Despite appearances to the contrary, I have not abandoned this blog! Other parts of life just took over for a while, as they are wont to do. Here are some of the things I've been doing instead of writing.
I was singing Mrs. Sedley in Peter Grimes at Chautauqua Opera --- a fabulous role in one of the greatest operas ever written, performed with a wonderful cast of lovely, lovely people. The music is very challenging, and so were the circumstances. I got SO SICK with an upper respiratory illness that took me weeks to overcome (yes, I sang on it), and the only thing that kept me from losing my voice was sipping water laced with pineapple juice every. single. time. I coughed, which was like, constantly. Also, I was still getting over my knee surgery and some of the physical requirements were a bit challenging, but I survived.
10 days after getting home from Chautauqua, it was time to board another plane, this time for the wilds of Watseka, IL , and the Sugar Creek Festival, to revisit the role of Effie Belle Tate in Cold Sassy Tree.
We did a fun promo --- when cornered in the hallway at dress rehearsal and asked to say something about the opera, I decided to do mine in character, off-the-cuff.
Watseka is a good 90 minutes south of Chicago, and suffice it to say that with early morning flights, nobody got much sleep when we headed out the day after the show. I think I got about 2 hours, and had to be at a 2 p.m. orientation for my very own summer opera training program, Spotlight on Opera. I am the general director and head bottle washer; and this summer, I was also stage directing one of my very favorite operas, The Ballad of Baby Doe.
Spotlight goes pretty hot and heavy for four weeks straight. Daily classes and rehearsals, guest faculty for masterclasses and workshops, three concerts, two opera scenes programs, and two complete staged operas --- this all happens in four weeks! I had a hard time finding time to wash my hair and do my laundry! But it was wonderful. We staged some terrific scenes and two wonderful operas, both of which I'd been wanting to produce at Spotlight for a very long time, The Rape of Lucretia by Benjamin Britten, and The Ballad of Baby Doe by Douglas Moore.
It kept me very busy but I love administrating and stage directing almost as much as I love singing, and we had GREAT students and guest artists to work with.It was totally worth it!
So, now I'm finally coming up for air, with about a month at home before the next adventure, and I am heartily looking forward to puttering around the house, getting my neglected garden in order and planting for fall, doing some family stuff, and yes, studying scores and teaching and more Spotlight. :) Last but not least, getting back to writing, my first artistic passion. I've got some stuff to say, y'all. Stay tuned. ;)