Wednesday, November 30, 2005

one down...

I had my first audition today, for a fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center this summer. This was my third time auditioning for them, having received some very positive feedback last year. I love singing for them, for several reasons. First, the members of the audition committee (which included Dawn Upshaw today and last year), are extremely friendly, and the atmosphere in the audition is relaxed and welcoming. Secondly, the auditions are held in a recital hall which has a lovely acoustic for singing. Finally, the audition rep for Tanglewood is different than for most other programs, in that they only require one aria, and the rest of the selections are all art songs. I love singing art songs. The opportunity to delve in to the poetry and languages involved, and to interact with both pianist and audience on a more intimate level appeals to my love of the multi-faceted aspects of singing. I love that each art song is a little world, complete unto itself, while an aria is merely a moment in a larger dramatic work. I also feel that my extensive piano background gives me unique insights in to these worlds.

Another aspect of Tanglewood that I find appealing is its focus on new music. This year, the fellows will present 3 small, twentieth-century operas as part of the festival of contemporary music there, and we were asked to prepare a piece from one if we were interested in the role. I prepared a piece from Stravinsky’s Mavra, which I decided (at the last minute) to start with. When I walked in to the hall, they remembered me from last year, which is always a good sign, and asked for my first piece. They seemed surprised when I chose the Stravinsky, and the pianist took a minute to look it over, which told me that nobody so far (at least today) had chosen that piece – another good sign. It went well, and everyone was very enthusiastic at the end. Then they asked for the Ravel song I had listed. Perfect! It’s from my all-time favorite cycle by my all-time favorite vocal composer, a cycle which I have performed on numerous occasions and which fits me like a glove. The pianist was excellent and extremely sensitive, and I felt like it was a great performance. One person on the committee even clapped a little at the end, and everybody obviously liked it. After a little small talk we said goodbye.

I walked out feeling elated. Whether or not I get in (though it would be SO great to get in!), it was an extremely positive experience. What stands out most to me, in hindsight, is the feeling I had that I was totally in control of what was going on the whole time. I was totally present in the moment, and felt as though I was able to shape the performance in to whatever I wanted it to be. I was definitely “in the zone,” which we strive for every time, but doesn’t always happen, and certainly doesn’t always happen to the extent it did today. So it was a success. On to the next!

5 comments:

patty said...

Oooh ... sounds so great! Congrats to you! I think feeling as good as you do about your performance is wonderful, no matter the outcome. But I'm hoping for you .... :-)

Ariadne said...

Hooray for getting into (and staying in!) the Zone!!!

Erik said...

Awesome! I am so glad that you and AC are there together. It sounds like you are both having good auditions. It's good to have friends around.

Anonymous said...

Your anonymous fan will not be surprised if you are accepted at Tanglewood. It's about time those people wised up!

mezzogregory said...

YAY!!! I love hearing about successful auditions! Congratulations. Keep it up with the next ones and bowl a strike, girl!