Day 6: still New York…

OK, I wasn’t kidding. It really is all about the shoes. The flight to Houston tonight was showing, of course, The Devil Wears Prada. I unplugged my headphones from my iPod, which was dutifully chipping away at some Handel opera casting problems, and plugged into some of Hollywood’s cheap thrills. That movie makes me glad there are probably no more entry-level jobs in my life.

Audition Aria Thoughts

Sopranos – A nice English aria alternative to Baby Doe, etc. is Tiny’s Aria from Paul Bunyan. Reasonable for a pianist to sightread; 4 minutes long; musially quite satisying.

Mezzos – Perhaps some of you could give Smanie a rest. Look into Dorabella’s É amore un ladroncello.

Tenors – Anyone ever tried Morire from La rondine? Puccini, but not terribly heavy. Short, with a high B (I think) at the end.

The Week in New York

This week included the hands-down best rendition of O luce di quest’anima that I’ve heard in audition. Strictly speaking, not one of my favorite pieces, but this singer made me actually wish I could hear it again.

An epidemic of fabulous basses brought us multiple (all very satisfying) hearings of Wie schön ist doch die Musik.

We were also treated to a gorgeously sung Cendrillon excerpt that renewed my (futile) interest in producing the piece. I played rehearsals for it ages ago with Frederica von Stade, and I’ve had a soft place for it in my heart ever since.

We’re not halfway done yet, but I can safely say that some of the sung-to-death aria trends are reversing. We’ve only heard one Pamina (the run-away favorite last year), and two Anne Truloves. Mezzos seem to be avoiding coloratura (heard the first Cruda sorte today), we’re hearing fewer Rosinas than ever before, and no one has sung Non piu mesta. We’ve not heard a lot of tenors, so the statistics aren’t clear. The Count is still the baritone favorite, but we’ve yet to hear one of last year’s two runners-up (Billy in the Darbies). And not a single bass has sung Madamina!

Welcome to Texas

7 hours tomorrow in a Houston Grand Opera rehearsal studio. Wish us luck!

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