Thursday, February 26, 2009

Covering and Hovering

Opening night of "Giulio Cesare" is tonight! Consequently, we've been in dress rehearsals all week. And of course, half the cast wasn't feeling well. Everything seems to be fine now. But Wednesday was totally different. The Cornelia in that cast (tonight's cast) wasn't planning to sing any of her arias on Wednesday to save her voice. My cast had to be in the Green Room at 6 for notes from our director and were free to go after that. After I got my notes (one of which included lifting Achilla higher in his death scene so that he's in the light...basically putting his whole torso on my legs and chest)I found Maestro and asked he if wanted me to stay for anything. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to ask if I could sing the arias, so I tried to be sneaky about it. At first he said he didn't need me for anything, but I must have given him a look or something, because then the lights in his eyes went on and he said, "Actually, do you want to sing the arias? That would be wonderful!"

And I did.

I think this was the biggest adrenaline rush of my life. I'd never sung totally solo with an orchestra before; I'd done two SATB quartets with orchestra before, but nothing this large or this intense. I hadn't rehearsed with them, and had only worked with Maestro once. So, when it came time for one of Cornelia's arias, I walked to the side of the stage and sang while the actual singer did the acting. I think for the most part it went well; I know for the first 5 or so measures of "Priva son" that I was behind, but I had trouble hearing the orchestra at first, and didn't realize how behind I was until Maestro and Marcello started motioning for me to speed it up. And for those of you who don't know the aria, the introduction beat. Downbeat, sing. This is scary. But after I got in sync with the orchestra, I felt that it went very well. I won't lie, it was a bit awkward to walk onstage in my jeans, tennis shoes, and sweater and sing an aria from the side of the stage while everyone else was in full costume and makeup. But several of the people in attendance that evening complimented me on how I sang. And while the chances of me actually singing Cornelia in this run are extremely slim, I'm so glad I had this experience, especially because much of her music is very exposed and scary if you've never done it before. But now I know I can indeed do it!

For those of you interested in watching the performance but can't make it to Bloomington, here is the link to live streaming.
Streaming begins at 7:45 Eastern Time. I will be singing in the February 28th and March 6th casts.
And here is the link to the official website for the production.

The photo was taken on one of the dress rehearsals. I don't know who took it, but thank you whoever you are! This is my first scene in the opera. On a side note, the label inside my headdress says it's from the Met, from a production of "Aida". This may be the closest to the Met I ever get, but it still makes me feel cool.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Cesare Top 10, Week 2 of Staging

What's new with Cesare:

1. I have Cornelia memorized!
2. My Nireno costume was made for a man, so I'm sort of swimming in it. But it makes me look cool. And they're adjusting it.
3. Supporting a 6'4'' bass-baritone during his death scene isn't easy.
4. If I would end up singing a performance of Cornelia, I would get felt up by 4 different guys.
5. Tolomeo's death scene is going to rock, hardcore.
6. My Italian, according to our coach, is getting better each time!!
7. Being slap happy with previously bass-baritone, diction coach, and another mezzo is quite fun.
8. I'm performing in the inside cast (the "Remus", as in Romulus and Remus, cast), which performs on February 28 and March 6. If you can't see it live, catch it on the live streaming over the Internet. More details to come.
9. Maestro is one of the most amazing people I've ever worked with. Actually, this whole cast and production team is just brilliant!
10. I can't wait for this show!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What's keeping Lydia busy?

As of Sunday, I am officially the cover for the role of Cornelia in Giulio Cesare in addition to singing the role of Nireno.
This will be the least amount of time I've ever had to learn something of this magnitude, but I am thrilled that I was asked to do this, and want to prove that it wasn't a mistake to pick a sophomore to learn this role in less than a month.
In other words, I'm thrilled beyond belief, but I have more work to do than I ever have before.