Thursday, September 27, 2012

First Semester Run-Down

It's been a while, I know, but you should forgive me because I've been running like the Energizer Bunny.  When I'm not studying or practicing or trying to reclaim the use of my brain, I'm irrevocably asleep.  In short: I love this program but it's a heck of a lot of work.

In other words, I'm in heaven.

It's only fair to catch you all up, though.  Basically, I have class every day except Friday, when we all pile into a van and drive down to NYC for our voice lessons.  Needless to say, a van full of singers is never a dull experience.  Thankfully, our driver has a strict no-singing policy, so we all stay more or less sane.  The best part is when one of us brings a home-baked snack.  We have some really serious bakers in this program.

My Core class is definitely my favorite.  It's a combination of literature, poetry, and art song study.  We're all required to learn one art song per week.  We have to recite the text for the class, give some background on the piece, and then get coached on the piece in a master-class type setting.  Right now, we're reading Wilhelm Meister's Apprenticeship and studying Goethe.  I love Goethe's poetry, so this has been a blast for me.  I also happen to love the German language, so memorizing the poetry hasn't been too bad.  It's definitely a challenge to have an art song performance-ready in one week, but everyone has risen to the occasion.

I'm also taking the following classes: German diction, German language and translation, acting, movement, Alexander Technique, and coachings.  I coach with the heads of the program, Kayo Iwama and Dawn Upshaw, and also with my collaborative pianists.  I've been getting so much feedback and it's been so extremely helpful.

We have our first public concert, "Arias and Barcarolles," next Wednesday.  I'm excited to sing for the community.  I've also been assigned to a smaller concert later in October.  It's great to have a venue to perform recital works more than once a year.

My current assignment in Core is Wolf's setting of Mignon's song, "So lasst mich scheinen."  I love the creepy factor of this piece and the surprising harmonic shifts.  Wolf really understood this strange character.  Here's a performance by Arleen Auger from 1988.

No comments: