We are struggling with summer repertoire and calendars that refuse to bend to our will. This is business as usual for anyone who’s insane enough to choose singers simultaneously with repertoire. But it’s worsened by the severe limitations of our two venues – one that’s so small and specific that you have to be very careful not to overextend it, and one that so huge and busy that it’s hard to carve out just the right niche.
We’re used to this masochistic December exercise, but this year is one of the more challenging I can remember. The whole puzzle is never complete until well after the new year, but by this point the number of variables should be on the decline. Sadly, the options are increasingly daily, and my head just might explode.
Anyway, this too shall pass. I’m just trolling for sympathy (and impunity for the dearth of blog postings….)
Short Attention Span
In the meantime, here’s some interesting surfing:
If you’re looking for a sartorial summary of this fall’s audition tour, visit Rahree’s Audition Recap: Fashion Edition.
Chicago Opera Theatre’s Brian Dickie has a host of on-the-money comments in his recent “mock” audition blog post.
From Seth Godin, a short post that I read at least five times: The Noise. As attracted as I am to all things Web 2.0, I often feel as if I’m drowning. “The thing is, not all data is equal, and measuring the truth based on volume is almost certain to get you in trouble.”
And finally, if you haven’t yet stumbled on the YouTube Symphony, you should check it out. I’m curious, skeptical, and jazzed all at the same time. I wish I didn’t have a day job (well, not really… that’s not something you can joke about these days… but you know what I mean), and I would kick off a YouTube Opera. I can already imagine it. That is, minus the couple thousand hours it would take to implement it…
Since You’ve Asked
I’m also derelict on responses to blog comments/questions. Let’s try to remedy that.
Just curious: if you have a doubts about “real” fach of mezzo, do you ever mentioned in your feedback your doubts? What is the proportions of “true” or “doubtful” mezzo? Voce di donna, seems, impossible to sing being not a true mezzo (as it should be a contralto). If you have to choose, would you prefer for your studio the “true” one but less polished or zwischen with a better technique?
I will only mention our doubts about Fach if asked. We can have our opinions, but we’d be fools to believe that we have the definitive answers based on a 10-minute audition once a year. And the whole thing is a sliding scale. There are plenty of successful mezzos out there who are considered by some to be sopranos-in-disguise. It’s a combination of the relative size and projection of the voice in its various registers, where the natural breaks lie, the subjective “color” of the sound, and the way in which it handles the extremes of the mezzo tessitura. As for choices for the Studio, we try not to get too bound up in this with undergraduates. But because our Studio does sing some chorus roles in our operas, we need women who will sing the mezzo line. All we care is that these ladies are self-described mezzos who are singing comfortably and effectively in that register at this moment. What they will become, and whether or not they are emergent lyric or dramatic sopranos doesn’t matter.