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!