Saturday, December 15, 2007

Time Warp

Standing on the stage of Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan last week felt like I had gone through a time warp and suddenly found myself in the midst of my own version of Back to the Future. The last time I had performed there, I was a senior in college singing a solo with the University Choir. Here I was again, with an excellent soprano with whom I sang fairly frequently while at Michigan (she was completing her DMA while I was doing my undergraduate studies there) and the director of orchestras, with whom I had also not worked with since college. At one point, I turned to one of my colleagues backstage and said, "I feel like I never left and I am 19 years old again." It was a surreal and nerve-wracking, yet totally fun experience. I've been waiting for a while now to go back and sing in that incredible hall again, and it felt good to be back.

As surreal as it felt, the performance went well, and people were very moved by the new piece. At the concert, we premiered the orchestral version of a song cycle written by one of the composers on the faculty the UM, Evan Chambers, and then the University orchestra played an amazing performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring to finish off the evening. It was great to see so many familiar faces in the audience: family, friends, and former teachers. It’s so rare that I get to perform for people I know, and it was a real treat to visit with them for a bit afterwards.

I’m back in France now, rehearsing with a new conductor and a new orchestra in Caen for our last stop on our tour of Northern France. It is a very strange, yet great experience to have new input on a production after having performed it 9 times and worked on it diligently for the past two and a half months. While we are tired and ready to put the piece to rest, we are getting fresh new ideas about the music and are having a rare chance to go back and clean things up in the rehearsal room while breathing some fresh musical life into the piece. It’s really exciting, and I look forward to our performances next week.

Even more exciting is that I will actually get to sleep in my own bed one night next week after we put our L'italiana to rest (who knew I would miss New York so much?). Immediately after having spent about 12 hours at home, we will fly off to Ann Arbor to spend the holiday with my family and friends in Michigan. The best part of this is that when I get to my parents’ house, the brand new laptop I just bought will be waiting there for me (and yes, I am firmly remaining in the PC camp…I just can’t bring myself to convert). It weighs less than 3 pounds! I can’t wait.

1 comment:

Kim said...

We spend all of our formative years making music for people who know and love us; then the reality of the career is making music for strangers. Isn't it surprising how unusual it feels to be back in the former situation? Both heart-warming and terrifying :) Have an absolutely fabulous holiday. And enjoy the new laptop! My soul is an Apple, but my life is and probably will remain firmly a PC. Keep the faith.