Category Archives: Opportunities

Performing, relishing, enjoying my craft.

New Year, New Audition Outlook

Happy New Year again! The lunar new year was just last week on February 19th, and Baritone Boy and I enjoyed a wonderful if not-quite-traditional celebration at home after a long day of work for both of us. I lack the culinary skills to create a real Chinese New Year feast, but I did stop by Chinatown on the way home for groceries and successfully cobbled together a meal inspired by the foods that remind me most of home and family: noodle soup, potstickers, zongzi (sticky rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), and nian gao (sticky new year’s cake). Each course brings to mind very specific family memories, so this meal made me feel close to my family despite being separated by the width of the North American continent.

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A family-memories inspired New Year’s dinner. NYC, 2015.

It has been years since I spent Chinese New Year with my parents and brother, but I loved sharing this holiday with Baritone Boy and Dante and indulging in some delicious dishes. This New Year marked not only the start of the Year of the Sheep but also wrapped up what has been a very busy seven weeks since January 1st.

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Baroque Concert for the New Year

With some quick organizing, enthusiastic musicians, and good colleagues, the unlikely is not impossible! The early music concert that almost happened a year and a half ago has been re-imagined and resurrected, and it’s taking place this Friday, January 9, in Berkeley, CA..

I almost didn’t bring up the idea with Eugene, but I did on a whim because I remembered how excited we were about the music and the chance to perform together. Ask and you shall receive — what a way to start the year!

Chabot Chamber Society presents a Baroque Concert for the New Year:

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The two cantata’s, Bach’s Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten (Wedding Cantata, BWV 202) and Montéclair’s Le Dépit Généreux, were pieces I’d originally learned in 2013, and I’m so pleased to be singing them in less than a week.

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In the works update (November 21, 2014)

IN THE WORKS @ November 21, 2014

A Strauss Celebration: 150 years

  • Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
  • 3:00 PM
  • Lieder and selections from Arabella, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Der Rosenkavalier
  • Holyrood Church (179th and Fort Washington), Washington Heights, NYC
  • The launch project of Cantanti PROJECT, a project-based performance group in NYC, for singers and by singers.

Cornerstone Chorale’s Winter Concert

  • Sunday, December 7th, 2014
  • 3:30 PM
  • Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit pour Noël and other holiday pieces
  • Holyrood Church, Washington Heights, NYC

Zerlina in Don Giovanni with New York Lyric

  • Monday, December 15th, 2014
  • 7:00 PM
  • NOLA Studios, NYC

Covering the role of Dalinda in Handel’s Ariodante in 2015 with New York Opera Forum

  •  Performance details TBA

A Strauss Celebration: 150 Years

The last two months of 2014 are turning out to be exciting and overwhelming. Things were supposed to wind down after Cendrillon, but after just a few weeks of quiet it picked back up with auditions, new repertoire, and the news that I was cast to sing Zerlina in Don Giovanni this December.

Another project just around the corner is one I am especially proud of, a concert celebrating Richard Strauss’s 150th birthday.

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Even if you don’t care much for birthdays, you’ve go to admit that 150 years is a big deal. This one was celebrated all over the world, most noticeably with performances of his works. Statistics from Operabase.com show how Strauss-mania kicked in for 2014:

  • In 2013: 364 performances of 85 productions, in 57 cities
  • In 2014: 625 performances of 153 productions, in 92 cities

The idea of putting on a Strauss concert had been on my mind all year, and after summer came and went I knew I was running out of time. It’s taken plenty of sweat and a bit of stress (but thankfully, no blood), and everything has come together beautifully.

I’m thrilled and honored to be making this music with eight fabulous women, the majority of whom are old friends and a handful of whom are new ones. Our concert is this Saturday at 3 PM in Washington Heights, NYC. We’ll be performing at the same church I had my recital at earlier this year, Holyrood Church. If you’re in the neighborhood, please come by to hear some Strauss!

 

 

 

In the works update (October 19, 2014)

IN THE WORKS @ October 19, 2014

A Strauss Celebration: 150 years

  • Monday, November 24th,  7 PM
  • Holyrood Church (179th and Fort Washington), Washington Heights, NYC
  • Lieder and selections from Arabella, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Der Rosenkavalier
  • I’ll be singing “Einkehr” (Op 47) and Sophie in the Der Rosenkavalier selections
  • The launch project of Cantanti PROJECT, a project-based performance group in NYC, for singers and by singers.

Covering the role of Dalinda in Handel’s Ariodante in 2015 with New York Opera Forum

  •  Performance details TBA

 

The Fairy Godmother, a Dream Role

About 3 years ago, a fellow soprano-friend and I were in San Francisco and chatting about repertoire and roles when she suggested I look into the fairy godmother in Massenet’s take on the Cinderella story, Cendrillon. Massenet, I knew, but Cendrillon?

Back then, a YouTube search resulted in only about five Cendrillon clips that weren’t French dubs of the Disney movie, one of which was this recording of Esther Heideman singing La Fée’s aria “Ah! douce enfant.”

One listen, and I was in love.

Over the next few years I learned the aria even though it was on the obscure side and, therefore, not a great audition choice — I wanted to learn it just to learn it and to sing it, even if it was just for myself. I even had the opportunity to learn and perform La Fée’s second big scene, in Act 3, when she works a bit of magic to bring Cendrillon and the Prince together after their first encounter at the ball. Annalise Belnap sang Cendrillon, Kristin Roney sang the Prince, and during rehearsals the three of us would melt into puddles over the way Massenet spun these soaring, pleading lines.

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La Fée with her Cendrillon, Annalise Belnap. ASU Lyric Opera Scenes, 2013.

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Astoria 2014: Singing

One of the many aspects of the Vocal Apprentice program I adored this year was the plethora of performance opportunities we took part in. While Così fan tutte was the culmination of our efforts and our growth as performers, the other singing we did was just as important in our self-discovery and learning.

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Despina rocking the apron look. Astoria, 2014.

Through a series of Apprentice concerts held at various venues around town, we had the opportunity to share our repertoire with others and put into practice ideas from masterclasses, lessons, and coachings. I mentioned last time that the amount of talent in Astoria was astounding, and I can, without hesitation, include the abilities of the Apprentices in this statement as well. Over the course of the Festival I got to hear beautiful singing from my peers, and they introduced me to new repertoire as well as different interpretations of music I was already familiar with. It’s no wonder we had a group of regular attendees at our concerts!

Many of the pieces I used for these concerts I had performed fairly recently at my recital, and I was surprised at how differently some of them felt just a month later. I am very, very thankful for the coaches and teachers who guided me through these developments: Gustavo Castro and Karen Esquivel, Paul Floyd, Allan Glassman, Marie Plette, Mark Robson, and Richard Zeller.

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Astoria Music Festival 2014: Friends and Music

Astoria, OR was just as quiet and friendly as I remembered it, and the Festival was as inspiring and satisfying as I could have hoped. We packed an impressive amount of singing into a short amount of time, and I came away with suggestions that made an immediate impact, ideas that I’m still working through, and words of encouragement that I’ll hold dear to my heart for a long, long time. Just yesterday I had my first voice lesson back in NYC, and my teacher was very pleased with the adjustments I’ve been making.

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The historic Liberty Theater. Astoria, 2014.

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