Saturday, February 7, 2009

Blog Post Salad

Many things to write about. I considered making a separate entry for each topic but decided instead for ensalata mixta.

Starting with: Mixed greens

This past Thursday's voice lesson!!!!

The lesson was great. Really great. I love the vocal exercises she has me do. I really love them. I practice caressing the notes and smoothing things out and ironing the break and all that other fun stuff. I had my eyes closed and I pictured myself on a stage. Since I've actually been on a stage as a super I imagined that theater. In my mind, the house was mostly empty save for a few people in the top row and standing behind that top row. I sang so that they could hear me. Ok, I'll admit it - I pretended I was auditioning. For what? For anything, really. Bathroom Divas. Opera chorus. Community theater. And WOW it totally made a difference. Adding that exercise to "sing like no one is listening" improved my sound immensely! Of course if I really were auditioning for something I'd probably be so nervous that I'd open my mouth to hear a trembling warble, but alone with my teacher in the room it was really good. We did Una Donna a few more times before putting it back on the back burner. Amazing how far I've come with it.

Then we went back to The Tipsy Waltz from La Perichole. Even with IPA and my own pronunciation notes I have trouble remembering all the vowel sounds. French has different sounds when you sing it from when you speak it, because apparently French isn't difficult enough for native English speakers to pronounce just one way. I studied French for years, which makes it worse - I have that interference (along with Spanish and Italian) when I try to sing. But little by little I'm improving.

All in all a pleasing lesson, I'm making progress and (this week at least) I'm happy with the sounds I'm producing.

Next in the salad: White asparagus, tomato and ventresca

Lucia in HD!!! Anna Netrebko as Lucia - WOW that woman can sing. Talk about caressing the notes - in the mad scene her voice was like luxurious silk. Different sound than Diana Damrau. I loved loved loved Diana at Lucia. But I loved loved loved Anna too. And then of course, it was the HD thing. In the movies. So I heard the woman on my right tell her companion that Lucia is her favorite opera and she even has the libretto. Yep. She hummed along for about 75% of the performance. One of my friends was on my left. The man next to her... cough... cough... slowly unwrap cellophane hard candy... fold the wrapper. What is UP with folding the wrapper??? Hint to all opera goers who might want a hard candy during the performance: Unwrap them before. Ok so then the movie situation itself. The teenagers running the thing didn't turn the lights down until about 10 minutes in, after about 6 people left their seats to go tell someone to turn the lights off. THEN they had the projector focused in such a way that the subtitles didn't show. Well that's not entirely accurate. When there were two lines of titles, the top line showed. So every 5 minutes or so we'd see a line of text. At the first intermission one of the alta kockers in the audience clued the teenage projectionist that maybe they could zoom out just a little so we could READ ALONG???? At this point some of you might be thinking I'm a bit harsh with my alta kocker reference. But seriously. The hard candy guy was letting them rip, audibly, during the last act. Lucky for me my hair is still long enough that I could pull it around and use it as sort of a shield, like a gas mask.

Yep. You pay $22 for a ticket, you get a $22 experience. Oh and the water. I won't tell you how much I paid in the theater for a bottle of water, but it was a good percentage of the ticket price.

Finally: The salad dressing. And some boquerones for good measure. Yum I might have to order a can or two. But as usual, I digress...

Check this out! Opera Karaoke! Ok so it's really piano accompaniment for a bunch of different arias and duets and so on. But you can download one or many without having to purchase an entire book and CD. Fun stuff.


Kaitebon said...

I missed it!

I was planning to go, and then I had to proctor a practice SAT.


On a positive note, rather than spending 22 dollars, I earned a few more.

I guess I'll just have to wait for PBS to broadcast it.

Banawoman said...

Hey! Where's The Cats? (sic)

If you don't have any pix of those sleek & slinky ones, just give us Diego et al.

I think it's time I came to hear you sing. Will it set me back $200?

CashmereLibrarian said...

Lucia was fabulous. I thought Piotr did a great job.
Right now I'm pulling up YouTube videos and watching the Natalie Dessay version of the Mad Scene. Interesting contrast.