Monday, July 11, 2011

Remember That Blog I Was Writing?

My second semester and the beginning of summer reached unbelieveable levels of busy and my poor blog fell by the wayside a bit. It's not that I didn't have anything to say, just no time to say it! And I am soon to be on my way to Ohio to spend time with my sister and her five children so I am not sure my time for writing is going to increase anytime soon.

I have a lot of music to memorize this summer as well. Fortunately the first batch is over:

I loved, loved, LOVED the Bellini. Lovely, artful Italian opera that sounds as light as air but is technically demanding. Fortunately the chorus parts are pretty straightforward, but oh, how I did love listening to the soloists! Except for the one part where a huge moth the size of a bat decided to fly straight into the back row of altos and hang out awhile. Ah, the joys of outdoor singing!

Now the Requiem, on the other hand, just about did me in. The Latin was not so much an issue as was the way-too-high range of the female voices. It was like Extreme Singing for Altos. This made it feel very heavy and by the end of the rehearsals we were all pretty exhausted, not to mention the actual performance. Now that I have had my grump, I have to say that it is one of the most spectacular things I have ever sung. At one moment I actually choked up listening to the men sing the Tuba mirum and had to pull myself together before my next lines. So to sum it up, Berlioz: Stressful. Punishing. Hell on the voice. Sublime.

Now for the rest of the summer--Gershwin's Porgy and Bess and Beethoven's 9th Symphony.
I sang some of Porgy and Bess in college, and thankfully have memorized the Beethoven already, so that will be just a brush-up, but I didn't realize quite how big Porgy and Bess was. I listened to the whole production on my way home from Tanglewood yesterday (3 hours) and realized there is a bit more to it than I thought. One song I remember from college brought me a hilarious memory--we sang this for some big BYU celebration in the Marriott Center (Homecoming?)  and Ariel Bybee was the guest soloist. I think it was like 1993 or 1994. When we were singing the chorus for the picnic song "Oh, I Can't Sit Down" there is a line that says:

Sure is dandy, got de likker handy

We had to substitute "hamper" for "likker". Ha, hah! Of course you can't have a bunch of Mormon kids singing about how much alcohol you have on hand! But remembering it made me laugh. All my choir friends from back then will remember that! I am hoping it does not work it's way into this performance, You know how your brain is about memorizing sometimes!

Just so you can see how many pages!!!!

 Anyway, hopefully I will be able to keep up a bit better in the future...hopefully.