Sunday, September 26, 2010

September is almost over...

So apparently I've dropped off the face of the earth since school started. So sorry! It's been a busy September, what can I say?!

So last time I left off, Krysta had arrived but now Tyler is here too! Welcome to the "east coast". Apparently I have an east coast accent. Never noticed until I was made aware of it. Thanks Tyler. The poor guy got here to an empty, un-furnished apartment so the first week was all running around.

Opera rehearsals are going pretty well. The Traviata is always a great joy to sing and I feel very confident in its delivery. Still needs lots of work, and that's where Kim comes in! The Ariadne on the other hand is not so easy. The role is actually a dramatic soprano role, but the scene we are singing is totally do-able. I get to chest a low G which is so much fun. The learning of it is not all that easy. I had a frustrating rehearsal where I made mistakes and I HATE nothing more than being unprepared. Les understands because A. we were just assigned this role a week ago and B. its Strauss. We are all still scrambling a bit to learn it accurately and quickly.

On another note, Tyler and I are currently learning the final duet in Eugene Onegin, to be performed at the final Opera Diploma recital. It is honestly one of the most beautiful pieces of music I've ever heard. It is so full of passion and intensity. The scene itself is so intense. Basically, after having rejected Tatiana when she confessed her love to him, Onegin decides (six years later) that he actually loves her and wants to be with her. This is of course after she has become a woman and is now graceful and mature. I won't give away the ending, but its not really happy one. It's a great "inner-struggle" scene. Can't wait to get that on its feet.

The other night we had a surprise party for Krysta because she mentioned NOTHING on the day of her actual birthday. I had no idea it was her actual birthday. I felt terrible. SO....I decided we needed to have an impromptu surprise party. She had no idea it was coming and it was an amazing night. I feel so lucky because this year has been filled with so many wonderful people. My roommates are amazing, Tyler and Krysta are my two new fantastic friends. These people have honestly lit up my life (cue the song) for these first two weeks and made it so positive. I feel that positivity was something I was lacking in previous years. This year is going to be filled with memories.

Speaking of amazing times and great memories, last night we all went to Toronto to see Kim in Tapestry Opera's Opera Briefs in the Distillery District. What a show.

The concept: 4 composers, 4 librettists and 4 singers. And what do they do? The create opera. They created about 10 different operas from which they each did a scene. It was amazing to watch. The theatre was very black box and intimate so everything was up close and personal. Theatre like that is SO exciting. Now, I could be biased, but I don't think I'm wrong in saying that Kim stole the show. Her amazing attention to detail and great dramatic presence was just there. She is a force.

I also really enjoyed how much this sort of opera relied on good acting ability. Every scene was a small piece of theatre and if you took the singing away, it would be just as glorious.

Backtracking now. Before the show, we walked through the distillery district and went into some art galleries. WOW. I saw beautifully stunning art. Taking time to appreciate beauty like that cannot be compared with anything else. My favourite gallery housed this set of photographs printed onto stainless steel. The show was called "Carnaval" by Nicolas Ruel. All the works were carnival/masquerade scenes all in a Venetian setting. They were dramatic, operatic and full of life. Three things that I like very much ;) Here are a few of my favourites below:

To look at the rest of the collection you can go to and view the photographs.

After wandering for a bit we went to the Mill St. Brewery for dinner. I tried the Raspberry Beer. Mmmm. Delicious but dangerous because it is like juice. It was honestly such a wonderful night. Here is a photo of this beautiful group of people at the restaurant:

Well, I think that's about enough for now. If you haven't already, check out the rest of the Carnaval collection. It's beautiful.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Op. Dips. Unite!

Today was a busy and great day. We had a meeting with the Dean, and it turns out he is fantastic. He has a sense of humour, he's kind and he cares about us students. Couldn't be happier :) After the meeting, I met Krysta, my fellow Op. Dip. at Kim's studio! I am SO HAPPY you are here Krysta!

I gave her the tour, we photocopied music together, we researched our Opera Excerpts together, and then we went to Zellers. It was a great day.

On the downside. I hate OSAP. They wouldn't give me my money because I'm not enrolled in my full course load yet. Great. I'm still poor. Ahhhhh, the life of a student.

Looking forward to tomorrow because we have our general meeting and Opera Auditions! Looking forward to seeing the whole Opera class and hearing everyone's voices :) Of course, Krysta and I happen to be singing the same aria for our audition. We are like two peas in a pod.

I also practiced again today and worked on Violetta...I think I can sing "Sempre Libera". Oh god its hard...but I'm going to do it. I'm a soprano on a mission ;)

This is going to be a challenging year. I can't wait.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Hello everyone,

SO! I'm all moved into my new place. It's SO great. I have the most amazing roommates and the most amazing house. I feel like I've lived here for years. The move itself was so quick and painless and I was settled the first night we were here.

Yesterday, I went to the school to practice and I half forgot that all of the first years were moving in to their residences. The campus was crazy and full of parents and first years. My practice was great, especially because I was working on Violetta. She is a demanding sing, and I think I got a little too carried away because my voice was exhausted after practicing. I can't help it, when things start going well, I can't stop.

That night, us girls watched "Man in the Iron Mask" starring the one and only: Leo. It was made in 1998. I think post Romeo and Juliet, pre Titanic. God, I remember being so in love with him when I was a 10 year old. Thank God my tastes have changed, though, watching it was so nostalgic. Between Giancarlo and I, we have SO many movies...and I mean DVD and VHS. We are a little obsessive.

Today, I went to the school to do a couple of things and I discovered that the Second Cup in our concourse is now replaced by...drumroll please...A STARBUCKS! It's a little sad, but I was extremely excited. After my elation passed, I went to my chiro appointment. God I needed it. I also got measured for my orthotics. I'm old. I need to wear orthotics. Goodness.

The best part of the day came when Piera, Maradyn and I went to Thrive, the new vegan restaurant in Uptown Waterloo. It is honestly one of the best places I've ever eaten, and I can eat everything on the menu! YES!

I'm now currently drinking a vodka water, listening to The Doors and waiting for all of the roomies to come home. It is Sam (our friend and neighbour) and Adam's birthday (one of my 5 roomies). We are going to Sam's house a little later for party time!!!!! Looking forward to a little bit of light partying during O-Week before starting into my full schedule.

Well, I think that's enough mundane details for today.

Cheers *raising my glass*,


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fall Opera Excerpts

The waiting has ended.

For those away from Laurier who still want to know this, and because I'm excited to tell you, we are doing the following scenes for Opera Excerpts:

The "Cours la reine" scene from Manon Act III, scene i. with Krysta (my fellow Op. Dip.) playing Manon! I am understudying this role.

Act I, scene i from La Traviata including the Brindisi or drinking song (I bet you'd all know it if you heard it...even if you don't know classical music well) and I'll be playing Violetta Valery!! Very exciting! My roomie GC (short for Giancarlo) is playing Alfredo, my lover.

Trio Act II from Ariadne auf Naxos and the Quintet Act II with Krysta and I double cast as Ariadne.

And Frankie and Johnnie, a one act opera. This one is new to me...I don't know much about it!

VERY EXCITING! These excerpts are going to be pretty fierce! I'll keep you posted on dates.

Even though I have to start packing my clothes (moving tomorrow), I'm still going to start learning and watch the DVD. Man, I love opera.

Well, hopefully the move goes smoothly. I'm so excited to be back in Waterloo!

Until then,


Thursday, September 2, 2010

The High C


So...yesterday was not a magic day. I sang those B naturals again today...AND A HIGH C. I held a door open for an elderly lady earlier in the day. Do you think that's why? Every time I am a good samaritan I get a high C? Haha. I'm clearly kidding (not about the holding the door open part for the elderly lady...the part where it earns me high Cs). I think I've honestly found the spot.

A beautiful mezzo who was in her Op. Dip. when I was in my first year told me that she found her high notes at 23. Is this the magic age? If so...I like being 23 right now :). Again, these are small victories, but they are so huge for me. Sorry if this high note business is getting monotonous....BUT...when the C# and D are there, I will inform you. Just saying.

In other news, I am anxiously awaiting our initial Opera Excerpts cast list. I know what operas we are doing excerpts from (La Traviata, Manon and Ariadne auf Naxos) but I have NO idea who I'll be cast as. I can make educated guesses, but I don't want to be hasty. I got my scores in the mail today so I am asking our Opera Mom (Kim) to please send out the list. I am way too excited and want to start learning.

Ciao for now,



Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Holy crap


So this might sound strange, especially because I'm a soprano, but today I did something I've never done.

I sang a GOOD B natural. It was slim and focused and in tune. Holy crap.

I've been struggling with my high notes for years now and I've been so frustrated and a down on myself because they just weren't happening. when I was practicing...I took action. I've always noticed that my support system (muscles that help my little vocal chords do their job) was not good. I decided to play around today while I was practicing and I found the solution!

I was singing through "Quando m'en vo'" from Puccini's La Boheme and there are about 3 B naturals. So, after experimenting with support, I sang ALL of the B naturals and they sounded beautiful. At the end of the aria, I burst out into tears because I couldn't believe I had done it. I found the sweet spot.

I've not been properly supporting my sound, and for some reason, today was the day I discovered how. I don't know why. I've understood the concept for years, but it finally clicked and I was popping off B naturals in a bunch of different arias.

ALSO, the rest of my singing dramatically changed. Phrases weren't hard and I actually had VOLUME CONTROL, which is something that a lot of singers struggle with. I sang quietly. This makes me feel like this year is going to be a pretty fantastic one.

I really hope I didn't just jinx myself and this was a just a one time thing. I'll have to check in tomorrow to find out. I feel like I may have a chance at NEC, Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music. We shall see.

I guess everyone figures things out in their own time.