Sunday, February 20, 2011

Pants or Skirts?

If I project my schedule into May, I will have done no pants roles for 10 months. NO pants roles. 10 months. I never thought those two ideas would occur in the same sentence.

Skirt roles can be fun and interesting and challenging and complex. Donna Elvira was nothing short of a challenge (in every sense of the word) and now I'm confronted with another challenging role: Carmen. I'm also happy to play a romantic lead (Hermia) even though I'm a bit miscast since she's supposed to be short (haha).

It's just a bit jarring to go from all those pants roles to absolutely none. I never realized how freeing playing a pants role can be. When I was playing Orlofsky, I showed up to rehearsal every day in jeans and sneakers and lounged around all day. When I played Elvira, I had to wear a pencil skirt, high heels, and a 1950s style corset every day. As Orlofsky, I could basically do whatever I wanted but as Elvira, I had to hold myself to her exacting standards. I mean, those are the difference between those two roles specifically, but I think, in general, as a pants role you can run around and have fun but as a skirts role, you have to be on your toes and walking on eggshells, just as most women do every day.

So it's just another change that's happening right now. I'm sure I'll be playing pants roles again soon enough. I mean, who knows what I'll be doing in a few months? Only time will tell.

In the meantime, I'd love to share one of my favorite new videos, courtesy of the lovely Joyce Didonato. And if you asked me, I'd pick pants any day. ;)

Monday, February 7, 2011

What's With All The Preparing? Just Go!

It's hallway time -- that place between the closing door and the opening one.

Closing door: Don Giovanni

I got my first review! Sure, it's only in my school newspaper, but my name was mentioned and in the printed article there was a picture of me holding a gun to Don Giovanni's head so I'm more than happy to share it with the world. Naturally, my favorite line from the review is: "The three female leads Pecce, Feltkamp, and Fabian had voices so powerfully moving that they made the show." :)

Don Giovanni: The Man, The Myth, The Sex Addict (not my colorful title, but the author's)

Opening door: Grad school auditions

I'm less than a week away from my first audition! I'm very excited and a bit nervous, but I know that I'm ready. Or, at least, as ready as I'll ever be. I did some last minute shopping yesterday to spruce up my audition attire, so I feel that my preparations are officially complete. I'm grateful that this first audition is so much earlier than the others because it gives me a chance to learn from this first experience and have time to implement some improvements before my next set of auditions at the end of the month.

Things just keep zooming along and I have to do everything I can just to hang on.

Oh! And I'd love to extend my congratulations to the lovely Cecilia Bartoli on her (long-awaited) marriage to the talented Oliver Widmer! I wish them all the happiness in the world.

I'm always so happy to hear about people in the opera world getting married. I'm not sure that it happens often enough, but when it does happen, it always brings a little bit of sunshine into my day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Questo il fin

Don Giovanni, my work and my passion for the past 9 months, has come to a close. It's always strange and difficult to say goodbye to something that was such a huge part of your life for such a long time. Of course I'm not overly sad because 1. it was such a rewarding and satisfying experience and 2. it's never "goodbye forever" with opera because there's always the chance that you will play that role again. However, this cast and this production was a one-time thing and I will miss it, but I'm not sad at all because it was such a positive experience and I feel accomplished.

This production involved a ton of "firsts" for me:
-first time playing a woman
-having something more than terza donna
-working with a conductor who is not my professor
-bowing last (woman)
-"receiving" the maestro during the bows
-curtsying (!) during the bows
-singing a role that's often considered a "soprano" role
-performing secco recitative in a full-length opera
And there were many more-- I'm sure of it.

I think the worst part about closing a show is putting aside the character. Elvira was fun and she had so much energy. I learned from her and from the journey that it took to find her. I will miss singing her music and living her life, but I'm happy because I had the opportunity to do so in the first place.

For me, the end of a show, more than anything else, births gratitude. I am constantly in awe of the wonderful and incredible things that I'm able to experience and be a part of. Now I have to go back to "normal life" and get ready for some more important things. It's different, but it's still exciting. There is so much to prepare for and to look forward to.

So I'll leave you with a few visual highlights from the show. As usual, I adored my costume, which is something that I always hate giving back.

Pictures Courtesy of David Salazar (#1 & #3) and Joseph Estrema (#2).