I’ll admit it: once upon a time I was a starving artist. And by starving I meant that I was working 40 hours a week and then headed to practice and then headed home about 11pm every night for a few weeks. I wasn’t really starving like New York where you work the temp job and then run to an audition and pay your coach and teacher and whatever else and scrape up enough coins to cover your 1/6th of rent. Ok, I wasn’t starving at all. I was actually extremely well off while I was still studying for my Master of Music. A full-time job, tuition remission, benefits. I was spoiled, in fact. No regrets there!
I always have loved singing. Whether it’s a foreign language in a big hall or the car with my daughter (we’re digging Adele lately), I love to sing. At the same time, I’m weird about singing randomly at a party. I’ve always felt it’s not some circus act…I don’t sing on demand. There’s a lot of time, practice, work, blood, sweat, tears poured into singing. So if you just ask me “to sing something” there’s a good chance I’ll say no. It’s not that I’m a snob about it, but I guess I am. Yeah, I’m a snob about it. Ask my BFF’s. They had to pay to sit in theatres to watch me sing. And they’re my BFF’s!!! There’s so much more to me than singing and I get a little ruffled. If you can figure out my taxes really quick, you might get a few notes. And if you do get me singing, don’t expect it to be in English. I’m snarky like that. Unless it’s Adele, in which case my daughter might join me. Or Frozen. Ask for Frozen. I dare you. 🙂
Some people ask why I never pursued the dream of being onstage, of “making” it in some big city with bright lights. Well, I guess my idea of making it is a little different. I love coming home to a warm house, my family, food…it’s really nice! I guess my cut throat, competitive spirit just isn’t there. I want everyone to succeed and flourish. Now if you ask my voice teacher, she still can’t understand why I’m not singing in New York or Houston or wherever. I just have no desire to leave my happy place. I’m making it already! But that doesn’t mean I’ve turned my back on music. At all. As a matter of fact, being out here is rekindling my love of music and art and all the beautiful lessons they can teach.
So that brings me to this concert I just sang. I had the absolute honor of performing with the Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by David Felberg. I LOVE singing with this kind of conductor. He allows the entire group to express their sentiments through music. We work together as a team and the results are phenomenal. I really respect a maestro who can lead us together like that. We also got to sing in some astounding venues! The first was a high school in Rio Rancho. Yes, a high school. With some of the best acoustics I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. The other was an equally beautiful sounding space, the National Hispanic Cultural Center. I’ve had the honor of singing there many times with a local zarzuela (Spanish opera) company and jumped at the chance to sing there again.
We performed Mahler Symphony No. 2, also known as the Resurrection Symphony. One of my favorite pieces of all time, the 4th Movement, is titled Urlicht. It’s German and loosely translates to Primal Light. Beautiful, the percussion actually shines throughout the entire symphony, and the brass…then the violin and alto “duet”. Then we get into the finale and the chorus joins and the soprano floats gorgeous notes in the stratosphere and…see? I get carried away easily. Just in case you want more info, here’s a translation provided by the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra and there are multiple recordings. (If I chose just one, I’m sure to get comments “Why that recording? Obviously the 19xx recording of (insert last name of famous singer/conductor/orchestra) is better. I decided not to tempt fate on this one.) I’m pretty sure it’s a perfect example of music and life crossing paths. One week after this concert we are moving. Literally, resurrecting the ranch. Ironic that this piece is the one I perform, huh?
How did it go? Perfect. Except for when I got too caught up in the gorgeous sound that is an orchestra and forgot some words. And then when I got a frog caught in my throat and had to clear it. But, hey, I gave my 1000% effort and worked through it. If there ever is a recording I can share, I will.