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Life so far update (September 2014)

September 2014

What a difference 12 months make! Last year I arrived in NYC with no job, no puppy, and no confidence in navigating the subway system. Now, my job keeps me more than busy, as does Dante the Yorkie, and I only get on the wrong subway train about once a month.

The past few months have been a wonderful time of self-discovery and vocal progress. I traveled, caught-up with old friends, made new ones, performed, indulged in some French Baroque, sang with orchestra, debuted a role, and mulled over feedback and new ideas. All in all, it was a very successful and satisfying summer.


Così fan tutte sitzprobe. Astoria, 2014.

Fall is here – I’m layering on the sweaters, contemplating scarves, and pulling out the closed-toe shoes.

Application/audition season is underway – I’m sending emails, submitting resumes and headshots, and I’ve sung three auditions in the past two weekends. Hopefully, more is to come.

I have one more performance scheduled for this year, with a few potentials floating in the air as well. I’m excited to wrap this year up and see what’s to come next!


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 @ February 23, 2014 Just finished singing Bastienne with New York Lyric Opera Theater, time to work on some rep! Presentation of the rose from Der Rosenkavalier “Silver Aria” from The Ballad of Baby Doe Green (Debussy) — have … Continue reading


It’s been a while since my last post, but don’t worry! lack of posting does not mean I have fallen off the singing wagon.  It was a very busy, very productive semester: I learned a lot of music, and better yet, I feel my technique improving each week.  When I say I feel it, I literally mean that it physically feels different.  Things are resonating in different places around and through my passaggio, and my [a] vowel is getting more consistent!  It used to take a long time for my voice to feel ready to sing (warming up 4 hours in advance), but that amount of time has steadily been decreasing as I’ve built a routine of vocalizes to warm up with.

School ended a few weeks ago. I thought I’d have more free time, but somehow I’ve ended up with a schedule that’s busier than anticipated.  Aside from learning music for BASOTI, I’m working part-time, practicing pretty much every day, spending more time with friends, going to yoga, and trying to get back into salsa dancing.

Must run off to work now.  Here’s to an action-packed summer, and I’ll post soon about The Telephone, Lakmé, cover studying Amore in Orfeo ed Euridice, and the music I’m working on!


BASOTI numbers

The past four weeks kept me so busy that I did not blog as I BASOTI’d.  Here is a quick numbers-based summary as I find time (in between apartment hunting) to review and reflect on the notes I took during workshops, masterclasses, and meetings:

  • Weeks in program: 4
  • Scenes performed: 3
  • Masterclasses sung: 1
  • Masterclasses attended: 4
  • Voice lessons: 5
  • Coachings: 5
  • Hours rehearsed: no idea
  • Rehearsals crashed: 3
  • Conductors worked with: 4
  • Stage directors worked with: 2
  • Singers sung with not counting chorus: 10
  • Average hours of sleep per night: 7
  • New pieces added to to-do list: 5
  • Voluntary/additional solo singing opportunities taken: 6
  • Colds: 0
  • Grown-up beverages: 1
  • Fast-food meals: 0
  • Bus rides: many
  • Cars rides: 2
  • Scary interactions with homeless: 1
  • Days off: 1
  • Restaurants: 12
  • Coffee/tea shops: 4
  • Pages of notes taken: 12
  • Times I used my laptop: 4
  • Moments of doubt: 5
  • AH-HAH and YES days: 23
  • New friends made that I’ll stalk check-up on on facebook: 14

Born again

My name is Joyce, and this summer marks my transition into life as a full-time soprano.  The classical music scene is a tough one.  There aren’t many tattoos, piercings, gun-fights, or gangs, but it’s cut-throat, under-funded, and over-saturated with sopranos.

Sopranos.  They’re everywhere.  I trip over them.  I even live with one (but she’s wonderful).  And I have voluntarily signed up to compete with them for the rest of my days.  Voluntarily may not be the right word – let’s say my own sense of preservation forced me to re-evaluate my life on a grey cloudy morning while running on a treadmill.  It was not a pretty day, and my mood was just as uninviting and uninspired.  The thought of repeating the same routine was breathtakingly depressing, so how would I go through the same motions the rest of my life?

Something had to give.  That something turned out to be my job because I was laid off later that month.  The universe truly works in mysterious ways.

That was the turning-point, the moment when I stopped digging myself deeper into a pit of emptiness and accepted singing as my passion.   2.5 years later, I am getting ready to move to San Francisco for a summer opera program and then to Arizona for my master’s in opera performance.  It will be a busy transition, but it’s only the start.