Something Is Happening

November 8, 2007

Third lesson with La Dolce’s man today, who I shall refer to as Opera Man from here on out. He lucked out as La Dolce’s hammering, melding and sculpting of my vocal chords took effect just as she was taking off for being fabulous elsewhere. We had one last lesson where I was consistently rather fabulous for the entire hour and then she was off. Opera Man has been reaping the benefits ever since. As have I.

The first few months with LD were, to be really honest, kinda hellish. It was totally different from anything I’ve been doing in the choirs for the last 5-6 years, it was very different from anything I did with Blackbeard. I consequently now think that Blackbeard is basically a total fraud and more than once I have wanted to write him a scathing email. But I refrain and try to stay with the positive.

Something kicked in with that last lesson with LD, and suddenly… I could sing, really sing again. I like what I’m hearing coming out and so do LD and OM. They only have two kinds of comments: change this/do this/not like that or yep/that’s it/gorgeous. It’s been way more of the latter lately. I feel like a piece of wood or clay they are sculpting. I’m not done yet, but I’m starting to take shape.

On the day that I ‘got it’ finally with LD, I had a sudden flashback feeling: this is what I used to sound like when I sang so much in high school. And it made think that maybe I wasn’t dreaming, maybe the things people used to say to me about going for it, having a beautiful voice, really were true and not something my fragile ego had made up to soothe the pain of not ever having been good enough. It’s really hard to say for sure, and I might be wrong… but lately, I’ve been beginning to think that I might have been good enough. And maybe even, I still am.

What does good enough mean? It means that the voice teacher who told my mother at the [fairly well respected] local music school that yes, she could have a career in opera if she wanted, wasn’t lying. It means that I didn’t dream that. It also means that those days and that opportunity are gone because that was well over 20 years ago. BUT — and that’s a big but which is why I wrote it in all caps — that was a different opportunity and what I have now is possibly a new one. Like, maybe roles in local opera. The Met and La Scala? I’m not supposed to say never, and the silly little optimistic in me doesn’t want to… so rest assured I’m a realist when it comes to all this stuff, but like any dreamer, I leave that door open. Beverly Sills sang for the first time at the Met in her early 40s. Why not me… you know? I know, just play along, will ya?

Opera Man has been wanting me to let go, stop thinking so much, feel the music and let that music come out. A refreshing change from the hammering of La Dolce. I didn’t mind her hammering, but I’m talking entire lessons where I would sing two notes and be interrupted. Hard work, let me tell you. So now, I’m getting a longer leash and he wants to hear the music. It would be easier if he played the piano so that he could accompany me. But in some ways, singing accappella — especially what I’m working on now, Bellini’s Casta Diva — has it’s own beauty. Or, it would if I could just really let go. I think I need to imagine myself singing it all alone in a beautiful concert hall. Not in some dingy practice room with harsh neon lighting, or their somewhat scrappy apartment where we usually have our lessons.

Anyway, the technique is sticking, something is happening, I am happening and I had to note this here because I will likely have plateaus and I must remember that plateaus are only temporary and just when you think you can’t… is when you often have that breakthrough.

I found this poem on another blog tonight, and liked what I was reading there so much I’m blogrolling her. I need to read more stuff like this to keep me in the right frame of mind. To keep my star shining. Twinkle, twinkle.

A Star Without a Name

When a baby is taken from the nurse
it easily forgets her and starts eating solid food.

Seeds feed awhile on ground
then lift up into the sun.

So you should taste the filtered light
and work your way toward wisdom
with no personal covering.

That’s how you came here,
like a star, without a name.
Move across the night sky
with those anonymous lights.



One comment

  1. I love that you are starting to believe that you are a star, and the image of the bird taking flight is just perfect. Being able to sing is a gift, but like any other, it must be nurtured in the right way for it to bear the rewards it holds.

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