The (Repertoire) Matrix?

This past week I started looking at some international competitions (which I’ll wait on even though my first response was to check deadlines and jump in) and became just a tad despondent.  If I were to enter these competitions, I would need to learn so much new music to fulfill the requirements; even with all the pieces I’ve learned in the last 12 months, I still don’t have a big enough rep list to pull from.  How far off in the future is the day when I can look at a list of requirements and choose (most) pieces from my existing repertoire?  It’s exhausting and stressful to be polishing new repertoire in the days leading up to the audition or competition.  Yes, there’s always room for deeper exploration of the character; no, I don’t want to give the exact same rendition each time; and yes, I want my pieces to evolve as I challenge myself with new technical or artistic options… but it would be so nice to not feel that I’m racing to learn music just in time all the time.

BASOTI will keep me busy this next month, but I definitely plan on learning at least 3 new pieces before moving to Arizona.  I need an up-beat Italian piece, so I am working on Norina’s “Quel guardo, il cavaliere…So anch’io la virtù magica” from Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.  I love it (especially this performance by Leontina Vaduva).  My rep list is heavy on the Romantic and needs more Baroque and Classical pieces, so “Un cenno leggiadretto” from Handel’s Serse is on my list.  That’s another Italian piece, so “Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln” from Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail will balance it out.  Unfortunately, these last two will have to wait because I don’t have the sheet music for them yet.  So I’ll work on some art songs instead!  For a German leid: “Strauss’ Ich wollt ein Sträußlein binden” (this is going to be the tough one).  For a French mélodie: Debussy’s “Green” (which I want to revisit and memorize).  For an American art song: Copland’s floating “Pastorale.”  Three languages, two 20th century, one romantic.  It’s all music I am excited to delve into – getting a little giddy and can’t wait to start tomorrow.

Now I just need to map out a strategy for picking music once I start school in the fall.  It would be fun to devote an entire month to a specific language or time period, but I don’t think that will give me enough variety.  Hm, maybe I’ll make a matrix of time periods and languages and rotate through them:

This may have promise… I’ll try it out at the start of fall to see if it works.  My strategy may need to change once I find out specific requirements for my aria preparation and expression classes.  Plus, I’ll need to tailor my repertoire schedule to whatever competitions I find in Arizona… until then, I’ll work on these three art songs and three arias!

Overdosing on youtube videos (like this one and this one) and staying up to ungodly hours looking through scores,


4 responses to “The (Repertoire) Matrix?

  1. Thanks, Caroline! The tessitura is a bit high and doesn’t give the voice much time to rest … I’ll tackle this one later in the month!

  2. I love Durch Zärtlichkeit! I’m sure you’ll rock it.

  3. I miss you so much!!! And I love this idea of yours. Will definitely be setting up my own table so I can beef up the sparser categories ❤ ❤ ❤

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