although in the past three months I've been very busy singing at lots of different places and experiencing the joy of being able to perform and bring enjoyment (hopefully) to lots of audience members, I have been experiencing quite a lot of depressing thoughts and having trouble motivating myself to keep moving forward on this (seemingly endless) career path.

I sang the role of Konstanze in Laubach, Germany in my first-ever open-air opera performance, and I also participated in Joan Dorneman's IVAI in Virginia for the second year in a row, where I got many hours of vital coaching and lessons with the best vocal professionals from New York and around the world.  I have two other potential engagements coming up in the months ahead, and I have received positive critical feedback from more agents than ever before.  Even though it seems like I should be 'on cloud 9' right now, I am feeling more like I dropped into a labyrinth of delusion and despair.

I am guessing that the…

"Vocal Rest": A Gift for Everyone to Experience!

There is a, perhaps outside of the professional singing community, little-known phenomenon called "vocal rest" which has recently made a big difference in my life.  I'd like to share how it all happened, because--a blog necessitates that sharing between me and you (the reader) goes on to ensure that you know more about me, and through writing I know more about me, and through reading my writing, perhaps you find out more about yourself, as well.

Anyway, I've been on "vocal rest" (which for a non-singer just means not talking at all for a certain period of time...literally 'resting your voice' by not using it---simple enough, right?) because I actually have been singing too much and my voice isn't sounding or working as well as it normally does.  Now, even though I actually went on "vocal rest" because I wanted to allow my singing voice to recuperate, in addition to that happening, it has also given me the time to notice a number of th…

Audition Tactics for Emerging Opera Singers?

Are there such things as audition tactics for Emerging Opera Singers to use to their advantage in order to be the one chosen for an engagement?  That's exactly what I've been asking myself these past few months in order to figure out how I can improve my number of successful auditions completed, and in this case, successful means that I got chosen to sing the role.  So, I've read a LOT of industry publications, Classical Singer, for example, and every interview I could get my hands on with someone who is right beyond where I currently am (a.k.a. working consistently at reputable opera houeses and not just intermittently) and, I have come to the sad, but perhaps logical conclusion in this very fickle business of mine and yours, that there is no straight forward way to systematically improve yourself in order to get hired.  Everyone is looking for something different (in terms of things that you can change outside of having a good voice and being a believeable actress/actor…

My Audition for Operklosterneuburg, an Austrian Summer Opera Festival

In January of this year, I auditioned for the Operklosterneuburg, a very important summer opera festival in a town called Klosterneuburg, which is approximately twenty minutes outside of Vienna in a northerly direction with the regional train.  They were looking for singers for the Donizetti opera, Don Pasquale and I thought that the role of Norina would be well-suited to my voice (though perhaps not quite fully yet to sing it in a large opera house- therefore I auditioned for this program which serves also as a sort of a 'final-step' for emerging opera singers).

I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the entire experience actually, although in the end I was not chosen for the role.  Therefore I will bore you with details of how my own audition went since you already know the result (ha!) but instead I'll give you a brief synopsis of how it was for me to travel there, so that you too can get an idea of what might be awaiting you if you plan on auditioning.

I too…

DON JUAN IN HANKEY,PA: Surprise Blog Tour Visit!

The characters of DON JUAN IN HANKEY, PA are milling around backstage in the Hankey Opera House. Vivian is dusting the green room. Oriane, who is eight months pregnant, is waddling down the hall. Leandro Vasquez is reading about himself in the Sound Bites pages of Opera News. Arnaud is trying on women’s clothes in the costume shop.

Knobby (general manager of the Hankey Opera Company, via the intercom): All right. Everybody on stage. Let’s go.

Characters are mumbling things like, "Now what does he want?" "Still barking out orders, is he?" "The book’s over, you numbskull."

Knobby: Are we all here? Okay, pipe down people. A sprightly young soprano, Julia Katherine Walsh, who very much enjoyed the book, would like to ask you all a question—the same question. Here’s what she wants to know. What would have happened to our production of Don Giovanni if you had not been a part of putting it together? Anybody want to start?

Characters grow silent, pensive.

Oriane (h…