It's clearly been a while since I've been able to write, but now that I am on Christmas break, I have a little more time than I would normally have during the school year. With only 2 days until Christmas, I've decided to reflect on the incredibly wonderful year I've had.
This is my final year at Laurier, and it has been the best year yet. I feel that I have accomplished more in four months than I did the last two years of my undergrad. This has to do with some vocal set backs that kept me from singing to my fullest potential. Not only have I made wonderful advances in singing, but I have made incredible advances in my lifestyle. It took me about 3 years to make those changes, but I see that perserverance and hard work have paid off. I've learned that I have been my own obstacle.
After my first year I had gained a lot of weight. Since then, over the last three to four years, I have lost 25 pounds. I understand what I need to eat for my body (and my voice) to remain healthy. I also understand how important excersize is. I am thankful that I don't have the best metabolism in the world. I know exactly when I'm not eating right because my body tells me.
At the end of this term, I earned an A/A+ in my studio, an A+ in Opera and I just was notified that I will be receiving the Alumni Choir Voice Performance Scholarship this year. Even though I've been working hard, I feel that this is a reward for the last two years of struggle. I am no longer broken (as I've shouted from the mountain tops dozens of times...sorry if you've already heard this).
About a month ago, I found out that I was accepted into Opera NUOVA's six week program in Edmonton, Alberta. I have been offered the role of the Second Wood Nymph in Rusalka and I couldn't be more delighted. This program is, in my opinion, Canada's best, and I can't wait to be challenged and busy!
On top of all this, a little while ago I was offered an opportunity to sing with the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony in the Pops Concerts Series. I will be part of a comedy act lead by Rainer Hersch, a British comedian, pianist and conductor. I am proud to say that this is my first professional gig in the classical world.
This year would not have been such a success without help from my talented and dedicated teacher, Kimberly Barber. Not only is she a wonderful teacher, but she has such a way with words, she is beautiful and so unbelievably talented as an artist and she is, above all, a compassionate and caring person. She has gotten me through some very rough times and it is such a pleasure to complete my fifth year of study at Laurier with her. I look forward to my next year of private study with her, after leaving Laurier.
I also need to comment on how proud I am to be a Laurier graduate. After receiving my undergrad, I knew I had to come back to do my Opera Diploma. Laurier has made me a great musician, artist and person. When I leave these walls, I understand how different other universities are. Nowhere else would a third or fourth year be singing a lead role in an opera. Nowhere else would such a collegial and supportive atmosphere exist. This year, our opera class has been the best yet, with no room for gossip, jealousy or toxicity and I am SO thankful for that. There is no need for it in this business, and those who indulge are not helping themselves or others. I am not perfect, and I find myself getting sucked into "toxic talk", but I strive to stay away.
After reading the above text, I realize it could be seen as me bragging. This is not my intention. I have taken the time to write this all out for myself: to reflect on my year, to share with others the things that I am proud of, and to write down all the things that I am incredibly thankful for.
I am so proud to be a soprano and artist and I can't wait to see where 2011 leads. If I don't write again until the new year, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
P.S. Another highlight of this month was seeing Renee Fleming at Roy Thompson Hall. You know you're a die-hard fan when you start sobbing profusely while she makes her first entrance onto the stage. She was stunning.