Sunday, September 28, 2008

What to do...

It is officially audition application time. I hate this time of year. Too many decisions to be made. My contract with the Utah Opera is up in May and so I officially have to decide what to do with my life. And what's frustrating is that I know what I want to do with my life. I have always wanted to work at a university as a coach accompanist or even simply an accompanist. The problem is this. I can't get a tenure track position without a DMA and I'm not ready to do another degree quite yet. I would be perfectly happy with a adjunct position but I'm not sure there is a quick way from here. And on top of all that, I get very different reactions from people. There are some who completely agree and think it's the greatest idea ever. But then there are the people that act like I'm selling myself short...that I'm meant to be the next great thing to hit the opera world. I guess I need to stop trying to please everybody else and work at pleasing myself. Even if I'm not sure how to get there from here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

St. George and Zion

I'm currently on tour in St. George, Utah with the opera apprentices. Yesterday I took them out to Zion. Zion is really one of my favorite places on the planet. It is absolutely amazing. We hiked to Weeping Rock and up the Narrows a bit. They really loved it. I don't think there's much of anything that is similar to Zion in the world. But it's always fun to show it to people that appreciate it as much as I do. Needless to say, I think I about killed them...ok, not really but we were definitely tired at the end of the day.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Don Giovanni!

I know nobody really wants to know this but I'm writing it anyway. I finally found a Barenreiter 1975 copyright edition of Don Giovanni! For those of you who care, the 2003 edition has a new piano reduction and sucks...but if you're a vocalist, who cares. Anyway, you can't buy the 1975 because all the stores want to keep up to date. And anyone who has one wants to keep it. You don't invest in Barenreiter scores and not keep them. Anyway, I found one!!! Yeah!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Funnel Cake

Tonight we went to the fair. Every year my family and I go to the fair. I absolutely love it. It's almost my favorite time of year. We saw the sheepies, the bunnies, the piggies, the cowsies (including a steer that was six feet tall...no exaggeration!), and ate corn dogs and funnel cakes. I love funnel cake. If you have never had a funnel cake, it is basically fried air covered in whipped cream and powdered sugar. I waited in line for a good twenty minutes for a funnel cake. Six bucks for fried air. But, it's good!

Good Coachings

I don't really have a lot to say today except that I love the feeling you get when you walk out of a good coaching or a good lesson. That feeling that makes you want to take on the world...that makes you want to practice, to learn everything you can, and to strive to be the best at what you do. I've been in a lot of coachings that have the exact opposite result. In fact, at the end of last year, I had a couple coachings that almost left me in tears. The coach was not specifically rude but he was very patronizing, talked down to his students, and basically just wanted to feel superior to everyone. But as a result, he left you feeling like you basically suck and there was no hope at all for you ever succeeding. As a contrast...the coachings that I witnessed and participated in this week were fabulous. The coach was just as picky as everyone else but he made you feel good about yourself and made you want to practice and improve. None of us walked out of the room feeling like we sucked. It's a great feeling...

Sunday, September 7, 2008

By the way...

By the way, I have to say...one of the other highlights of the tour was...
It was the second to last show of the tour. The audience was just a little too young and it was the end of the day so they weren't paying an ounce of attention and were really chatty. All of the sudden the teachers in the back corner rush to escort a child out of the room. Not a big deal...except that the child didn't make it anywhere near out of the room before he started to throw up all over the floor. Of course, all the attention moves completely to the back of the room, while we are still singing. Anyway, anything can happen!

Home again...

I'm officially back from Vernal. It's always nice to be back in my own bed but it was a fun and successful trip. I always count Opera tours and residencies as successful if we succeed in not killing each other. But, this tour had a lot of fun stuff and, I think we got along really quite well. Like I've said before, it's going to be a good year.
Anyway, while I was having a pretty non-eventful weekend, my mom had a fantastic weekend. She was finally released from being the relief society president. For those of you who don't know, the relief society is the women's organization of the LDS church. It's a huge job that takes up all of your free time and then some. It will be a big change but a good one. Not sure she will know what to do with herself now that she doesn't have meetings, and visiting, and food orders, and all sorts of other stuff to keep her busy. I'm almost jealous of all the free time she will have...

Friday, September 5, 2008

Flaming Gorge


Yesterday afternoon we all piled in the van and set off for adventure and fun in beautiful Flaming Gorge. If you don't know Flaming Gorge, it's in north eastern Utah...it's a resevoir kinda like Lake Powell. They took a perfectly good canyon and filled it with water. But that being said, it's pretty amazing. We walked around the rim of the canyon, stood on lots of edges of cliffs and basically had a fantastic time. The wildlife count stands at...one snake, two bunnies (possibly the same bunny), lots of deer, two moose, and a bunch of lizards. Some of us had never seen a live moose in person (even if it had walked far away by the time we got to it) so it was pretty cool. The Opera Adventures 2008 have begun!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Illicit Dinosaur Viewing

So like I said yesterday, I've never been to Dinosaur National Monument...ever. I was all excited to see the big dinosaur in the mountain. Well...we get there...and the old visitors center is closed due to structural insecurity. How stupid is that?!?! Anyway, as a result, we went on the fossil trail, saw some cool dino bones, etc., thinking that we were going to have to pass up the big dinosaur. But lo and behold, when we finished the trail, it put us out right around the corner from the old visitors center. After a little walk, and a guard rail fence hopping, we were in...at least we were to the window. So...long story short (too late), I got to see the big dinosaur...through the window...illegally...but it makes for a good story right?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Vernal, Utah

It's time for the first Opera Star tour of the season. And as a result, we are spending the week in Vernal, Utah. Yep, a week with the dinosaurs. But I've never seen the dinosaurs...ever...so it will be cool. And I've never seen flaming gorge either. To tell you the truth, I think it's going to be a good week.