Sunday, June 15, 2008

It's been about a year since I've written, so I thought I would do a quick summary of this past year's activities:

Work with new teacher, Carmen Balthrop
Singing various roles with Loudoun Lyric Opera
Opera Workshop classes with Richard Crittenden

Yep, that about sums it up! I have had a spectacular experience working with this "genius" of a singer - Carmen. I had been working with another wonderful teacher and friend, Donna Zapola-Connolly, but I was having to travel to Jersey to take lessons with her and the cost and time to do it was hard. So I looked for a teacher locally and found Carmen. I joke with her that she is more of a music therapist than a voice teacher. She has helped me find my voice in every sense of the word. I thank God every day that he guided my footsteps to her. For the first time since I can remember, I am having FUN singing, and my voice is the wonderful product of that fun.

I sang the role of Adele in "Die Fledermaus" with the Loudoun Lyric Opera this past Spring. I had a great experience and met a lot of wonderful, dedicated singers. Since then, I have sung at various fund raising functions with them. Sorry - I don't have any pics from that experience. I have video, but not sure how to put a clip on the blog.

Most recently, I entered a voice competition with the Maryland Opera Society. I have not sung in a competition for about 4 years, so I was a little hesitant. However, Carmen encouraged that if I don't start now, I will never start - "you have to start somewhere." Well, I made it past the first round and was chosen with 9 other singers to sing in the semi-final round this coming Friday afternoon at Harmony Hall in Fort Washington, MD - see a picture of the hall above.

I am very excited for this opportunity and look forward to having fun on stage instead of feeling mind-boggling nervous. If I pass the semi-final round, I will sing in the final round two days later against four other singers for prize money. I am very excited and am looking forward to it. I am sure that the training I have received from Richard Crittenden will also help with my performance. He is also the kindest of men and is somewhat of a genius as well. He teaches techniques that WORK!

I have truly been blessed by these wonderfully kind people who have sprinkled some of their ingenuity and love for music on me and I hope that I can share those blessings with others. I'll be working much more with Richard this summer as I participate again in his summer workshops. It will be a little tricky this time around since I am doing the program part-time (can't afford to miss work) and will only be rehearsing in the evenings, but I am so excited to be doing it again and hope that I will learn more and hone my skills in even further.

Future plans: Audition, audition, audition. This is the only way to have more and more opportunities. I've thought about school, but don't feel an urgency to apply again at this stage. Looking back, I think my applying was solely to introduce me to Carmen Balthrop and so I am grateful for that whole arduous process. At my age, school may or may not be the best thing and I am making enough connections that hopefully I can move forward with a career without more schooling. But, the Man upstairs is really the one in control of all of this, so I'll go along with what he guides. Hopefully with those auditions will come sponsorships and more work. I'll keep "you" all posted.