Hey, beauties! This post is one that I have been wanting to write for a while, but I haven’t had any media content for it – until now! With only a week until my next recital (eeeek!), I thought this was a perfect time to give a little preview into what goes on behind the scenes. Well, our scenes anyways…
I thought about editing out some of the chatter, mistakes, and directions from my teacher, but then decided to keep it all in, so you can get a more authentic look at what sometimes occurs.
And while it may look like we are goofing around or not working very hard, trust me, while we were having loads of fun practicing, it was still very hard work! Opera is no joke and it’s not a style you can just phone in on.
That being said, rehearsals are the time you can make mistakes (we make plenty in these videos), you don’t always sound “performance perfect”, and you are learning and getting comfortable, not just with your part, but with your duet partner (if singing with one), the accompanist, and any blocking if doing an opera scene, all the while still trying to focus on technique. In these videos, we were singing without an accompanist – our teacher was just spotting us some of our notes when needed.
The first video is our warm-ups. I wanted to show this because vocalises are extremely important and no rehearsal I’ve ever been to in my 19* years of performing has been done without them. These get your voice going, stretching out your vocal cords (which are muscles) and getting your entire instrument ready for all of the work you’ll be doing. In our studio, we study the Swedish-Italian technique, an old-world style that combines the Italian vocal tradition of brilliant tonal quality with the warmth that comes from the deeper pharyngeal vowels of the Swedish, French & German languages. It takes the best of all of those to help keep your voice healthy, and bring out your best sound.
The next video is baritone, and fellow voice student, Dave Burbee and I trying to get “Laci Darem La Mano” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni together. There are mistakes – namely me continually screwing up my notes in one part (second video) lol. But, this is part of it and what I want to share. I don’t just want to share the good and the pretty – I want to share the bad and the ugly as well, because shit happens in rehearsals (and sometimes in performances – but that’s a post for another time!).
And I’m still off pitch in one part..ughhh. Working on it below…at least at the recital, I’ll have the pianist playing the accompaniment so it’ll be easier to “hear” my notes.
We have one more rehearsal before the recital, so hopefully, I’ll have my stuff together by then! I’m also singing a solo piece – “Quando M’en Vo” from La Boheme by Puccini. It’s probably one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever learned and if I can pull it off well enough at the performance, I may keep it in my repertoire.
Here’s an audio of our first rehearsal of this duet – again, there’s lots of yammering going on, but that’s normal for us lol.
I’ll be honest, the perfectionist and über self-critic is cringing at the thought of sharing these videos, but I had made a promise a while ago to start letting you guys see this side of my life and since this is a BIG part of my life, I want to share it authentically and honestly. It may not be “Instagram worthy”, but it’s 100% and unapologetically me. No filters, no editing, no hiding mistakes, bad hair days, sloppy clothes, inflamed and bloated body (thanks to a recently discovered gluten allergy) or wrong notes or any other screw-ups. Shaky cam courtesy of my hubby – we’re working on fixing that! lol
I’ll hopefully have some good content from the dress rehearsal and the recital to share in the next few weeks! The rest of the Summer and all of Fall is going to be completely crazy pants, so I will share what I can, when I can. 🙂 I hope you guys enjoy all of the new content I will be sharing – don’t worry, I will still be sharing beauty and wellness products too – I mean make-up and skincare is an important part of performing and I have a gorge Clove & Hallow Lip Stain I plan to wear at the recital! 😉
Til next time!
*I took a 10-year hiatus from music due to work, back surgery, and other health issues. If not for that, I’d have been involved consistently with music for 29 years!
**All videos are property of TBE – do not use without permission. Cover photo was designed by TBE via Canva. Still photo by Arielle-Khrystiana Plucinski.