Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Day After

Last night was a total success. My scenes went off without a hitch.

I guess a little praying backstage never hurt anyone.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Opening Night of All Opening Nights

Tonight is opening night for Poppea. It seems surreal. I don't feel like myself. This is the opening night of my first opera. Ever. I guess it's all-right to feel nervous.

I did well last night at rehearsal so I feel okay about my part. Tammy and Donna both said that I'm doing a good job. I have nothing to fear. If Tammy and Donna both say that I'm good, then I have no choice but to believe them.

I don't have anything else to say. I'm nervous and excited and so ready for this to finally be happening. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Dressing Up Is For Professionals

We had our first dress rehearsal today! It was tons of fun.

I love my costume! It's so cute and extremely comfortable (with the exception of the bust-binding bit...but that's another story). The older kids nicknamed me Peter Pan. I had to ask a guy where his waist is so I knew where to tie the belt. ;)

I had tons of fun running around as Peter Pan/Valletto. I was freezing the moment I went outside, but it was great for the stage. I actually went through a McDonald's drive-through in costume. No one said anything. It was fun.

I'm really too tired to say anything else of consequence. I need sleep so bad. I'll be back with updates soon.

New Name, Same Great Blog

Just FYI so no one freaks out; I'm changing my blog's name from Deepening to Kimozart. Deepening is more of a literary term (Madeleine L'Engle) and this is no longer a literary blog. I wanted to give it a more musical feel. Let me know what you think of the new name!

I realize that I didn't write up my review of the Met's Orfeo yet. I also have another review on the way: it's a DVD review on Zurich's 2007 Clemenza. After the opera's over, I won't have much to talk about anyway so I'll save that stuff for then.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trouser Roles = Not That Scary After All

I'm completely done blocking for Poppea now! I feel like drinking sparkling grape juice or something.

I was pretty nervous before going to rehearsal today (I don't know why; I haven't been nervous for rehearsal since 10th grade) but by the time it was over, I was elated. I get so giddy after rehearsal; I don't know what it is. I just love it so much. There are few things that I love doing more. I'm just so glad that I figured that out now. :)

There's still loads of rehearsing ahead of us/me, but I'm ready for it! The cast is a great bunch of people and I love the directing team. I look forward to it!

I'm going to see Orfeo tonight at the Met. I'm really excited; I love this opera. It is so gorgeous!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Thaïs: Another Amazing Night of Opera

The Met was gorgeous as usual as Mom and I came in from the chilly night air. The familiar chandeliers huge over the anxious crowd. It was closing night for the sold-out run of Thaïs. I was super-excited and little nervous. I'd been counting down the days to this show. First of all, I'd never seen Renée Fleming sing live and I was really pumped for that. Second, Leah had gotten me the chance to go BACKSTAGE to meet Ms. Fleming! As you can imagine, I was a bit of a chattering wreck (poor Mom!).

We got to our family circle seats (which, I heard later, were the best seats that night) and settled in. The gold curtains heralded much extravagance to come. The show couldn't start soon enough.

And finally it did.

The opera was heavenly. There isn't any other word for it. The music was gorgeous, the singing was out-of-this-world incredible, and the costumes/sets were really great. It was so amazing. I just wanted to cry. Mom did (multiple times). I couldn't have asked for a better night.

Renée Fleming's last phrase was easily one of the most incredible things I've ever heard. (The dying-sitting thing was weird, but whatever.) She was at the top of her game that night. I was so sad (and yet excited) when it was over.

Thomas Hampson sang splendidly as well. His Athanaël was extremely well-sung and well-played. He was true to the character and he convinced me; that's all I ever ask. He was so nice when we met him after the show.

My favorite part (beside the final duet because that was just transcendent) was the oasis scene. I can't believe this scene wasn't originally in the opera! This scene makes the opera. It's one of those "Massenet, I LOVE YOU!" moments. The music was gorgeous (sorry; I'm running out of adjectives) and the acting was so great. Ms. Fleming did an amazing job here as Thaïs. She played her as this innocent (almost "little") girl. Everything about her had changed. She wasn't this sexy, empty woman anymore. She was pure and deeply alive. As she herself says, "everything is new." There was a sense of wonder in her character. It was so great to watch onstage. :)

Alright, this isn't much of a review, but this opera is beyond words. It was simply incredible and that's all there is to it. It's coming out on DVD next year and I am definitely buying it. I only wish that they'd recorded the performance I saw. Oh well. You can't have everything.

After the show, I met up with the Renée groupies. It was so great to meet people who are just as crazy as I am! Seriously, though. They were all so sweet and welcoming. It was great to hang with them backstage and during intermission. I met Leah, Chelsea, and Erin at intermission and Sarah (and some other really great groupies) backstage. What a great experience! I was on the list for "Ms. Fleming" and I got to go into the green room. We were waiting there and everyone was telling Renée stories for me (the newbie). Then, she just walks in. I was speechless.

Ms. Fleming didn't have much time to spend with us backstage because she had a special dinner in her honor so she had to be there. But she spoke to us all and signed anything we wanted her to. She signed my copy of her book (which is outstanding, by the way; a must-read for any singer).

Then she went out the stage door, where my Mom was waiting. She signed everything and took pictures out there as well. She always takes time for everyone and she's so low-key and humble. It's crazy! My Mom stopped her and got her to sign our program (she also got Thomas Hampson's signature!) and take a picture with me. I told her what a role model she is for me and she asked if I was a singer. She wished me luck with my singing as she ran off to her engagement. So I was the last person she spoke with.

What a wonderful night! I was on Cloud 9 after that. I want to thank Leah for letting me hang with her and her friends (the groupies) and for my Mom who takes great pictures and is a fellow music-lover.

P.S. Ms. Fleming asks that you excuse her "wig hair." I thought she looked fabulous anyway. :) (And that was one mad-cool wig that she wore!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Poppea Gets a Make-Over

We had our production meeting today. We saw the model of the set (hooray kid's puppet theater!) and the drawings of the costume designs. How exciting!

The set is a construction site but you can't tell if it's being built or being torn down. That works really well with the whole concept of the opera. I'm intrigued. There are so many levels to it and it's very colorful. I'm really diggin' it. :)

My costume for Valletto is really fun. It's an all green "tunic" thing: it's sleeveless and short. It looks like ancient Roman stuff. However, I'm also wearing tennis shoes with high socks (with the two stripes on the top -- you know those!) and sweatbands on my wrists and head. It reminds me of the kid from Juno, Bleeker. Good times.

I've been excited about this opera since it started and I still am. It's NOT my favorite plot (and I don't know who I should actually invite since it could be rather risque), but it's a good production. I'm going to ride this for all it's got. :)

P.S. I'm going to see Thais tomorrow. I can't wait! This is my first time seeing Ms. Fleming sing live and what could be better than Massenet to be the first? (Mozart...that's the only thing that could be better...) I'll be sure to give you a detailed report. It's closing night tomorrow, so if you wanna see it, you'd better get out there tomorrow (or get a bootleg of the HD transmission...bootleg opera- that's a funny idea). Ciao!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

NYC New Year's Eve Gala

I stumbled upon the second half of the New Year's Eve Gala today. Lorin Maazel was his usual, fun self as was Susan Graham. She is such a riot; I love watching her onstage! Her singing was outstanding (except for her missed entrance for "Auld lang syne" after which Lorin Maazel took away her champagne glass - hahah). It was so cool hearing her sing Carmen; she's never played the part, so it was a unique experience to hear her sing the famous arias from that opera. It was just too much fun: she slinked onto the stage already in character. :) And she said she couldn't pull off Carmen!

Her "interview" with Renee Fleming was definitely a highlight. It was so great to see them interact; I know that they're such close friends. It was really cool to see one interviewing the other. It was so laid-back and not an interview; that's what made it fun. There were some priceless moments. Per esempio:

[RF and SG are talking about the operas they've done together, one of which is Der Rosenkavalier]
SG: Yeah, I've been your boyfriend so many times.
RF: (laughs)
SG: It's a hard job, but somebody's gotta do it.
[later; they're talking about why SG has never sung Carmen]
SG: I just don't think I could pull it off. I was always "Sunshine Suzy." I sang all the Cherubinos and Dorabellas.
RF: I think you could do it. I've seen you in action...
SG: Okay, enough said.

Oh, mezzos. It was also interesting to hear about their lives and how they're always traveling but whenever they see each other (which isn't too often), "it's like it's been 5 minutes." The interview was just so...cute. I don't know. I was giggling and it made me want to cry from its sweetness. Molto dolce. Operachanteuse, a fellow blogger, felt the same. (P.S. Thanks for the great photo!)

Ah. I want to see it again. I missed Sesto's aria ("Deh, per questo") and that makes me very sad. I love Susan Graham's Sesto (as you can tell from my review of it here); I would have loved to hear her sing that aria again. Besides, it's pretty funny to hear Sesto in a dress anyway. :)

Speaking of dresses, Ms. Graham looked stunning in that dress. It was really gorgeous. That necklace was perfect for her. And I love her new hair-do! When I saw her in May, she had such short hair. I like the bob; it suits her.

Overall, this gala made me giddy. I want to get it on DVD really bad. I hope someone recorded it or something. *sigh* I wish I wasn't so sick for New Year's; I would have been more on the ball. Besides, my DVD recorder is broken (sadness) so I couldn't have gotten it even if I wanted to. :(

Well, I'm glad that I saw what I did. :) Happy New Year to you all!