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.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Rhinebeck Wildlife - 1, Kim - 0

Well, here I am at my new pad in Rhinebeck.  Do you like my backyard?  (I'm told that it's technically the front yard, but I can't bring myself to think of it that way.)  It's been a bunch of work getting settled in, but I think that I'm finally ready to go.  I've got a stash of Goldfish, so I'm all set. ;)

I went to the farmer's market this morning and they had an entire beehive on display.  It was amazing and a bit scary to see so many bees in one place.  Most of them stayed in the glass structure, but some came and went, landing on the bottles of their honey or just flying around aimlessly.  I found it so strange that the bees were completely ignoring the people, who were rather close to the bees' honey stash.

Later, I went to the mall to pick up a few things and as I was getting into my car, I felt a sharp pain on my arm.  I looked and a bee was sitting there, stinging me.  What's the chance?  I haven't been stung in at least five years, so I forgot what it feels like.  In the words of a famous British kid, "It hurt and it's still hurting."  I drove home, my arm swelling up and throbbing, and I couldn't get over the irony of it all.

After some ice, pain killers, and weird home remedies, it's doing much better.  On the bright side, I'm all moved in and ready to start orientation tomorrow.  My classes start on Tuesday.  I'm equal parts nervous and excited, which I must admit is a bit confusing.  But I know that I'm as prepared as I can be, so I'm just going to ride this thing out and do my absolute best.  I know that in a week I'll feel better about everything.

It's just amazing to see one of my dreams coming true right before my eyes.  It's been an interesting adventure getting to this point and I know that my journey as a singer will only continue to be thrilling, challenging, and unexpected.  So, here's to a new chapter!  I'm sure that I'll have tons more stories to tell soon.