You guys! Thanks for having me back! I said it before and I'll say it again: I'm not a writer. I sometimes try to parade as one, but really I'm a hack and am much more comfortable breaking out into song (because that's normal). I mean, I still can't adjust to putting only one space after a period! Why did that even need changing?? Propriety be damned! I shall stick to two. And yes, I sang that dramatic statement in my head.
I'm writing from Birmingham, Alabama where I am singing in a production of Bizet's Carmen with Opera Birmingham. It's a funny thing, the freelance singer's life. Your home is an extended-stay suite. Your neighbors are other singers, a pianist, a director, a conductor, and various soccer and/or dance teams and their overly competitive parents. You're removed from your every-day "real" life, but this isn't "pretend" life either. We're at work and in our case, going to the office means singing your face off, opening up to criticism and judgement, and hoping to make a lot of musical magic happen in a very short amount of time. It's an amazing (challenging) creative chemistry that is uncovered when reckoning the preconceived visions of the singers, the projected vision of the director, and the conductor who has to hold it all together, bless his heart. It's a freaking miracle that it all comes together. I will articulate more of my musical experience here in Birmingham, but while we're still in rehearsals, I will abstain from sharing details that don't relate to my individual process. (I have a process? What? I mean, of course I have a process!) I would like to share a piece that my castmates and I bonded over during one of our first social gatherings. Or we bonded over the collective schadenfreude, I'm not exactly sure, but this painful video is from a concert version of Carmen. Below is the Act IV finale, the final scene of the show. Carmen and José are having one last dispute, but this Carmen mixed some meds and can't quite get it together. A cautionary tale of pharmaceutical woe!! Hope you cringe and enjoy!