Monday, March 31, 2014

On to the next thing

Having just finished an exhilarating production of Julius Caesar, I am reminded of how emotional this business is. For our artists who come and pour so much into their performances, it is an abrupt feeling for it to all be over so soon (particularly in a short regional company run!)

You then have to pick up and move on, either to another production or to a waiting period before the next project begins.  This is difficult, even as the producer - to build up and then relax out of it.

As you are beginning your singing journey, make sure you allow yourself the opportunity to "let down" from one experience before moving on to the next.  That way you will avoid emotional whiplash!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Julius Caesar

Just now, we at the Florentine are rehearsing a new production of Handel's Julius Caesar, and seeing our wonderful cast, I am reminded how many of things that have been covered here over the years about auditioning, hold true when it comes to performances as well.
This holds true especially in Baroque Opera, where often the performer is not aided by a lot of specific periphery, be it chorus, other roles, or scenery.

The power of the performer is front and center in Caesar - vocally, musically, and dramatically.  The challenge of feeling confident in how one tackles all these areas is certainly laid bare in this incredible opera. you're working on these areas for your auditions, know that auditions won't be the only place you'll make use of the skills you learn!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New York and Jonas Kaufmann

I just got back from 5 days in New York for Opera America Board Meetings, and along the way, I was able to hear tenor Jonas Kaufmann in recital singing Schumman, Strauss, Wagner, and Liszt - what an evening (including six encores!)

I was reminded again how a great singer can command a stage (Carnegie Hall in this case) with just his voice and a pianist.  May lessons here for the auditonee.  In addition to being a great singer, Mr. Kaufmann is not afraid to do nothing when it fits the occasion - there was never any empty gesticulation - every move or non-move meant something.

More than anything, when you audition, remember that it IS a performance, and your job is to not just get hired or win, but to touch and move your audience, whether its 3000 people or 1 general director.

The power of the human voice to touch us is awe inspiring - tap into that anytime you sing, and certainly don't leave it out of your audition!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Well, it's been a while...

January was a bit hectic, as I was at Rutgers University, having a great time directing Candide.  Since getting back we have done the screening round of our Studio Artist auditions, and we are now getting ready for our big Studio Artist concert this weekend, Festa Fiorentina.

So, now that I am ensconced here for a while, I hope to be a tad (OK, a lot) more consistent with my blog entries.

We will have our 14-15 Studio Artist auditions coming up at the end of the month, so there will be a lot to talk about!

Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Florentine Opera Studio Artist Applications

Happy New Year!
The Application for the 2014-15 Florentine Opera Studio Artist Program is now available on YAP Tracker.
The deadline is 1/13/14.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays!

While for many people, this time of year is about relaxing with family and reflecting, I know that for many singers it is audition season, and multiple solo singing jobs.  With all of the anxiety and stress that this can bring, allow yourself time to reflect upon what the past year has brought you.

Your year will have undoubtedly brought accomplishment.

it might have been something as obvious as securing a manager, landing a big contract, winning a competition, being accepted into a grad program or training program OR it might be something more subtle like finally nailing down a tricky aria that now feels ready for audition, tackled Russian successfully so your range of audition pieces is expanded, found just the right teacher or coach, etc...

Whatever the accomplishment this year, allow that to be a counterbalance to the stress of auditoning, singing Messiah when you have a cold, or any of the other stressors singers have!

I hope that the new year will arrive finding you refreshed to jump back into this wonderful thing we call singing!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Take Time to see what is really happening!

I should have probably put the word really in bold italics.
When it comes to how we really come off to an audience both visually and vocally, there can can be a wide gap between our perception as performers and the perception of the audience.
This is of course important in performance, but equally as important in auditions, when how you sell your piece or pieces can play a big part in determining whether or not you are hired!

So....and I have said this before, use every means at your disposal to make sure you are putting across what you want to put across.....

Colleagues, teachers, coaches, mirror, video recordings - all are good ways to find out if that is happening!