Thursday, May 31, 2012

Interview = Fame!

I'm overdue to post about various recent events, but I would like to briefly mention, while it's fresh and new, that it's official - I am now famous - I have been interviewed! A friend, colleague and former fellow student in Bremen, Astrid Nielsch, writes a monthly Newsletter in which she regularly interviews people she knows who do cool things. And imagine - she thinks I do cool things! She herself does extremely cool things of an incredibly varied nature - Harper, web-designer, artist, photographer, gardener, etc. Her Newsletter is always interesting to read, even if it's not about me. ;-)

Here's the interview:

Asni Multimedia Art & Design Newsletter

Actually, it just occurred to me that this is the second interview that's been published about me. The first one wasn't available on the web though, that one was ostensibly about my mother and as an off-shoot of that, me. It was for the alumni of the high school my mother went to in Armstrong, Iowa. I don't imagine that it was very widespread, but still. I shouldn't discount it. But this! This is now out there in the ether for the world to read if it should so choose!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Concerts - report

When it rains, it pours! At least, that's what they say, and I have to admit it often seems true! This year when Easter rolled around I didn't have a whole lot planned for the next few months. But that changed drastically.

In the throes of one of the most horrible colds I've had in a while, my dear colleague Joachim Dreher in Dillenburg called and asked if I could jump in and sing in a concert in May. He'd had a soprano soloist all lined up (most likely a year in advance as is his wont), but she had called and said she was no longer able to do the gig. He remembered my offer in October that if he should ever find himself needing a soloist at short notice that he should turn to me. Not having a whole lot lined up for 2012 and being a quick study means that I could be what saves a concert if someone gets sick. Well, at least I had a few weeks notice for this concert. But more on that later.

But first the performance at the Herrenhäuser Chortage 2012 in Hannover by Raggio-di-Sol. That's the small vocal ensemble (10 singers), that I sing with. As per usual, we sang a few pieces during this choir festival. A whole weekend featuring  choirs from Hannover. We performed on Saturday afternoon. We did "Pastime with Good Company" by Henry VIII, "Pedro y bien te quiero" (anon.) "When David Heard" by Thomas Weelkes, "Luci seren e chiare" by Claudio Monteverdi and "Magnificat anima mea", by Alfredo Ihl (our director). We did adequately. I say adequately because Alfredo made everyone nervous about the Weelkes by harping on one small section way past the point of no return. A pity, because it would've been just fine. As it was, there was no complete breakdown, but at least one person lost their way. Oh well. The rest of the pieces went quite well! That took place at the end of April.

This past weekend, May 12-13, took me back to my old haunt Dillenburg again. This time to sing Bach cantatas. Joachim had stitched together a wonderful pastiche of pieces of various cantatas and organ pieces to create a program he called "Bach and in Honor of Bach" ("Bach und Bach zu Ehren"). The church choir, a small baroque orchestra (with a few members I know from previous performances), a bass soloist and me performed from 9 different cantatas and an organ soloist performed works by Liszt, Rinck and Karg-Elert on themes from Bach pieces. It was a wonderful program and the orchestra and choir were in fine form. I'm quite satisfied with my performance, although it wasn't perfect, when is it ever? And I don't think there was anything that anyone but a professional musician might have noticed. Maybe not even then...

17 May 2012 I flit off to Hong Kong! My dear friend Albert is (finally) getting married! I know Albert from choir at the Episcopal Church of Christ the King in Frankfurt. After he left Frankfurt he spent several years in the US and then returned to his home town Hong Kong where he met Natalie. I am so pleased for him (and her!). And he asked me to sing at his wedding, offering to pay for my flight! How could I say no?!? The wedding date being 20 May 2012 meant that it fit just perfectly between the concert in Dillenburg and Magnus' grandmother's 90th birthday celebration in Bussolengo on 27 May 2012! I'm flying to HK by myself. The boys will be alone for 5 days! Unfortunately, because travel time is so long to HK I'll only be there from midday Friday to midday Monday. But I'm sure it will be an amazing experience. One set of friends from Frankfurt (Jen and Patrick) will also be there participating, so I'll be able to hang out with them. Unfortunately, the one other person I know in HK (Solveig, from Voices Found) will be in Paris that weekend! Figures!

I will be singing The Lord's Prayer by Mallotte and Bist Du Bei Mir by Anna Magdalena Bach during the ceremony. At the reception Albert has hired a jazz band and requested I sing a few numbers. I've chosen At Last and Summertime and he requested Skylark. Oh, this will be so fun!

So that's what's been going on and what's in the works.