Friday, February 20, 2009

Change in Plans

After Saturday's impromptu Creation at Carnegie, I went for a drink to celebrate with Scott (with whom I would never have been able to do anything musically useful that night), a friend of Scott's who came to the concert, and my manager and her husband. As we were rehashing the excitement of the evening, I said, "I love the piece so much – now I just want to do it again!"

"Be careful what you wish for, my dear…" my manager said.

Prescient words, indeed.

On Sunday, after brunch with friends and drinks with a friend and mentor from Houston, I went home and packed my carry-on bag for a trip to Montana, where I was planning on rehearsing with my friend Lydia, who is to play my recital in Oberlin next week. She lives out there with her husband, who teaches at the University there. I was excited to get out of the city for a couple of days to visit with them and have a peaceful and beautiful place to revisit the recital program that had consumed my musical January. My plan was to stay out there until Thursday, and then come home to finish cleaning my apartment, host one of my best friends who is visiting the city this weekend, and repack my bags for a two week trip that had me hopping around the country from Oberlin, Ohio my recital to Napa Valley for a fundraising gala to Chicago to sing with the Symphony there.

I had an early flight on Monday, so I woke up at an ungodly hour and headed to Newark, checked in, went through the hassle of airport security, grabbed a bite to eat (it's a pretty dire situation at the Northwest terminal in Newark, I'll have you know), and then noticed that the first leg of my flight was delayed half an hour for a mandatory crew break. I went to the gate agent and asked if I would make my connection in Minneapolis, and he told me most likely not. I would miss my second flight, and the next flight leaving for Montana would leave at 9:30pm. I asked him if there was any other way for me to get to Montana at a decent hour, and he kindly rebooked on a United flight through Denver. This meant I had to change terminals and go through security again, but it meant that I would land in Montana only a couple of hours late, as opposed to losing an entire day in Minneapolis.

When I landed in Denver, I turned my phone on and saw that I had 5 voice mails. This does not bode well, I thought. One of them was from my manager, who asked me to call as soon as I could. The tenor colleague who has cancelled on Saturday was still ill, and had to cancel a run of The Creation (in English, this time) with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra – would I be able to adjust my travel plans and do this? One really should be careful for what one wishes for, I thought. I also felt bad for my ailing colleague who had to cancel two of these now – being sick is a real drain when you are a singer.

Needless to say, of course I was happy to do it and adjust accordingly. So, I talked with Lydia and we adjusted our rehearsal schedule so we could get what needed to get done in two days instead of three, and I came here to St. Paul on Wednesday for a day of rehearsals, which, after last weekend, felt luxurious.

My couple of days here have been fantastic – my colleagues are brilliant singers and a conductor whose music-making I have admired from their recordings that I have collected over the years, and they sound wonderful. The orchestra is incredible, as is the choir – and I am getting to experience this incredible music for yet one more week. It's a real treat, and I am enjoying every minute of it. My dream come true is being prolonged, and I am relishing every second that it lasts.

The only catch – I'm on the road for 3 weeks now, and I've only got a suitcase with 3 days worth of clothes…


Anonymous said...

Nick, I went on a college visit to Oberlin two Saturdays ago, and I was so excited when I saw a flyer for your recital posted on the board at the Conservatory! Unfortunately, it would have been a three-hour drive on a school night, but I've been to your website and heard your fantastic voice, and I'm quite a fan. The fact that you were performing at Oberlin was one of the most exciting things about my visit. I just thought you should know. :-)


Anonymous said...

So glad that you were able to fill in here in St. Paul! I just love love love the SPCO and adding voices is almost too much of an experience. You were wonderful!