Learning from the Past

Let’s kick off this audition season by taking a look back at previous audition tour posts.

My rambling entries tend to cover multiple topics, which is either maddeningly or refreshingly, depending on your point of view. Realize that you may need to scroll down to find what you’re looking for.

Aria Frequency Lists: Who’s offering what and how often. Fall 2006, Fall 2005, Opening arias – Fall 2006 (who’s starting with what)

Off the Beaten Path: Ideas for arias that everyone else isn’t singing

Portfolio: Thoughts about resumes

Wolf Trap Repertoire: The Short List

The Audition Pianist: Help the pianist help you.

What Is That Audition Panel Doing? Pay no attention to them.

Random Audition Advice: Second-guessing and snapping

Staging? How Much is Too Much? An observation and a reply

The Elephant in the Room: Singing in tune

A Substitute for the Memory I Don’t Have: The big bad database

Acoustics: Is it dry in here?

Rant: Sing in tune

We Can’t Schedule Everyone: Behind the screening process

Audition Tour Statistics: Crunching the numbers

Grab Bag: Regional accents, soprano traps, and audition room acoustics; Dishing, long arias, and pacing

What We Listen For: Focus, authenticity, spontaneity, specificity, energy, humor, skill, and courage. Yes, all at the same time. I never said it was easy.

A Long and Beautiful Old Age

Please excuse the digression, but I must include pictures of the end of this freakishly long summer of flowers.

The life cycle of my garden sustains and entertains me. Its springtime infancy is high-maintenance but oh-so-adorable with baby-sized bursts of color and energy. The early summer adolescence is exciting but increasingly unruly with bursts of threatening weeds and other interlopers. Mid and late summer (coincidentally when I have absolutely no time to spend in the garden), my carefully chosen flowers are generally self-sufficient and independent.

But in late summer and fall, the garden enters old age, and a certain calm sets it. The showiest flowers have come and gone, and it’s finally time for the patient ones to shine. Sedum, asters, mums, grasses. I wish for myself an old age like this – to watch calmly while the big shots’ stars flame out, then finally step forward in confidence and serenity.

And this year, the late-bloomers are enjoying an unprecedented length of stay. Yes, I know, global warming, and all that. It’s a serious matter. But here on my little patch of dirt, the flowers and I have a little reprieve before the darkness closes in.

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