Monthly Archives: March 2014

Aside

March 2014 Last year, I completed my Master’s in Opera Performance and moved to NYC. Now I’m working full-time at a challenging-but-always-interesting job, and I can jaywalk like a native. People say this has been the coldest winter in a … Continue reading

In the works update (March 22, 2014)

IN THE WORKS @ March 22, 2014

I am absolutely thrilled to be singing the role of Echo in Ariadne auf Naxos this summer in New York.

  • Conducted by Lloyd Arriola
  • Celebrating Strauss @ 150
  • Our first rehearsal/meeting is next Saturday!
  • Further details TBA

Prepping to do some recording since I don’t have anything recent:

  • Presentation of the rose from Der Rosenkavalier
  • “Da tempeste” from Giulio Cesare

I also made the decision to travel across the country to sing in Musical Merit again. The plane ticket was expensive, and it’s a lot of rep to put together – but I know myself, and I know I would regret not giving it a shot. So without any expectations, instead, with a focus on preparing my music with as much passion as possible and using what I’ve learned in the last 8 months, here I go:

  • “Solitudini amiche … Zeffiretti lusinghieri” from Idomeneo
  • Presentation of the rose from Der Rosenkavalier
  • “Silver Aria” from The Ballad of Baby Doe
  • “Phöbus eilt mit schnellen Pferden” from Cantata 202 (Bach)
  • Green (Debussy)
  • Breit’ über mein Haupt (Strauss)
  • At the Well (Hageman)
  • Zion’s Walls (Copland)

Since I love biting off more than is smart to bite off, I’m also hoping to have other announcements in the next few months. But no matter how things play out, it’s going to be an incredible summer. I know I’ve made some progress out here, and I will keep moving forward, keep getting stronger, and keep stretching that extension. Thank you to everyone who has been cheering me along – my family, Baritone Boy, my teacher, my coach, and my friends. Thank you, thank you!

San Diego Opera: Memories and a Turning Point

“There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.” – Louis L’amour

It’s been almost three years since I lived in San Diego, but this week it was almost as if I were transported back to the beach, back to the Civic Theater, right back into my memories of San Diego Opera by the outpouring of emotions following the announcement that SDO would be no more after this season. I know the sadness I feel is likely not at the level of those who have been part of SDO for many, many years or those of my friends who performed in the Verdi Requiem this past Thursday… But my heart is with you all.

I couldn’t help but reminisce about  my first production with SDO. Madame Butterfly, sung by Patricia Racette. How that was my first up-close experience with opera. How I was at a point in my life when I was truly questioning what I was doing with my life (working and not singing). How I desperately wanted to pursue music again. How I wanted to start voice lessons again. How I was cast as a super, and during a rehearsal found the courage to strike up a conversation with a chorister who referred me to a teacher.

That teacher, Dianna, would then introduce me Enrique, who hugely impacted my life and saw me off to graduate school. It was while studying with Enrique that I was hired for the SDO chorus for Turandot with Lise Lindstrom. That was my first experience singing in an opera. I still remember how nervous I was walking across the plaza from the parking garage to the rehearsal space. How excited I was to sign in on the chorister sign-in sheet. How unsure I was as to where I was supposed to sit and then the relief that there a seating chart. How magical it was to be part of that group, making that music together. How I loved every moment, didn’t mind the long rehearsals, couldn’t wait to do it again. How I was actually sick during one of the performance weekends and was on some crazy cough suppressant that made me a bit loopy. How my dressing room partner read my Tarot cards, and how I was so antsy about getting into grad school and wondering what life held in store for me.

I never had a concrete plan for moving back to San Diego, but I always hoped that I would have the chance to sing as part of the SDO family again. It is surreal that this hazy dream/assumption might not ever have a real shot at happening. Over the past few days, I’ve observed my friends and colleagues react to this shocking announcement and work through their emotions. There were expressions of deep sadness, a sense of loss, grief, bewilderment, denial, and yes, there was also disbelief and anger… and then I witnessed a turning point when beyond the anger was a seed of defiance, an unwillingness to just sit back and let this happen.

Times are changing. Every opera singer, every classical musician, everyone involved in the performing arts knows that keeping an opera company afloat is a challenge and that most companies are struggling. I’m watching my friends mourn the end of SDO while I try to reconcile myself to the idea of a San Diego withouth San Diego Opera. But I also see the ideas being thrown around, the passion this has stirred, the fight that my friends still have left in them.

To anyway who is reading this, to all my friends in San Diego, to all those who at one point thought about going to San Diego to be involved in opera – don’t give up this city, on music, on opera. When one door closes another opens. I have the feeling that something amazing will rise from these ashes.

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La Jolla Cove. La Jolla, 2012.