Wednesday, January 3, 2007

...and, we're back!

Happy New Year, everyone! As you can probably tell by the lack of blogging, the end of 2006 was a busy time for me. Hoffmann performances, 2 audition trips to New York, a Messiah, and a Magnificat, followed by the holidays, which of course are always hectic. They were made even more so this year by the aftermath of the huge windstorm that hit Seattle. We were only without power for 12 hours, but some people (including our neighborhood grocery store and Starbucks) were out for over a week. My parents had power after 3 days, but my mom came to stay for a few days because they did not have internet access, and she works from home. I did manage to get a little break, though, between Christmas and New Year's Eve. No singing, no swimming, no teaching. Just some much-needed quality time with husband, family, and friends.

A brief recap: everything went very well. I was blessed this year in New York to be able to rent my own apartment in the Village for a week. I did 6 auditions in NYC this season, and was happy with all of them. Though we can never go by feedback we get at auditions (every singer learns that it really doesn't mean anything), I definitely left most of my auditions this season feeling extremely positive about the experience in general. Luckily, I have a busy few months coming up, so I don't have much time to sit around and wait for responses! I was also happy with all the concerts, especially the Magnificat, which is one of my all-time favorite pieces. For these performances, the group only hired 4 soloists (the score calls for 2 sopranos, but often it's done with 4 people). Unfortunately, this meant that I didn't get to sing my favorite movement, the gorgeous "Suscepit Israel," which is a trio for the three female soloists. When there's no second soprano, that movement is usually done by the choir. However, no second soprano soloist meant that I got to sing the soprano II aria, which is lovely. The more soprano II solos I do in Bach, the more I feel like they suit my voice a little better than some of the alto solos do (not that I don't love singing the alto solos). Unfortunately, there really aren't all that many soprano II solos out there! For my holiday concerts this season, I tried out a new gown. For a while now, I've been on the lookout for a green gown. I find that the soprano often likes to wear red for Messiahs and such (as shown by acb's lovely Messiah gown). Fine by me -- green is a better color for me, anyway. Unfortunately, green gowns are not nearly so easy to come by as red ones! But, over the summer, I found the perfect one. Emerald green silk. I'll post a picture when I have one. I did find that I had a similar experience to acb (in the link above). I got at least as many compliments on the dress as I did on my singing!

For the first time in years, I didn't have any gigs over the actual holidays, which was lovely. I definitely needed the break. It did feel a bit odd, though, not to have to get dressed up on Christmas Eve to go and sing somewhere. The way the family gatherings worked out, actually, Alec and I both had the entirety of Christmas Eve completely free. We slept in, went out for brunch, opened our gifts to each other, did crosswords, and watched movies all day. We might have to make that a holiday tradition.

Looking ahead to 2007: One of the luxuries of having my own space in my favorite neighborhoods of NYC this year was that it allowed me lots of time to reflect on this past year and how far I've come. Sometimes, it seems that when we're making the most progress (both personally and professionally), things are happening so fast that we don't notice until we have some time to reflect on it. I've been so busy this fall because I've been singing constantly, and my spring looks just as busy. I've basically been a full-time working singer this season, which feels great. In the coming year, I need to take that scary step that many young singers face: taking fewer gigs in order to make space for better gigs. It's a leap of faith, trusting that there's more out there. But, I've found that the universe tends to reward the steps that we take in faith on our own behalf. 2007 promises to be an exciting year in many ways. Right now, though, I have music to learn. Vacation's over -- back to work!

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