Saturday, June 30, 2012

Where do we go when we die?

Pianist’s definition of hell:
Playing for a choral rehearsal, they go over music, learn it, sing it OK, they move on. Then, they go back to the beginning of the piece and it’s like they’ve never seen the piece before . . . the clock twitches at 12:12 - but never moves forward . . .

Pianist's definition of heaven:
Playing for a choral rehearsal, the choir sings beautifully, with crisp consonants, matching vowels sounds and cutoffs as if they possess a single mind. They run through the entire thing perfectly, the hour flies by - and then you get paid a million dollars and get escorted to the destination of your choice in a limo with a martini.

The Wand-Waver and the Blame

Once upon a time there was a wand-waver, a choir, and a pianist.  The wand-waver and her singers did not like to work, even though a festival was fast approaching.  When the festival gathering occurred, the wand-waver would leave a small folded note on the judges desk, requesting the selection of one particular song due to the “inability of the pianist to perform the other pieces”.  The judges nodded and gave indulgent smiles to the poorly skilled pianist, and requested the one particular song.  The choir sang the one song it knew beautifully, and happily joined the festival.  This occurred two years in a row.  

Then one year, a judge did not see a folded up note on his table, and requested another song, one that the choir did not know.  The wand-waver smiled and asked if he had “read her note”, but the judge did not smile.  He slowly opened the note, then reluctantly called for the requested song. The wand-waver smiled because she had gotten away with her plan, yet again.  
The next day, the judge requested that the choir sing again - this time with a pianist of his choosing.  Several of the choir member’ eyes widened in alarm.  Courageously, the wand-waver whispered “Follow me!” - and she led them onstage, proceeding to wave and point her wand, mouthing the words with determination, willing them to succeed.  But her effort was for naught, for the choir could not remember what they did not know.  One by one, the singers dropped out until no one was singing anymore and only the lone pianist was heard playing.  The singers heads drooped in shame, and they were excluded from the festival with a stern warning.  The wand-waver was required to hand in her wand at the end of the year. 

The moral:
NEVER blame the pianist  

The Throat and the Tempo

Once upon a time there was a singing princess who had difficulty keeping a steady rhythm, who often would get slower and slower when she sang with any kind of accompaniment.  Occasionally she found tempos too fast for her liking, but was unable to indicate the tempo she preferred. In an attempt to help with this problem, a wise man gave her an Enchanted Box that provided a steady ticking sound.  The princess was shocked at this Enchanted Box, and was amazed at its ability to keep her music going forward at a steady pace.  She was the only one among her singing companions to carry one.  “Why”,  she asked, “are these not more common?”  Shrugs and blank looks met her query.  She lost it shortly thereafter and did not bother to replace it.

The moral:  
. . . singers.

Backlogs and Backburnings

Hello all,

I'm currently in an enforced vacation of sorts, as my husband narrows down exactly where we will live (88% chance of Florida, 12% chance of TX).  Currently we are in Melbourne, FL and my to-do list is pretty empty - which means I have nothing better to do than write.

I do have stuff I've dashed off but never posted, so I'll probably post several random items over the next few weeks -fair warning!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Minnesota Opera's Resident Artist Program

The Minnesota Opera's Resident Artist Program offers a full season of employment for talented artists beginning their professional careers. From late August through April, Resident Artists gain valuable experience in assignments ranging from ensemble, understudy, comprimario to leading roles in mainstage performances. Resident Artists also perform concerts on stage at Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Schubert Club's Courtroom Concerts, donor functions, adult education classes and regional outreach. 

Master classes with guest clinicians, individualized language work, acting, movement and stage combat, yoga and professional career development are just a few benefits of the program. 

The program is designed to bridge the gap between an artist's academic education and professional career. Ideal Resident Artists are singers, coaches, administrators and directors who have completed their post-graduate education and may have some professional experience. We have no age limit and are an equal opportunity employer. 

Auditions for the '13/14 Resident Artist Program will be: 
Coach/Accompanist dates: 
• Minneapolis: November 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17, 2012 
• New York: November 27, 28, 29, 30 and December 1, 2012 

Assistant Director 
• Audition/Interviews will occur in Minneapolis in December 2012 
• Assistant Director Application Form available online 
• Received by deadline: November 12, 2012 

Assistant Conductor 
• Audition/Interviews will occur in Minneapolis in December 2012 

• Interviews will occur in Minneapolis by appointment 
• Administrator Application Form available online 
• Received by deadline: November 12, 2012 

For more information and application, go to