A lot of projects are coming to a head at the same time. There is both the sense of anxiety and busy-ness and yet the thrill at taking on new challenges.
I was thrilled to be able to sing with the enormous chorus of Mahler's Eight last weekend. I had no real expectations other than this would be a landmark event for the city and for me. The chorus rehearsals had been so much fun. I enjoyed the LAMC only rehearsals, singing next to such fabulous musicians with their beautiful voices. I was intrigued by the challenge of the tutti rehearsals and amazed by the deftness of both Grant Gershon and Gustavo Dudamel at steering a very large vessel through unknown waters.
Once we started singing with the orchestra, however, the challenge added new frustrations. How could any organization plan for such a feat other than to make educated guesses that might not have handled all considerations. Sightlines were a problem. Acoustics were a problem. I could hardly see the conductor or hear any soloists or orchestra in the first rehearsal, but by the performance enough had changed to make the end result rewarding for me as a performer and seemingly incredibly rewarding for the very warm audience.
No rest though. This weekend LA Opera opens with it company premiere of Verdi's Simon Boccanegra. In my role, I want to brag about the Chorus, but the entire show is excellent - cast, production, orchestra, yum, yum, yum! I hope we are able to bring in large audiences, and I've seen lots of discount deals available online. So... no excuses. Opera lovers, buy your tickets post haste!
In the midst of all this I have been collecting applications for our Chorus auditions. We'll have full sessions again this year certainly. AND I'm preparing a four movement work for the Carnegie Choral Institute. It will be my first time conducting in New York City, and I am tremendously excited to work with so many prestigious people and have friends and family cheering me on at the performances.
I've been missing the opportunity to be conducting out in front, and while a workshop is a bit of an artificial environment I appreciate the chance to make some music with new people in a creative environment.