Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Drat! I *did* get ahead of myself!

I'm really disappointed about this, but I'm trying to stay positive! The gig in Scotland singing the premier of Paul Moxon's piece "Endurance" has fallen through. Apparently, one of the sponsors back out and now there are not enough funds to put it on. Sigh. The plight of classical music.

Paul is still confident that it will be performed some day. His agent is trying to place it and is also looking at getting it used for a television piece by the BBC on Shackleton's expedition on the Endurance. That would mean recording it. Paul has assured me that he will hire me to sing the soprano part if and when it is performed or recorded. So there's that.

Friday, January 19, 2007

On My Way!

This was a really good week for me! I saw Neil Mackie on Tuesday at the Royal College of Music. I was a little nervous, but not too bad, really! But none-the-less I don't think I really put my best foot forward. My mistake was wanting to see him sooner rather than later, and so I didn't really have much time to prepare. My voice has been a little cranky since I got home, so I was careful instead of just laying it on the line. Sigh. When will I learn? But I am happy I wasn't shaking - that helps! But Neil is a very vibrant, little Scotsman and we worked for a good hour after I sang him my first two pieces. It was fun, different than what I've gotten used to over the years, and certainly more aggressive than Paul (which is good!). He was pretty completmentary, saying that my voice is very fresh and has a beautiful, clear tone, which just needs a bit more depth. There are some things I felt like I had to translate into Cornelius terminology, but I think I can get past that. At any rate, I believe that he can really whip me into shape. He gave me several good tips and encouragement too. He said that getting an agent in London is very difficult. Agents generally show up at college concerts or other concerts, but don't hold auditions. He said I should just contact the directors of choral societies and ask if I could come and sing for them some time. He also said I should contact the BBC Singers and the Monteverdi Choir (John Elliot Gardiner, conductor) to find out when they hold auditions for vacancies. He said he thought I would have no problem getting a job in a school, with my experience teaching. I don't know if I really want to do that, but it's good to know that it's an option, especially since I have no certification.

He also told me about a concert by Andrew Lawrence King at Southwark Cathedral. Andrew was one of my teachers in Bremen and we had actually done the Play of Daniel, which is what he was doing here in London, while I was there! I decided it would be a very good idea to go to the concert and reintroduce myself to him afterwards. To my surprise there were some other people in the production that I knew - Susanne Ansorg on medieval Fiddle, Ian Harrison on Fiddle, shawm and tenor and Michael Metzler on percussion. I know them all from Germany, so it was nice to see them here. I hope that they will put in a good word for me, after all, Andrew only knows me as a student!

Susanne asked us if we would join them in the pub afterwards and so we followed some of the singers to a pub, had a lovely conversation with them only to discover that Susanne and the rest were at a different pub! So we went over there. I had a chance to chat with Andrew, catching up on what he's been up to over the past 10 years since I left Bremen (Omigod! has it been that long?!?).

So, the very next day, I wrote Andrew an email, and sent him the important bits of my CV. I also contacted the BBC Singers and the Monteverdi Choir about auditioning.

Today I have a cold. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Post Christmas plans

I returned from 2+ weeks at home in Madison, Wisconsin and Bancroft, Iowa and am raring to go!

First off, I have a consultation/lesson next week with Niel Mackie who is the acting Chairman of the Voice Department at the Royal College of Music here in London. I'll sing 3 pieces for him and then we'll discuss what the best way forward is for me. Every singer should continue to work on their voice and have outside help to do it with. Neil Mackie was recommended to me by my colleague Margaret Peckham from Frankfurt. I also need advice and help regarding auditioning for and getting work here in England. And who knows? Perhaps I'll decide to go back to school and work on a Masters Degree (or whatever the equivalent is here!)!

Next, will be a performance by Elysium on March 4, 2007. We'll be performing in Salem, Oregon, USA at St. Paul's Episcopal Church. We'll begin with Evensong (encorporating lots of chant!) and continue with our program of medieval Italian songs, "Piety and Passion". For more information visit . Have a look at Elysium's website: and our MySpace Music space:

After that will likely be a premier performance in Fort William, Scotland of the work "Endurance" by Paul Moxon. Have a little listen:

Elysium will be performing again in May, this time in Berlin. More details will be forth-coming so watch this space!