Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hansel and Gretel

Well, Hansel and Gretel was a big success. I think everyone is glad it's over but it was fun while it lasted. The costumes and set were fantastic. They even got to eat the witch after she was turned into gingerbread. It was great. Carol ended up asking me to prompt (kind of conduct from the front row) at the last minute. It was a first for me. I've always conducted from the podium. And to tell you the truth...it is definitely not a stress-free job! But all went well and it was a great show. Bravi tutti!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Double rant

I have a double rant today. First of all, there is new drama amongst the ranks of the Utah Opera. Two of my singers have decided to hook up. If you don't know already, the five of us are like a family...at least we spend that much time together. So there are differing opinions on whether this was a good idea or not. But, it has happened and there isn't much o' nothin' we can do about it. I'm hoping that it turns out well and that they have each found their soul mate. But if not, it could turn out to be a somewhat interesting and slightly rocky year.

Secondly...while I know this is possibly a little politically incorrect to say out loud, I feel like something should be said before compliance is assumed through silence. And it's my blog so I can say what I want. :) I think we would all agree that everyone deserves the right to live as they choose...and that everyone deserves the same rights and privelages...no matter their choices (murder, crime, etc. exluded of course). But I think that means that people in love deserve the right to marry and to receive the rights and privilages that come with marriage. It's not my place to deny that. It used to be common practice and thought that blacks didn't deserve to hold the priesthood...that they didn't deserve the same rights and privilages that come with that blessing because of the color of their skin. There are a lot of similarites between that moment in time and this. I'm not saying that I know what should happen but I do know that we all deserve the same. No one is better than someone else because of the color of their skin...or because of who they love.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"The world always looks brighter from behind a smile."

I know this is kind of sappy but, I love how little things can make you smile. Even when you're having an absolutely awful day. Maybe someone will send a text message, leave a voice mail, drop an email, or just smile as you pass on the street. But it makes you happy for a bit--even on those awful days. I do my best to return the favor but sometimes the scale gets pretty uneven. Anyway, thank you to everyone for making me smile and making me happy. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ouch!

Remind me to wear surgical gloves next time I cook with fresh jalapeno peppers. I made chili verde tonight, and it turned out really good. And I didn't go about touching my eyes or anything after I had cleaned and chopped the peppers. But apparently I had some cracks or tiny, invisible cuts on a couple of my fingers. My hands still hurt and I'm running out of options to make them feel better...except waiting. So let me say again...remind me to wear surgical gloves next time I work with jalapeno peppers.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Madama Butterfly

I'm sitting in the first orchestra dress for Madama Butterfly at the Utah Opera. I love Puccini but Butterfly is an especially wonderful score. And so tragic! But one question remains. Does Pinkerton really love Butterfly? The music in Act 1 is so romantic etc. and you really believe he loves her. But then it is so tragic at the end. My singers and I were discussing this over lunch the other day (yes, we are music nerds). We came up with many different answers but most of us really wanted him to love her and then life just intervened and he ends up married in America. But we didn't actually decide on anything. If anyone has any thoughts, I would love to hear them. Or, you can just tell me I'm a music nerd and I'll be ok with that. But it's a wonderful score.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

French!!!

I think I've mentioned lately that the opera has decided to be the cause of my untimely death. But that being said, the symphony chorus did not help tonight. I played the rehearsal because the chorus master was at the opera rehearsal over at Capitol Theater. The piece was a random Debussy piece that no one even knew existed. The problem was that the maestro for the evening didn't have that great of french...or actually, his french was not based in singing but speaking and then only four semesters of french. It turned out that I spent the better part of two hours coaching french without a dictionary. For those of you who don't know, French is NOT my best language. So, to coach it without preparation or a dictionary is kind of scary. I'm pretty sure I probably led them astray a couple times but we all survived. Anyway, the point of my story is just that it completely fried my brain after an already long day of work. I think I would have much rather preferred some mindless part playing where I could turn off my brain.

Don't get me wrong...I am glad I got to play the rehearsal and I'm glad I got to practice my french. It was just incredibly tiring...and not entirely worth what they're paying me. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Well...I tried...

One of the joys of my house--and don't get me wrong, I love my house--is that I can't turn on the heat or the air conditioning without my dad coming over and turning various levers, etc. I should have made the connection sooner--like when the weatherman said it was going to be cold and snowy this weekend--but I didn't. So, when the cold weather hit, my house was cold. Lots of blankets and tea. I called my dad and asked how it works so I could do it myself. I wanted to turn on my heat. Anyway, to make a long story short--too late--I tried various combinations of levers. Nothing worked. I was freezing so I called my dad, admitted that I can't make it work, and he came over and saved me. He's good at that sometimes...and I am very grateful. :)

Yes, I know this is a boring and pointless story but it's been an uneventful weekend. And needless to say, I was not meant to be a plumber...but my house is warm.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And gosh darnit, people like me!

I know I don't suck! The Utah Opera Apprentices are currently getting ready to perform with the Utah Symphony on the Halloween concert. They will be singing the third act of Hansel and Gretel by Englebert Humperdink (yes, the man was truly cursed with that name). Anyway, that means that I get to play the staging rehearsals. I really enjoy staging rehearsals...especially when the music is good...and this is good music but, let me tell you something about Mr. Humperdink. His idol was Richard Wagner (the guy who wrote that thing called the ring cycle that is 12 hours long). That also means that he is going to change key about every two measures. Needless to say--I'll skip the rambling music babble--this score is incredibly hard to read. I have been putting every last second of free time I have lately into learning this blasted thing and I still can't play it. No amount of slow practice will make it stick. We're getting down to the deadline (rehearsals start Monday). And I think (hope) I'm too stubborn to let it beat me...I'll learn it. But it is frustrating and makes you feel like...well...like you just suck. So, I guess we're back yet again to walking around the house repeating "I know I don't suck...I know I don't suck...I know I don't suck".

And gosh darnit...people like me! :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

How does a cow sing???

Yeah...it's Friday!!! And on top of that, we only had to do one show this morning after having to do two a day all week. Granted, it was at 8-freaking-am but, it was only one show. And that's good enough. Anyway, it was a pretty good show...nothing exploded...which was an achievement considering how tired we all were. We got through the show and were into the question and answer portion. Now granted, nothing is sacred. Elementary kids will ask anything and everything. But today came two of the best. First..."How does a cow sing?" (this question was actually rather reminiscent of "Where do horses come from?" for those of you who might know that story). Brent actually answered this one pretty well, talking about cows having very resonant voices and how he hoped that none of us sounded like cows (yes, I was included in that). Secondly...a kid asked Gretchen if she was the sister of Pink...which wouldn't have been so bad except absolutely none of us new what he was talking about and didn't make the connection to the singer until about two minutes had passed. Anyway, it made for a very entertaining end of the week.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

There's a first time for everything...

Yes, there is a first time for everything. And, you don't know what you've got until you lose it. Ok, maybe that's a little over dramatic. We had a late leave this morning with the Opera Stars so I figured I would be productive and get some things done. As a result, I didn't get in the shower until about 11:30 (we were scheduled to leave at 12:30). I walked in to the bathroom...turned on the shower...and nothing. Not even a drip. So I proceed to check all the faucets in the apartment...nothing. The water in my building had been turned off...and no one had decided to tell me. Because we were scheduled to leave at 12:30 I didn't have time to run to my mom's to shower and...needless to say, I needed to shower. Anyway, long story short--too late (thank you Shelly ;) )--I had to shower at the Utah Opera production studios while Butterfly rehearsal was going on in the next room. Not the end of the world at all but it was pretty funny. Like I said...there is a first time for everything.