Thursday, January 11, 2007

I survived my Carmen audition.

I arrived just before the woman I'd done Pinafore with started singing. As soon as she opened her mouth, I was tempted to slink away with my tail between my legs, but figured I'd gotten that far, might as well go through with it. So I sat there and enjoyed her singing, thinking "these are real opera singers!"

It helped my confidence that when the next woman arrived, the director had us do a "movement exercise". Fun little game, that: He took a music stand, pulled the tray up as far as it would go, told us this was an incredibly gorgeous man, and the 3 of us were to vie for his attention. While the MD played the Carmen Habanera, the director had us positioned around the stand, initially in place, while he called out changes: "now the man is looking at A; now Maureen has his attention; now he's looking at B; now he's just looking down the hall..." I had fun, of course - I always enjoy moving to music - and it helped me relax before I had to sing.

The MD decided he wanted to hear my Christmas carol, "Il est ne", first, so that's what I did. Thank God for adrenaline! I'd been having trouble with this song at home. Maybe my throat was still recovering from the funeral earlier, but even though the highest note was only an E, my voice didn't want to cooperate. But with the music, it was easy, especially with the dancing tempo the MD gave me.

Next up was Margaret's aria from Ruddigore. I stumbled over a coupla words in one place but was able to get back on track. Not my best, but I don't think I did badly, especially as this was the first time I'd auditioned using both verses.

But there's no way they're going to cast me, even if I didn't have a show that eats up much of my February availability. Listening to B, and knowing that "Lady Jane" was also auditioning, I was very much aware of just how out of my league I was. The directors were very polite about it, though - they all said how much they liked Margaret's aria, but I don't recall any comment about my voice. Which is probably just as well, under the circumstances. I figure they'd only cast me if they needed a "gypsy dancer", and they can probably get all the dancers they need from the choreographer's Spanish dance company.

Still, I'm glad I did it. Gave me a reality check - at my age, I'll never make even chorus in an opera by a straight opera company. And it was interesting to see that A and B did much, much longer pieces than I've ever heard at any other audition - 2, 3 or more verses of each of their two arias! (And theirs really were arias.)

And TW just called a little bit ago to ask me how it went. What a sweetie!

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