Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Happy New Year!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I have a friend (hopefully? Not so sure...) burning a DVD of it for me. If I can catch him before he does it I'll get him to do just the last 5 minutes so I can get the relevant stuff online for our viewing pleasure (?). The duet was very nice and he sounded great, especially with the microphone. I actually thought he sounded a little nervous at first, for like the first 5 seconds, but who knows. I was so exhausted by then after suffering through 117 minutes of the previous "we love you, honoree" business that my judgement was a bit skewed. However, the whole proceeding reminded me why I like opera.
On an unrelated note, one of my online friends, someone I "met" because I liked his MySpace profile picture, and where did I find it? On Mr. Gunn's friend list there - it was a squirrel with a superman costume on under his fur - I wrote him a note that I liked the picture and we instantly clicked. He lives in CA but was in NY this week on a musical project. We wanted to get together but he was too busy- he called me today. Husband answered the phone of course. "Yeah Susan it's one of your freaky MySpace friends..." Actually, he didn't say that. He knows who the friend is by name and was glad that it wasn't a telemarketer. It was fun to chat in person and be goofy in real time instead of via email. And we never would have known each other if it weren't for Mr. Gunn's Myspace page. Blah, blah, blah. Does make you wonder how many potential friends are out there who you'll never meet because your paths never cross. Ok, signing off before my philosophical waxing smears the computer screen.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Ok so first off I just want to remind everyone that the Gunnster will be on TV tomorrow night in the Kennedy Center Honors on CBS here in the States. For those of you who are unable to view it, no doubt it'll show up on YouTube and/or MySpace soon after, and possibly even here on the blog, providing all my connections are able to connect, so to speak.
The other fun news is, The Gunnster (yes, him again, but no, I'm not obsessed) is doing a FREE, yes you saw it here, FREE recital lecture thingee at Gaucher College in Baltimore, Maryland on March 1st. That's about a 3 hour drive from here. I got myself a pair of tickets and now just have to decide... to drive or not to drive? Of course the weather might make that decision for me.
So... anyone in the Phila/NJ/NYC area want to join me on a little opera adventure road trip to Maryland to see Nathan Gunn for FREE? Add a comment with your email - I won't approve it but I'll reply via email.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
The Pamina was good, but they cut a huge chunk out of the only aria of hers they left in the production! They just chopped out the whole, "looook Tamino, I am weeping, but you turn and walk away...." part. The entire thing was like 2 minutes long. I think Pamina was Nicole Cabell, who was in Pearl Fishers in Chicago this season with those other guys I've been known to mention here on the blog. It's so not fair to take away most of Pamina's singing.
Tamino, too... don't know who it was but I wasn't thrilled. Perhaps he sounded better live. I could swear he was flat at one point.
Seriously, the only parts that sounded better than the version I know were the ones with the three spirit boys. The audience probably thought so too, since the boys got the loudest applause after each appearance.
I didn't catch Queen of the Night. Wish I did but we were out running errands and were in and out of the car.
So all in all I was not pleased with the performance for a variety of reasons.
Better luck with the casting next time, Met Opera!
*by the way, the title of this post is a also link to a video.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
This year we're not seeing my BIL until tomorrow, so we had to do our own Nathan Gunn tasting at home. Wait that didn't come out right... ahem... what I meant was, well, you know what I mean. Instead of scotch this year, we had bourbon. It seems so hard core! Bourbon! Like my voice should suddenly go all scratchy or something.
So we started with select scenes from Camelot:
And moved on to Romeo:
Nathan Gunn as Mercutio in Romeo et Juliette: Mab
and then Pearl Fishers:
(and what's with the the Lyric taking the video down and just leaving us with the slide show???)
And finally Magic Flute:
I think I like Christmas Eve. And I just want to add that I have the best husband in the world! He sits and watches all these NG videos with me. I mean, come on. How many husbands would do that? He's a Good Man.
Yeah. Without insulting my very friendly coworkers, I must say that I'd like to move up to something a little more professional sounding. But it was fun nonetheless.
I'm sad that the wild, "Move down! Just push her over and move to the mic!" pantomime wasn't caught on camera, but I do have before and after shots:
I'll no doubt be posting again later, like, after we light the menorah. Meanwhile, I urge everyone to do a search here on the blog for "caption contest" and then submit one for each entry that comes up.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
So here's the lineup:
Fri, Feb 13- Die Fledermaus - Princeton, NJ
Wed, Mar 11 - La Sonnambula, NYC
Thurs, Mar 12 - Firebrand of Florence - NYC
Thurs, April 2 - Marriage of Figaro - Fort Lauderdale, FL
Fri, June 12 - Rape of Lucretia - Philadelphia, PA
Summer - Hopefully I'll be a super in one of the three productions my local opera company does over the summer, then I'll hit the dress rehearsals for the others.
Wow. What am I going to wear to all these? Hmm.
So. Anyone wanna buy a pair of earrings? $20 plus shipping. I'll post pictures.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Thursday - Voice lesson. Worked on the low stuff again, including Shall I Come, and also some great vocal exercises to help smooth out the cracks. Cracks-be-gone! We figured out that for the same notes, I crack on certain vowels only. I'm fine with the eeeee as in "be," but tend to crack on the more open sounds like "long," so we came up with some exercises for that. Chanted out the rhythm and started the melody for the Tipsy Waltz. And now, no lesson for three weeks!!!! My poor brain.
Ok. Fun stuff time, also known as Other People's Blogs.
I know in the past I have made fun of Mr. Gunn for his spelling and grammar. That's ok, we none of us lurve (yes, lurve) our favorite opera singers for their writing skills. But the past week or so his journal entries have vastly improved, pretty much when he started writing about singing at the Kennedy Center Honors shindig. It's pretty interesting because he tells about all the pomp and security surrounding any event that includes the president. I, of course, want more details about the food and the clothes, because I'm shallow like that. I have been all over the internet trying to find any of the photos he says they had to keep posing for, but the press have stuck to the uber-famous in their internet photo slide-shows.
Next on the agenda, John Osborn has launched a cool new website. Check it out - I especially like the photo pages. The pics are nice and the text is really entertaining - sort of a mini-journal. I think he should jump on the bandwagon and start blogging about his Adventures in Opera Land.
Cat pic Friday: You can see Diego roll over in the Rover Roll Over video I posted on Friday night. I have decided that that brief appearance counts for cat-pic Friday.
Husband today: Oh great, now I've got opera on the brain, thanks to you, as he whistled some Papageno bit.
Me: Well, that's not a BAD thing, is it?
It's all part of my devious plan, muwaaa haa haa!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
What is UP with opera singers and their homonym trouble? If English is their second language, then fine, it's understandable. Otherwise, there must be something wrong with the educational system in this country.
Ok. I know we love them for their amazing talent for singing and acting the most beautiful music in the world. But still...
Here we go with grammar lesson number pi.
there: pronoun for location. The stage is over there.
their: third person possessive pronoun. The men left their codpieces in the dressing room.
they're: contraction of 'they are.' They're on their way to the cast party.
Combo: They're shocked that their costumes were left over there.
your: 2nd and 3rd person possessive. Is this your libretto? Your makeup is smeared.
you're: contraction of 'you are.' You're only in the chorus so stop singing along with the principals.
Combo: You're not going to believe this but your mother stopped by with your lunchbox.
its: third person singular possessive. The opera singer set the chair on its side.
it's: contraction of 'it is.' It's difficult for opera singers to spell correctly.
The confusion is that for regular noun possessives we add 'apostrophe-s,' so people (such as opera singers) insert it in the third person possessive 'its' where, in truth, it doesn't belong.
And my new favorite homonym error, which I saw for the first time in my life today:
where: location. Where is the party tonight?
wear: Tonight's event is evening wear only. Did you bring your gown?
ware: something that is for sale, an article of merchandise, often used in the plural: The artist will be selling his wares at the craft show.
Learn it. Love it. Use it.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
John Osborn, as we know, just put out those great CDs. He's currently singing I Puritani in Amsterdam. Can only imagine the number of frequent flier miles the man has.
Christian Van Horn, the Tall Man with the Deep Voice, is currently in Munich getting ready to do Boheme. His blog is pretty interesting as he recounts the unusual rehearsal process. Apparently the theater does the same version of the opera every time, so a singer who has done it before doesn't need to show up for rehearsals until the very last minute. CVH is one of the newbies so he has been there all alone for private rehearsals, imagining his colleagues are there as he does his thing.
Nathan Gunn... I'm sorry what? I got distracted. Oh that's right... I, um, since he's not my friend on facebook I don't know! (I learn all I need to know from status updates, very handy, that.) He's not even ON facebook. (I hope my computer doesn't explode from that link...) And I thought EVERYONE was on facebook! Anyway, he just did a recital in New Hampshire followed by a master class the next day. Of course I know people who went because I'm like that. And of course it was, in their estimation, gloriously wonderful. My next Gunnster performance is in March, unless airfare to Ohio suddenly drops to $75 round trip between now and Valentines Day. The price of fuel is going down but I don't think it'll go down quite that far.
Before my March Gunn Encounter (because I will do my best to say hello in person, because I'm like that) I will be seeing Juan Diego and Natalie at the Met! And by before, I mean, the day before. I wonder if there's a prop bed somewhere in the Met, or anywhere in Lincoln Center for that matter, where I can spend the night? Like how the kids in that book slept in the beds at the museum? Jeez both Juan Diego and Nathan are probably sleeping in the city that night. Maybe I can crash on the couch in one of their apartments or hotel rooms. I don't take up much space, I don't snore and I promise I wouldn't blog about it! Just push two chairs together for me and I'm good to go. Yeah, I didn't think so.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
As usual, Husband and child entered the house when there were about 10 seconds to go.
I know it's riddled with mistakes. I am a Work in Progress and I'm sharing with you. All I hear are mistakes.
I call this post "The Big Race" because the piano accompaniment is so fast that I feel like I'm running a race.
Friday, December 12, 2008
It's low for me. Much of it is in that wishy-washy region of notes where my voice breaks. I crack in a few places, like "fain-ed," "thief" and "lover" and somewhere near the end when Husband and Alex started up the stairs (couldn't they have waited like 10 more seconds?!!) and probably at some other parts too. I tried to pull back a bit after cracking on "fained," can you tell? But despite all that I think I sound ok. I mean, I'm truly amazed at the difference between before and after I started studying voice. Now I'm working on erasing the obvious break in my voice. I can feel it and I can hear it at some parts. Any tips? For any of it? (but be nice!!!)
The challenge of today's Cat Pic Friday is to post pictures I haven't yet posted. Although I just went through all the Cat Pic Friday posts and did see a few duplicates. Oops again.
Today it's all about Viola.
How does she DO that?
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
When we all filed in I ended up a little past the mic. "Good," I thought, "Just as well." The women on either side of me have very nice voices, so I figured it didn't matter. But then the woman who directs us kept motioning me to move over to be in front of the mic. When I say motioning I mean urging me with her hands and mouthing to me to move. Where? We were packed together and the woman next to me who was in front of the mic is bigger than I am - it's not like I could nudge her down! Plus she has a really nice voice! But the director woman kept pantomiming and mouthing so finally I just pantomimed that she should move the mic over. That felt weird because it's not like I wanted it there, but I really wanted her to stop playing charades. Then the woman on the other side of me asked me what that was all about, and I whispered that they wanted me in front of the mic and she was like, "Well." This woman has a little solo part in Silent Night so I backed up to clear the mic for her but she didn't move. When I told her later she said that she doesn't need a mic for the high notes, just the low ones. Ha! I'd rather NOT be amplified for the low ones, what with my voice taking on a life of its own and cracking when the notes entered That Funky Range. I held back the energy the way I practiced in my lesson and it seemed to help. But of course that mic was plonked down in front of me just before one of the crackiest songs in the set. I was ok, probably better than I think, but I bet the recording would have been fine where the mic originally was. Hmm I wonder if it picked up the monotone "alto" voice of the person behind me? Not that it matters - this is a really nice group, anyone can join and it's a lot of fun. They videotaped it too so hopefully I can get my paws on a copy.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
We have some Guest Cats today, courtesy of Hey Liz. Thanks Liz! Umm... can you please leave a comment with their names???
And now, here's Digeo, trying to hide from his Adoring Public.
His true fans will always know it's him, much to his annoyance.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Last week I came across a piece of music called, "Shall I Come Sweet Love to Thee." This just proves that I never throw anything away. This music was from a book of medieval songs for guitar. I bought it for a boyfriend in the early 90s, pre-Husband obviously. This boyfriend had a roommate who was into these live action role playing things - people from all walks of life would go camping for a weekend and pretend, all weekend, that they were residents of a medieval village. They'd have jousts and so on, there were points, there was game money... it was very complicated and involved. So my boyfriend and I went as non-playing characters (NPCs for those in the know) to be roaming minstrel types for a day. He played and I sang, and that was one of the songs.
So yesterday I brought the music to my voice lesson. It's low! I'm sure that I sang it all in throaty chest voice at the event all those years ago, the same sounds that I heard the chorus members singing around me yesterday for some of the lower-pitched songs.
We went over the melody and I sang it through a few times. It was so refreshing to do something new yet familiar, where I didn't need to also concentrate on pronouncing French like I have to do with Apres un Reve. It was fun, and I think I sound ok - certainly better than I did back then at the campsite. There was one part that I consistently cracked on - the same note in the same pattern in different lines. So we worked on keeping it in mixed voice and not drop down over that shelf, as I think of it. If I lighten up on the breath I can do it. Perhaps I'll make a recording if I get 10 minutes alone over the weekend.
Cat pics: Later.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
It was fun. A bunch of us were in a conference room waiting for someone to come with a keyboard, I think, to warm up. I couldn't just sit there so I sort of started things going - had everyone stand up and stretch, showed some breathing techniques and gave suggestions on how not to shrug the shoulders up, as some people were doing. Then the keyboard came (I'm not sure but I think it was a toy) and we did some vocal warm-ups.
The performance was fun. I learned that I am not the only one who didn't know all the words, and in fact, I knew them a lot better than most of the people standing around me!
One thing I noticed - actually I couldn't NOT notice this - was that I was getting lightheaded. It's like all that deep belly breathing was similar to hyperventilating. What's up with that? In between songs, or when I didn't have to sing, I concentrated on normal breathing so I wouldn't pass out. I never felt faint, but the whirly-twilry head feeling was there. And of course, while I was singing and feeling this, I was wording a blog entry about it in another part of my brain. Multi-tasking! I'll ask my voice teacher about it tonight.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Ok ok... new topic.
Didn't have a voice lesson last week due to Thanksgiving... Oh I know, that reminds me.
Elizabeth Caballero has been putting up many more videos at YouTube. So click on that YouTube link to check them out, ok?
Um... what else... on Facebook there's a silly status game thing going on where you pick up the nearest book, open to a certain page and count a certain number of sentences in, then post that as your status. My nearest book was "Bringing Opera to Life," by Boris Goldovsky, published in 1968. It's next to the computer because I was checking to see if it was worth selling on half.com. So my status sentence is:
Whenever a performer is singing while in direct rapport with his partners, he must move to upstage (right or left) of them.
That's it for now. Voice lesson tomorrow.
Monday, December 1, 2008
Row D, center. Yes, that's 4th row.
Oh and I'm not going alone. No, Husband isn't accompanying me. No no no. Instead I am going with a friend who is accustomed to backstage visits after seeing the Gunnster, as evidenced by the photos in that link. We're gonna have a blast!
Hmm... I wonder if we'll go backstage.
I hope they don't spit when they sing. Better bring a hankie, just in case. Plenty of time to plan since the opera's not until June. June!!! Six months from now. Wow.
My opera dance card is filling up for 2009.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
"Next season, Nathan will sing in Barcelona and Madrid; he said he has always wanted to sing in Spain."
I have just scoured the internet but cannot find any info about next season for Teatro Real in Madrid or El Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona. Lucky me I have blog-friends from both places who read I'd Rather Be Sleeping... so I call out to P. of the Opera and Carlos of the Anna-Netrebko blog ... Any info on the 2009-2010 season? Querais acompanarme al teatro el ano que viene? And Parsi, you can meet us there!!! A blogger convention in Madrid! What do you all say?
Anyway, yesterday's rumor now has facts associated with it. Here is some more info. My sources tell me that Lynette Tapia will be singing the National Anthem at this event. I can't find this on the CSpan web site, however my source has advised that it will be on C-Span at 10:30am Eastern Time.
I'll set my DVR, however, I have no way of moving anything from the DVR to a DVD or computer so I won't be getting it onto YouTube.
*I have not read the articles on the links so I cannot say if I agree with the political nature of the event. On the surface it appears to be a good event about the support of global health and the fight against AIDS, however, if it's all rah-rah republicans than it's not for me. However, I consider singing to be non-partisan, and singing for any President is a great honor. Of course I can't tell you how strongly I wish this were an inauguration event for Obama rather than something honoring a man who I never voted for and who, in my opinion, LOST that election 8 years ago. So I'll record it just to hear the music.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Rumor has it that Lynette Tapia, the wonderful soprano featured in many of my past few posts, has been chosen to sing at some sort of as-yet-to-be-named Presidential Event this coming week. If I get more details, you know I'll post them. Unless, you know, they're private.
Referring URL http://www.google.co... Gunn and his family
Search Engine google.com
Search Words nathan gunn and his family
Visit Entry Page http://luindriel.blogspot.com/2008/05/umm-i-dont-know.html
Visit Exit Page http://luindriel.blogspot.com/2008/05/umm-i-dont-know.html
Wow I'm obnoxious sometimes. Or insane. Both I guess. Hey at least they didn't send me a bizarre message asking for strange personal details. Because... umm... I don't know... and if I did... I'm not telling.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Diego, King of All He Surveys
Viola Approaches the Table
Cats read Opera News too, especially when Nathan Gunn is on the cover
I laugh at the end when the cat walks past and her tail goes in front of the camera. But since it's also cat-pic Friday, I'm going with it. Plus it gets me out of singing that one tricky part. Yes I hear all the mistakes. Vertical space. Low breath. Bring the sound forward. I'm working on it. Also, I was working hard on standing still because I tend to move when I sing, and when I watched the first few videos that I made before this one, I thought it was distracting. So consider this another Work In Progress, and I do feel that, comparing it to the last one, that I have made a little progress. Like, a smidgen. A smudge. A dot. There's still all this wide open landscape of progress ahead of me... but the only way to get there is one step at a time, and I'm sharing these steps with you because it's more fun than going alone, don't you think?
I've been studying voice now for about 14 months and I can tell you that I never would have imagined I could sing anything like this before I began my lessons.
Soprano Lynette Tapia and tenor John Osborn sing a duet from Donizetti's Don Pasquale, Tornami a dir che m'ami.
Soprano Lynette Tapia and tenor John Osborn sing the duet, Varrano a te sull'aure, from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor.
That Lucia clip is just part of one of the tracks. The entire thing was too long for YouTube. And someone already made a very nice comment, look:
(9 hours ago)
one of the best portions of any opera, this bit can bring up the head one one determined to jump off the Golden gate bridge- good post for the post-thanksgiving blahs blues etc.- Thnx-
Ok, so that's a bit dramatic, but appropriate considering that the clip is from Lucia. So click over to YouTube to rate, comment, favorite, give the thumbs up and enjoy.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Cuban soprano, Elizabeth Caballero sings Ore dolci e divine in a live production of Puccini's opera La rondine:
Cuban soprano Elizabeth Caballero sings Ch'il bel sogno in a live production of Puccini's opera La rondine:
While I was getting all the links and descriptions for this, Alex came in and demanded that we watch both videos in full-screen mode. And I wish I had my camera rolling on him - he had That Smile, That Look on his face. I asked him if he liked it and he said all dreamily, "Yeah." Almost made me cry. Then he asked me what the opera is about.... Uh... time to do some research.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Here's a peek at the insert:
And here's Alex, (who recently told me that he no longer wishes to be an opera singer when he grows up) conducting and pretending to sing along.
There a few pieces from Lucia on the CD. When Alex heard the first one he recognized it! I was shocked. Not the particular song but the opera itself. He said, "Oh, this is the one with the ghost, when the ghost talks to her at the fountain." That aria isn't on it (I don't think... I honestly don't remember what everything is called!) but he wasn't referring to it. He was referring to (part of) the story of the opera. He truly amazes me.
So go to CD baby and buy this CD.
I imagine that eventually I'll get their other one. One at a time.
Hey John linked to some of my YouTube videos from his webpage. Heehee. I like that. Thanks John. Now change those colors - my eyes are wigging out!
One more thing before I sign off... I try and try to get the pictures to line up nicely, two to a line, and it looks great in the preview, but when I publish it... all hell breaks loose and they're all over the page. I tried to make it look nice, I swear!
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
No wait - the cat just yawned a puff of cat-food breath into the room. Never mind.
Here's a rumor I'd like not to believe. The rumor part is near the end of the post. But read the whole thing if you have the time - it's quite entertaining. And don't forget to read the comments.
Thanks to I.E. in Washington state for bringing that to my attention. I think.
I had been working and working on Vedrai Carino, and then when I started in with the French songs I stopped. Yesterday I realized it had been a while, so I figured I'd quietly give it a sing. Now, mind you, this was very informal, considering I was at the park with Alex. Luckily we were alone there because we were the only ones silly enough to go to the park in frigid weather. So I didn't sing out, but I just gave it a whirl, and wouldn't you know, all those little bits and baubles that I was having trouble with before, they just came out. There is something to be said for letting the music just simmer on its own in the back of the mind. Then, of course, I started thinking about those same bits and baubles, and of course... there went some of the legato. But how can you tell yourself to NOT think about something? Isn't that the surest way to make it fill your brain to the exclusion of everything else? I tried reminding myself to caress the notes, which sort of helped, but... maybe I need to bury it for a few more weeks.
So maybe I'm getting the feel of when to practice something, when to leave it and when to come back to it. It's all part of that three-dimensional thing I wrote about before. Hmm. Here's a question. Does the addition of time to the mix make it four-dimensional?
(see, I don't think only about the People on the People list. I also think about physics and mathematics.)
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So here are a few of People Magazine's picks for the sexiest men alive. I don't know who most of them are. But wait.... who is that in that one tiny picture there in the top center? *squinting* Can't...quite... tell...
Maybe a closer look...
Oh! What DO you know. I have met, shaken hands with and been squeezered by one of the Sexiest Men Alive. Well, two, if you count Husband, and of course I do.
You'd think they'd have at least used a shirtless picture. Maybe they couldn't find one.
I HAD to edit this post to add this, just to help put this whole thing into context.
Here is one of the many features this magazine boasts about some of its Sexy Man choices:
This is so absurd that I don't even have a witty remark about it.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Edited to add:
My new status updates at MySpace and Facebook:
Susan doesn't know if she should be proud or embarrassed to have met one of People Magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive."
But you guys all know I'm secretly proud. Ok it's not that much of a secret, haha. But I'll still write it in this tiny font. I'll upload the relevant pages once I procure the magazine.
Friday, November 21, 2008
"... incessant chatter about one subject, i.e. opera, can get pretty darn boring."
This telling took place on that Social Networking Site everyone belongs to, the one where you can add comments to everything anyone does. It was a comment on my own status:
"Susan has updated her blog. Boring stuff. Now go read it."
One other friend and regular blog reader commented, "You're NEVER boring," (thanks!) and then this anti-opera friend came along with her "incessant chatter" comment. There are now 13 lucky comments.
Now, those of you who read my blog, all 25 of you, know that I do not chatter about opera incessantly, because, obviously, that'd be boring. Oh and also I'm not qualified. I have pretty much shared all I know about opera, which isn't much. This blog isn't about opera per se, but about me. Gee that sounds familiar. Me going to the opera, me listening to operas, me being an extra in operas, me learning to sing opera. Me me me. So if there's any incessant chatter going on here, it's not about opera - it's about, you guessed it - me. *yawn* Boooorrrriiinnggg.
Then this very same friend went and commented on another status of mine. I think she did it first, before the incessant chatter comment.
Before I leave for my voice lesson I often write that I'm "off to my psychotherapy session, OOPS I mean, my voice lesson." Like, each week, pretty much.
Her comment? "Maybe you could use some psychotherapy & less opera"
What is UP with that? I am seriously stumped. But it's obvious that A. She doesn't read the blog or she'd know what the incessant chatter was about, and B. She's never taken a lesson of the sort that requires to you know yourself in order to do well. And C. She's being sort of mean, no? I mean, does anyone else sense some sort of hostility here?
Not to leave on a What the Heck mood, here are today's cat photos, taken by Husband with his brand-spanking new camera.
Here I am with Viola as she comes for her daily petting.
Here she is with That Look on her face.
Here's Diego with That Other Look on his face.
Here I am in my natural habitat. No, I'm not picking my nose. Wait, am I? How embarrassing.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
The more I learn this song, the prettier I think it is. At first I wasn't in love with it, but now I can really throw myself into it. Although there's one part that's so hokey dramatic that it makes me laugh. The translation is something like, "you call my name, I leave the earth to flee with you into the light" and it makes me think of the movie Poltergeist when the little old lady medium chick is like, "Go into the liggghhttt.... DON'T go into the liiiiggghhttt......" Wow just fried my brain looking for those clips. Must stop now.
Oh wait one more thing. I printed out my entries about the spheres from last week and gave them to my teacher at the end of the lesson. I wonder what she'll say. No doubt she'll make fun of me. Actually I'm kind of counting on it.
Oh wait one more more thing. Just bought one of John Osborn's new CDs, this one. Actually I bought two so I could give one to my mother. They had some deal, one was $20 but you could get two for $24 so I figured, why not?
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
"Oh! Um... why?" I dumbly ask.
So she starts hedging. "Well, the mic pics up everything in front of it, every sound, any wrong notes...(she paused) OK, it's because I've heard you sing, and I want YOUR voice to be the one the mic pics up."
Wow!! I was surprised and flattered. That was seriously my first independent compliment. I mean, yeah, husband, friends and intoxicated people have told me I sound ok, but this was just out of the blue, from a sober person who doesn't know me. Of course I thanked her and all that. But wow.
So why the title of this post? Because... I'll admit it... for some of the songs... I just. don't. know. all. the. words.
We're singing songs in French, Italian, Spanish, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Yiddish and Chinese. And English. Come ON! No one remembers all the words. I mean, we do have the music and can follow along, but the words are so tiny and the verses are squished together on the page and some of the music is so fast that it's just impossible (for me) to sing them all. And they do record the performances and put them on a CD for us. So if I'm directly in front of this microphone that picks up the sound from directly in front of it... La la la blah blah blah won't cut it... I better go learn those lyrics... Oops.
Ok, here are the songs, in no order, linked to whatever video I could find:
Il est nee, le divin enfant
Fum Fum Fum
Tu Scendi Dalle Stelle (if you click just one, choose this.)
Oh Hanukkah Or try this cuz it's just so hokey. But we sing it in Yiddish. Oy.
... and many others. But you get the idea.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Right. I'll shut up now.
Look! I wish I had found this one last month!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Diego relaxes inside the Boppy.
Viola relaxes on top of the Boppy.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Went over the IPA and pronunciation of Apres un Reve, then the rhythm of the words, and then fit the singing in. Have not even thought about trying it with the pre-recorded accompaniment. There is one bit in the middle where I get muddled. I get unsure of the pronunciation, which in turn throws me off the rhythm. And truthfully, the IPA doesn't help that much because it's like another language I have to learn. So I end up making up my own phonetic spellings of the words that mix me up. But as I said before, I'm learning it all faster than I did when I first started studying voice a year ago, all these layers. Pronunciation, rhythm, notes, legato, vibrato, crescendos and decrescendos, meaning and emotion, open mouth, relaxed everything. Little by little, layer by layer.
Here's a version I found on YouTube, I think it's different from the last one I posted. Different singer, same pitch as what I'm doing. The previous one was higher by a step I think. Truthfully I don't remember. This one does go down kind of low, now that I listen again. Well here it is anyway.
Today someone got here by doing a google search "the nurse made me take all my clothes off."
Other recent searches that brought people here include:
- baritone leather pants
- luindriel nathan
- going to the opera alone
- misery opera
- myspace nathan gunn
- star vicino high listen
- youtube ,opera tenors and baritone videos
- tiny rubber chicken
Voice lesson tonight. I feel like I'm in good voice but that might change - it's like a reflex - I walk through the door and my voice gets congested. Maybe I'm allergic. It's possible - I'm Jewish and the lesson is in a Catholic school. OK OK before anyone gets all up in arms and offended, I'm JOKING!! I'm not allergic Catholic school. On the other hand, many of my friends (including Husband!) went to Catholic school and if you asked, they'd probably say that they are now allergic.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
didn't know they could get racy in an opera!
he should sing with his shirt off all the time. :-)
Obviously she has no idea.
If you don't know what video and/or singer we're talking about, too bad.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Ok, I started out looking for abs, but I got caught up in the costumes:
She's downright scary here. I guess that's the point. Singing doesn't start until about 3 minutes in:
You do see some good ab work in this one... if you can get past the celery. Broccoli. Lettuce. Whatever:
Sunday, November 9, 2008
So let's see. Just some gossip for now.
According to Elizabeth Caballero's MySpace page, she's singing in Carmen at the Met next season! I'm so there. SO there. And that's like, an entire year from now. Love planning my future opera purchases. Better start hoarding my pennies now.
Other possible future opera adventures for next year, based loosely, and I do mean loosely, on this page, include Magic Flute at the Met with what's-his-name, and then for the following year, and we're talking 2010-2011, Cosi at the Met with that same dude. Of course that same page does list Lizzy C . on the Carmen cast for next year, so...
I've heard that my friend who teaches that opera class, the one that culminates with a trip to the opera, the trip I "crash," might be doing Barbiere next year. I'm feeling wishy-washy about it now, but we all know I'll go.
So it's rice and beans for me for the next several months. Maybe it's time to bring my earrings back to work to boost my opera fund.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Then, a few voice lessons later, but still a Work in Progress:
Starting to sound a bit better here, although she does still sound a bit heavy on some of it:
And then here's something more recent. Wow, what an improvement! Great job, Madonna!
Yeah, that video is kinda weird... I wonder if we'll ever see an opera with that pole thing in it?
Blog tracker today:
Country: United States
nathan gunn nude love and other demons
Visit Entry Page:
(which I think is funny since that was a post about the last naked google search)
Visit Exit Page:
(see the comments)
It's a (vicious?) cycle - Someone googles it, comes to my blog, I post about it, then the next time someone googles it they come to my most recent post about it.
Obviously I need to find something else to write about.
Keeping the obvious out of the tags this time.
Friday, November 7, 2008
We also went over Apres un Reve. The accompaniment has absolutely no correlation to the melody. It'll be an interesting exercise. I have to get the melody firmly entrenched so I can sing along with the accompaniment. I see it as a challenge.
So. That post went off in a direction I didn't expect. But there it is.
Cat pic time, it being Friday and all.
Diego in the bathroom sink.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Imagine that you are going apple picking. You're in some northern state in the US, maybe Washington or Oregon. It's a crisp sunny day. You're wearing a sweater but don't need a coat. So you get to the farm. At the farm stand you pick up a paper bag. The sign says that your apples will be weighed and you'll pay by the pound. You might pick up a hand-drawn map of where the different varieties are growing, and perhaps the person at the farm stand will tell you where the best picking is. You'll head out to the field. The trees are pretty low - you can reach almost all the fruit. There is a smell of slightly fermented apple from the fallen, rotting apples on the ground. Yellow jackets hover around these fallen apples. You hop over or skirt around muddy ruts in the lanes between the trees. You fill your bag and head back. The person in the farm stand weighs the bag. You add a gallon of fresh cider to your purchases and head home. At home, you decide to do a tasting. You slice three varieties of apple and compare their flavor, texture, aroma and so on. They are crisp, sweet, tart and totally delicious. All in all you had a wonderful day picking apples.
The next week you fly to Florida or California and decide to go orange picking. It's hot. You put on sunscreen and your straw hat. When you get to the farm, you are told that only one variety is available right now, and you'll have to ride on the tractor to get out there. It's a bumpy ride out to the grove. The trees are pretty high - you can barely reach the oranges on the lower branches. The tractor driver has a pole with clippers and a basket or netting on it. He or she helps you get the oranges from high up in the trees. It's hot out there. You can see the heat waves shimmering as you look across the field. When you return to the farm stand, you pay by the piece rather than by weight. You also pick up a gallon of freshly squeezed orange juice. At home, you peel a still-warm orange and enjoy it's juicy sweetness. The juice runs off your chin and up your arms. All in all you had a wonderful day picking oranges.
Got it? It's the experience, not the fruit, that's being compared.