Monday, August 25, 2008

No more auditions for a while

The Sound of Music producer called me yesterday to offer me "a nun" and Baroness von something-or-other (it was a very bad connection). Two ensemble roles, in other words. Which is OK, if the Morning Hymn we sang at callbacks is typical of what the nuns get to sing. And if, as the Baroness, I'm a party guest, maybe I'll get to dance, perhaps a waltz or even a laendler.

Can't wait to find out who else is in the cast. Given that this is my first show with this company, I wonder how many people I'll know. We open on Halloween, which is gonna be tough for the kids playing the von Trapp children - imagine giving up trick-or-treating!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sr. Mary me?

Got called back for a nun in Sound of Music. I thought that, at least for the would-be nuns, there was less pressure than at initial auditions. They gathered us all in the "media room" (which in my day would have been called simply the library), had us take turns reading a scene, then herded us into the same music room where all the auditioners sang in the first round of auditions. The MD drilled us on the 4 parts of the Morning Hymn from the show (only the first 6 or 8 bars), then had us sing it in groups of 4. I got to sing twice; once on each of the 2 middle parts. (While I sang along as she drilled us on each part, the Soprano I was too high for me to sing piano and the Alto part was too low for me to have any volume to speak of.) Loved the chord structure, and it sounded wonderful when we all sang it in one big group!

They weren't sure how many of us they'll want - maybe 12, maybe only 8. Now it's more waiting - they promised again that they'll call each of us, one way or the other, by the end of the weekend. I should know by Sunday whether I've been accepted into the order, as it were, and whether I'll play one of the named nuns.

The friend I think would make a great Maria got called back for Baroness von Schraeder. I hope she gets it - I love seeing her on stage and hearing her sing.

Monday, August 18, 2008

That went well

Auditioned for Sound of Music last night. I haven't seen that many children, mostly little girls, at an audition since I did Music Man - would-be Von Trapp daughters seemed to outnumber the rest of us by at least 4 or 5 to 1! My group of nine consisted of 3 teenage girls, 4 younger girls, the father of one of those teens, and myself. I'd eaten dinner on the way to the audition (Grand Duke rehearsal ran just late enough that there was no time to go home in between) and arrived with my throat still gunky w/ digestive juices, so it was just as well that it was a good hour and a half before they got to me. By then my throat had cleared so that I was able to sing my piece easily. The acoustics in the room were good, too, despite the carpeting - I'm becoming a fan of auditioning in rooms with cinderblock walls. The MD/accompanist played a bunch of random notes for each of us to test our pitch matching; I enjoyed watching the impressed surprise on her face when I was able to sing everything she gave me easily and with good support. Doesn't every performer love that kind of feedback?

The "dance" combination was a piece of cake - really just a short movement combination, very simple. (After all, they were giving it to everyone, including the children.) That one was fun - maybe this was my chance to "redeem myself" after blowing that last dance audition. ;-D

They'll be notifying people Wednesday morning about callbacks, and letting everyone know, one way or the other, by the end of the weekend. I feel that I'm a cinch for ensemble; depending on the other adult mezzos who audition, I might even have a good chance at a role.

A friend and fellow mezzo was also there last night. I think she'd be a charming Maria (R, I hope you get it!), but she'd be good at any role they give her. Unless they get a lot of dynamite mezzos, I think she'll be a shoo-in for some role, and has a good shot at Maria.

Theater weekend

This was one of my heavier theater weekends - the Chief and I went to 1776 Friday and I saw some of "my" pirates and Stanley daughters in a youth production of Cats on Saturday (the boys already have surprisingly rich bass voices and the girls were similarly impressive vocally). Saturday afternoon I went to a "work party" for the Labor Day G&S marathon - I was on "button duty", helping assemble the buttons we'll be selling. Yesterday afternoon was Grand Duke rehearsal, and last night I auditioned for a production of Sound of Music (along with a lot of little girls!).

Attended 2 shows, auditioned for one, had a rehearsal for yet another, and worked for a theater company - all that was missing was a performance and maybe a bit of costuming or work on sets. ;-)

How to make a tough week even worse

SO VERY glad last week is over! Migraines every morning Tuesday through Friday, though meds & caffeine generally chased them away after a couple of hours. Friday night, though, was a different story. The Chief & I were watching a few theater friends in 1776 when, about half an hour before intermission, I started getting the usual warning signs. By intermission it was already getting heavy, so I was upset to realize that I had NO migraine meds with me! No imitrex, no "mega-motrin", just some wussy OTC "pain relievers", which I was desperate enough to take anyway. All through Act II that migraine came on like a freight train. I managed to gut it out, but the instant the lights went down at the end, I practically threw the Chief out of his aisle seat, urging him to "go!" We managed to get a large sheet of heavy-duty (thank heaven!) foil from one of the theater volunteers before getting to the car as fast as I could bear to move. Not a fun ride home - I felt every bump, every pothole, every pavement seam, every time the Chief touched the brake or accelerator. Let's just say I was grateful that, no trashcan liners being available, I had that big sheet of heavy-duty foil to line an empty box. I threw meds at it when we finally got home, then went straight to bed. And just to add insult to injury, despite the meds, I still had enough of the blasted migraine left when I got up Saturday that I took more meds & went right back to bed for another couple of hours.

Migraines for five days straight - I think it's time to have another little chat w/ my doc about these wretched migraines.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

KKs coming!

My sister hits a milestone birthday later this year, so the Chief suggested sending her a plane ticket so she could vacation at the cabin for a weekend or longer. She made her reservations last week! She gets in on a Wednesday to spend Thursday & part of Friday playing tourist, then Friday afternoon it's off to the cabin for the weekend. Hurray!

Gonna be fun - we get along famously now that we're grown. (We fought like cats & dogs growing up, didn't start to change that until I left for college.) However, in the multi-ring circus that's our family, she & I rarely get more than 5 uninterrupted minutes together when the Chief & I go out at Christmas. Now we'll have hours and hours to talk about anything and everything. I think this'll be a birthday present for both of us, not just her.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wonderful news from Mom's oncologist and Dad's surgeon

At Mom's check-up last week, her oncologist "promoted" her to only 2 check-ups in the next year. Even better, they removed the portacath installed 2 years ago for her chemo - we LOVE the implications of that!

Imagine - Mom has now beat (fingers crossed!) three types of cancer - breast, skin, and now lymphoma. If she must collect all these cancers, at least she's not letting them win.

Dad's doing really well too - Wednesday will mark only 3 weeks since his shoulder replacement, yet his range of motion is already up to 150 degrees, from 110 degrees immediately post-op, with a goal of 161 degrees! The doc warned that the muscles will still need a full 8 weeks for full recovery, but he was very impressed with Dad's progress.

Now if we could just keep them both healthy... !

Checks the calendar...

Yep, it's August, but you wouldn't know it. Gorgeous day today - negligible humidity, clear sky, temps barely into the 80s - wonderful! As soon as I got home from work, I opened some windows and the back door to let the breezes in and turned off the a/c. It's supposed to get down into the 50s tonight - this will be lovely sleeping weather tonight. Given that it took me forever (at least midnight) to fall asleep last night, tonight should be much better.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

That wasn't so bad.

Recital is now behind me. The 5 of us all seemed to do better today than we did at Friday's run-through, for which I can think of several possible reasons: it wasn't right after work, at the end of the work week; we had an audience; the audience was composed of family & friends who were rooting for us.

The whole thing only ran about half an hour, including the church chimes sounding a modified Westminster, followed by the 3 chimes for the hour. I had the shortest piece, but even the tenor who did 3 pieces (2 of them little things by Richard Strauss) probably didn't sing for more than 5 minutes. Our accompanist (a concert pianist!) followed beautifully, which always helps a lot. I could feel my voice cutting out on me, instead of singing the smooth, unbroken line I wanted it to give me, but the Chief commented afterward that I sounded "pretty damn good, actually." :D

Afterward, we all partook of the juice & munchies our teacher provided while we congratulated our fellow recitalists. The Chief was "my" only audience member, so I was flattered when some of the other attendees complimented me on my performance. The mother-in-law of one of the other recitalists even tried to recruit me for a motet group she sings with, and for a chorus at the local university! It seems they're short on altos and are getting by with sopranos working in their lower register.

Two women came up to me and told me they marveled at how I could sing "when she doesn't seem to be opening her mouth!" :D When I mentioned that my teacher had been trying to get me to realize that I don't have to open the front of my mouth all that much to get more sound, that I should open the back, they realized that their (voice teacher? choir director?) had been trying to tell them the same thing. They apparently hadn't expected to see that in practice; guess they have something to think about for their next voice lesson or choir rehearsal.

I also did a bit of recruiting among the other students for a production of The Merry Widow I hope to do next year. I especially worked on the 2 men. The one is just starting and doesn't have a big voice yet, but he's a tenor and can hold his pitch. The other has quite a nice tenor and really nailed his high notes this afternoon. He would have a good chance at the comprimario tenor bits, and if he can control his nervous fidgets when he sings, he might even get something bigger.

Friday, August 01, 2008

My first recital, coming up fast!

This afternoon we had a run-through w/ the accompanist for Sunday's recital. One of my teacher's students had to pull out when her work schedule changed, but she came to the run-through anyway, just for the experience. She's quite young and seemed a bit nervous, but that didn't seem to hurt her.

There will be 5 of us singing come Sunday afternoon. The others are all doing a bit more than I am, but that's OK by me - the little I'm doing is about as much as I could reasonably manage, given Pirates, work and life in general. I didn't do my best this afternoon, but I did pretty darn well, considering how little warm-up I'd done on the way over (15-minute drive). Nice acoustics, lovely accompanist, and we all served as audience for each other and were suitably sympathetic. ;-)

I had been getting pretty nervous about this thing, which is silly - it's not as though I've never sung solo in front of strangers before. For heaven's sake, that's what auditions are! Now, though, having sung with the others, I realize this will be OK unless it's a Code Red day and I don't manage to get enough warm-up to clear the worst of the crud.

Volunteer flowers!

Looked out the back door last week and realized that, in with all the weeds that moved into my flowerboxes because I never got around to planting flowers there, I have 2 portulaca plants! One's got yellow flowers, the other has pinkish-red ones. Free flowers - how cool is that!

I don't know how they got there, but I'm guessing it might have been the birds that like to forage in among the weeds for whatever it is they're hoping to snack on. Seeds in, seeds out, dontcha know. They can't be left over from last year, because it's been 2 years since I had portulaca in the flower boxes.