au revoir Wellington!

20 11 2010

I’m sure you know already, as  I just had to facebook it, but I will  be moving to Christchurch in February! In Christchurch I am going to start a MusB – Bachelor of Music (I just love how they put the Mus in front of the B!) in singing!

This was the audition that Dame Malvina Major was at. In fact everyone involved with the audition seemed incredibly composed and wildly skilful (making me feel somewhat inadequate) including my pianist. I only got to sing two songs, due to time constraints, so I sang ‘Quella Fiamma’ and ‘Widmung’. I was a bit gutted to miss out ‘Sure on this Shining Night’ but under pressure, if I was going to screw up any of my audition pieces, it was that one! So I went with the first two.

I’ve spent all morning trying to figure out what courses I have to take, and what courses I want to take – unfortunately a couple I wanted to do aren’t available this year (Chamber choir! Sadness!) but I will be doing a 45 minute singing lesson, two hours of choir, some keyboard (not sure if I’m doing the basic keyboard, or more advanced course – have asked what would be more appropriate). And then of course, music theory, European music history, and then some other things! It’s all very confusing. I hope I’m smart enough to actually enrol, let alone get the degree…


And then today had my last Cantoris concert for the year (and I guess for a few years!) The theme was Shakespeare, and as always, our MD picked some fabulous music.

My favourite piece: Orpheus with his Lute by William Shuman:

And another lovely one but very sad: Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day by Robert Applebaum. He dedicated it to his daughter who he lost while she was in her 20s to a heart condition. Beautiful piece, and gives a new twist to the words of probably one of the most well known sonnets.

I would LOVE to link these for you, but I can’t find them. If you can log onto Naxos (allow me to pimp it again – if you have a wellington library card log on from the library website) search for them and have a listen.

Meantime, have a listen to a fun one: Double Double toil and trouble! Jaakko Mantyjarvi. He’s Finnish and gave us no end of trouble trying to learn his pieces. But done right (and…well we tried?) they are sooo cooooool!


I Aten’t Dead

7 11 2010

Really truly, I promise, I aten’t dead. However, life changes, and life in general (and wussiness I do admit) have kept me blogless for a bit.

I do promise I have been singing – auditioning even! I have auditioned in front of Dame Malvina Major and Margaret Medlyn! One unsuccessfully, and the other…well I don’t know yet!

Next year will be exciting because I am moving cities (regardless of how a certain audition goes) and I will need to find for myself a new singing teacher, choir, and theatre company!

So stay tuned peeps. 2010 has been a bit huge in terms of life changing and 2011 should also be awesome (change is good!)

I should note that much of the reason that I am prompted to keep blogging is because of my other creative friends who are persisting with their endeavours, and posting about it! You are awesome, and you jogged me into thinking about why I started posting in the first place. Creativity is communication. Without it, there’s no point me even singing.

Back soon, with actual content! Mwah!! xxxxx Why not have a listen to the late, incredibly great Dame Joan Sutherland sing the doll song from ‘Tales of Hoffmann’ (Offenbach).

Turn it up. Be amazed.

Panto and Choir update

12 07 2010


Well life has been very busy, with panto rehearsals and choir, plus of course the normal run of life, and trying to fit all the bits of my life together so there is time for everything!!

Panto opens this week, if you have kids, or know kids, they might like it! Tuesday 2pm, Wednesday 2pm, Thursday 11 and 2, Friday 11 and 2!

DOOR SALES - JULY 13TH TO 16TH Click for more details

Will I be exhausted? Yes. Yes indeedy. I’m playing the beautiful princess Maya. I get to sing some songs, act like a ditz and generally overact up a storm, panto-style! It’s great fun! 🙂

After this week, back to focusing on Fledermaus rehearsals, plus I think I will be auditioning for music school one more time. I have to try right? Rhetorical question. I do have to try. 

Also my choir’s second concert of the year is on on the 7th of August.  Check out the shiny new Cantoris website!  The concert should be lovely, and in St Andrews which is a gorgeous venue.

Feeling a bit flaily like there is too much to think about, but I will gradually organise it all into some kind of coherency. Toodles!

Singing concert reflections

24 06 2010

Tonight my singing teacher had her end of term concert. I think she had about 27 performers all up, which is huge! And the audience was large too!

I sang ‘Silent Noon’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams which I learned a while ago. It’s a beautiful piece, but boy singing was a struggle tonight. Like an actual struggle. I felt like I was fighting myself the whole song. Interesting and new experience for a performance. I feel OK with it, partly because I *did* struggle through to the end, but hopefully without showing the audience I was struggling. (At least on my face – I’m sure they could hear it in parts, but the performance is the thing!) I started out like a breathy 13 year old – argh, but then fought back and was moderately pleased with the last third of the song. I was really glad that I fought the nerves, and don’t think they showed. There will always be nerves. But I can deal with them.

I had a lovely compliment from an audience member (someone’s mum!) before the concert – she asked my name and said how glad she was I was singing because I have a lovely voice and every time she comes to a concert she knows I will sing something beautiful. Joy! That made my night.  🙂 If you ever wonder if you should compliment a performer, even if you don’t know them? DO. ALWAYS DO. We’re fragile little butterflies who need your support!

I need to sing in front of people more. Maybe I will co-opt a craft afternoon sometime and share my *craft* by forcing people to listen to me sing one song? I’ll bring cake too!!

Off early tomorrow for a girly weekend in Sydney. I’ll leave you with a beautiful piece of music. What will it be? Music roulette!

No I know, the Sanctus from Faure’s Messe Basse. We’ll be singing this in choir in a month or so. Just let the sound wash over you and drift away…

In theory

17 06 2010

Foolishly I signed myself up to do Grade 5 theory this Saturday morning. Well, not foolish I suppose, in that I need my theory paper to do Grade 8 singing later this year. What was foolish was doing no prep for it whatsoever until this week. 

The good thing is that I should know it all already. Grade 5 isn’t hugely difficult, and I should be familiar with it all. I did Grade 4 many many many years ago, and I’ve been working with music since then.  The difficulty will be making sure I know what sort of questions they’ll ask. I have the syllabus, I have a theory book, I have past papers. All should be well. In theory. (PUN ALERT! OW!) 

Cross your fingers for me OK?

Singing updates to follow: singing teacher’s concert next week, going to hear someone’s recital, choir and Fledermaus updates, off to see the wizard (well, ‘Wicked’) and the PLT panto!

New songs

8 06 2010

In preparation for maybe doing my Grade 8 this year in November I am trying to pick songs from the prescribed list. There are four groups and you have to sing one from each group. There are many many many songs on the list!

Here are the four I quite like at the moment and need to start working really hard on, including my incredibly detailed notes about each of them.

Quella fiamma (Conti). What do I know about Conti? Nothing. I’m also confused about who actually wrote this as my music says Benedetto Marcello.  Here is Cecilia Bartoli singing it.

Widmung (Schumann). This is beautiful. I’ve heard it sung before, and it’s just so cheerful and full on.  It’s a love song about the all consuming passion of love. Jessye Norman sings it here. Jessye Norman is amazing. Do you think I could grow up and be her please?

Sure on this Shining Night (Samuel Barber). Who doesn’t love Barber? Is it you? Then shut up, because he’s awesome. As is Cheryl Studer who sings it here: (There are actually two Barber songs in this video, and both are worth a listen!)

Green Finch and Linnet Bird (Sondheim, from Sweeney Todd). Hadn’t heard it before, fell in love with it. Sondheim has written some amazing things. You should check out more of his work if you aren’t familiar with it. Allow me to pimp the Naxos database available through the Wellington City Library Website at you again.

As you can see, I should probably find out more about all of these songs. That shall be my homework. Er, that plus practicing them!

Being emo makes me sing bad.

1 06 2010

Or, should I say, emotions can affect your physical state.

So I haven’t posted for a while, and I haven’t sung (*proper* like) for a bit either.  Big life changes, including the end of an important long term relationship, moving house, questioning my life’s aims and goals have all contributed to a messy couple of months.

But when I say messy it hasn’t been all bad. It’s just been a lot to process. Unfortunately when I process big stuff like that, I find my singing suffers. There’s such a lot of physicality in singing properly, all your muscles have to be free and ready to support you, all up your back, all your abs, including the very lowerest ones (which I shall now refer to as singing from my ovaries, TMI? Yes. HAH!) Now here are the things I feel when going through big emotional stuff: ‘my stomach is in knots’ ‘my chest feels tight’ ‘my shoulders are tense’.

To release those muscles properly so I could sing was actually quite hard. I’m imagining that more experienced singers have better technique than I do, and can work around those things. Also that they learn not to carry so much stress in their bodies! I’ve found EFT immensely helpful. (Disclaimer  – you don’t have to agree with me or use EFT, but I do and it does help me 🙂 )

I’m feeling very positive right now though, and yesterday I listened to Porgi Amor on my ipod, and I felt my abs trying to support me as I sang along in my head. This is a good sign. 🙂 So hopefully updates will be more frequent, and actual singing will take place!

Do you find that emotions affect how well you can work at your creative endeavours? Or any endeavours? How do you work through it?