Solo Stints

This morning I showed up at Old South Church early so I could do some vocal warmups before rehearsal. Quite pleasantly, I was again in crazy-good voice, with a very easy range from G3 to G6. (Yes, that's three octaves.) I really think I'm leaving a plateau of vocal stability and growing into something newer and greater. Recently, my ease with melismas returned and I am now in good voice consistently.

It's true, vocal pedagogy dictates that I should have always retained my ease with melismas and a strong voice, but that did not prove true for me. Early on, learning and singing melismas and cadenzi was super-easy for me. Then, there was a period where it was strangely difficult for me to learn and produce these fast patterns, which may evidence some incorrect muscular tension. But, I seemed to have worked things out in the practice room, so it's opened up fun doors for renewing arias like "Durch Zärtlichkeit und Schmeicheln", "Der Hölle Rache", "Chacun le Sait", and Ophelia's Mad Scene from Thomas' Hamlet.

After some runs, I met the director to find out about this quick solo he had emailed me about last week. Come to find out, it was actually two solos. Fine. They were simple to read, but were quite low in my register, and I had been hoping to sing something high. (I'm always hoping to sing something high.) This first was a spiritual arrangment of "Order my Steps" by Glenn Burleigh and it sat in an easier spot in my range. The second was an arrangement of "Mandamiento Nuevo" by William Loperena and it was sooooo low! Yes, I could sing G3 this morning, but that doesn't mean I sing it well. I had to sing around C4 for about half of this song and that's not my favorite spot.

To top it off, I had to sing the latter selection with a microphone. I don't think I've sung with a microphone before. Ever. But, I surivived and my friend Carrie had some good pointers for me, too. (Thanks, Carrie!)

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