It has been quite a month.....started with our production of Turandot......after that went to New York for an intense weekend of new opera, plus a few auditions, then followed that with a trip to Detroit for the Met Auditions. Judged with Ben Malensek from the Met - we've done this together several times now, and Patricia Wise - wonderful soprano and voice faculty member at Indiana University - who I had not met before. We all had a grand time together and finished that weekend off with a production of The Marriage of Figaro at Michigan Opera Theatre, where we were graciously hosted by General Director David DiChiera. - No wonder I'm exhausted!!
During this month, I've gotten to hear a wide variety of singers in audition, and it has put me in mind of something that I have said before - You of course have to have the vocal goods, and you have to present professionally - vocally, visually, and dramatically. But, in addition to that, you have to say something with your singing and show us who you are - both who you are in reality, and the character you are portraying. I know that that is a bit of a cypher - how does one concretely do that? The best I can say it in this short post is that I am left with a certain feeling at the end of an audition like that - the feeling that the artist left it all out on the stage. I don't mean that they blew themselves out vocally or that they wildly gesticulated. I mean that the artist auditioning opened up their soul, and gave us a glimpse of the character - made us feel what was happening. It's as though I have experienced an entire opera within the scope of one aria.
Think about the performances that have moved you the most in your life, and I think you will agree that those performances were permeated by that sense of opening up, sharing, and intimacy with the artist.