Monday, October 10, 2011

So I lied a little bit...

So remember when I said I'd be back in a week? Yeah...that was July 24th. It is now October 10th. Needless to say, I got busy.

St. Andrew's by the Sea was amazing.To begin my journey, I reunited with one of my very good friends, Naomi,  at the Toronto airport before we travelled together to New Brunswick. I hadn't seen her for over a year, so it was about time we got to see each other!!!! It was a little over a year ago that we met at Opera NUOVA.

I'd never been to the maritimes, and it is so beautiful out there. I stayed in a house that was literally 30 seconds from the sea. It was an old blacksmith's house that was built in the 19th century. My landlady was a musician and stain glass artist, so her house was adorned with beautiful art. Now to singing...

This week was incredibly challenging, but so eye-opening for me. After NUOVA I was on top of the world, but St. Andrew's brought  me back to reality and reminded me of what work I needed to do. I honestly had a eureka moment EVERY DAY...if not twice a day. Wendy Nielsen is an amazing pedagogue and one of the warmest people I've ever met. What a lady. I trusted her guidance and wisdom.

Other highlight for me was my work with Tom Diamond, our acting coach. That man summarized basically every important acting technique that I had learned in theatre school, but it one lecture. His passion and knowledge was incredible. I appreciated his honesty. I sang in a master class while I was there, and I didn't do the work that I normally do when I prepare an aria. Tom called me out on it and I am so thankful for that. I know EXACTLY what I need to do with every piece of music (aria or scene) before it is performed for it to be believable. If you take shortcuts it wont be genuine. I needed to be called out. I know what my personal best is and I know what I need to do to attain it.

Hilarious photo of Naomi and I. Reunited in St. Andrew's, NB

This week also shook me up a bit, because a coach that I worked with told me she heard a possible mezzo sound. WAIT A SECOND. WHAT!??! I think my world came crashing down for a moment. I hadn't questioned my voice type since first or second year when Kim said...."maybe...." So I thought about it, I sang a trouser role in a scene there (which was REALLY fun and ended in some girl on girl action...PG13 though) and I pondered some more. After all of that thinking and talking about it with friends and mentors, I realized that yes, I may be young, but I know exactly what I am. I AM A SOPRANO. I could very well make the choice and be a lyric mezzo if I want, but my heart lies with The Countess, Fiordiligi, Donna Elvira, Tatiana and all of the other AMAZING women that a lyric soprano gets to portray. Plus, everything about my body, temperament and sound is soprano.

I returned from St. Andrew's a little bit fatter (I ate out A LOT), a lot happier and very enlightened. August and September were transition months for me. Getting settled back home, finding jobs, and getting back into the groove of the full-time singing.

I now have three jobs. I have time for voice lessons, I have time for coachings, I have time to practice AND I even have time to have some fun. Life is good. Being out of school is exactly right for me.

I am currently prepping for audition season. It all starts in a little over a week with my first YAP (Young Artist Program Audition). I am so ready for this.

OH! And how can I forget that I will be part of a recital tour happening in December. I will be performing along with the beautiful and talented sopranos Erin Armstrong and Naomi Eberhard. The title of this recital is Dueling Divas: Battle of the Big Haired Blondes. It's going to be a night of hair and high notes! Recital locations are Windsor, Leamington and Hamilton. Times, and locations will be coming soon. I will put up the poster when it is completed!

I think that covers the majority of what's going on in my life. I am not sure when I'll be able to write next...but I will do my best to keep things updated!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

It's Been A While

Wow. So it's clearly been a while. The past 6 months have been so jam packed, I'm going to try and touch BRIEFLY on major things that have gone on.

January: Staging rehearsals began for Flute. A lot to do for our February opening. Michael Cavanagh is an amazing director. Prep for grad recital ongoing.

February: Reading week rehearsals for Flute. Amazing growth vocally and mentally. I am conquering Pamina and gaining vocal confidence. I am finding it hard to leave the daily rehearsals and go to bed. I want to stay in the Theatre Auditorium until midnight! I love what I do.

Flute performances are amazing. One of the best productions I've ever been a part of. Opera Canada reviews Saturday night performance! Singing in the Sanderson Centre in Brantford is a dream. Beautiful hall, beautiful acoustics. Glorious. Pamina is a vocal landmark for me.

Papageno and Pamina (moi) singing 'Bei Mannern'

March: Having trouble coming down off of my Flute high. Still a lot of prep to do before my grad recital in April. This now becomes my main focus.

April: Grad recital is a big success. I pulled together my 12 minute Russian aria just in time! Prep for Opera Nuova and my gig with Kitchener Waterloo Symphony become my main focus. I am accepted into St. Andrews Opera Workshop in NB!

May: Classical Comedy (KWS gig) a huge success. My own dressing room complete with piano, fridge, and bathroom. Luxury after Laurier. I leave for Opera NUOVA the day after my final KWS performance.

NUOVA: This gets its own heading because about 12 months of stuff happened in 6 weeks. The most amazing six weeks of my life. Broadway concert, success! Aria Extravaganza, success! Song Soiree performance, success! Rehearsals for Rusalka from the beginning=a lot of dancing and singing at the same time. Ahhhh...the life of a wood nymph. I am given an understudy while I am there. The Foreign Princess in Rusalka. Big sing, quick learn! Success! Possible FACH change in the future? Who knows.

Kim arrives in Edmonton and surprises her students!!!!! Best surprise ever. Performances of Rusalka and Figaro: stunning. Two beautiful productions. So proud of everyone.

I met 60 (give or take) amazing individuals I am now proud to call my colleagues. Lots of doors have been opened for this next year. Final Monday of the program=POOL PARTY complete with gin and tonics. Great day.

Tuesday after, I fly back to Ontario. Sadness. A lot of sadness.

July: Post-NUOVA depression sets in. It takes me about a week to find where I am in the world. Toronto visit, lots of practicing and score purchasing. Donna Elvira, Tatyana and Fiordiligi: you are mine.

Opera Canada review of Flute comes out: "Stephanie Yelovich's blond, Nordic-looking Pamina was sung with great delicacy and feeling." Very humbled.

And here we are. It is the 21st of July and on the 24th, I leave for St. Andrew's, NB to take part in Wendy Nielsen's Opera Workshop. Lobster, opera, sea...what more could one want?

My following post (I'm sure) will be much more detailed. Be back in a week!