Respect for the Blind

November 18, 2008

You’ve all read my crazy transit stories. I go the wrong way on the train, the schedule changes completely on the weekends, MTA employees write signs that are illegible to tell you where to go, people oblivious to the fact that there are 8 million other people around them walking at break neck speeds, weaving in and out like they are at the Indy 500, and mines of dog poop.  It’s a mad house.

And just as I’m about to complain and plot my next blog entry, I will see a lone blind person, walking through the craziness with their cane tapping in front of them.  I’m awed first off by their ability, without the advantage of sight, to navigate the subway system and the roads.

But more amazing to me is their courage to even go out into the madness. Those of us with all our senses complain, hem and haw and write sarcastic blogs about their “horrific” experiences on the city (who would write such blogs!).  Yet these individuals bravely hit the streets, tap their canes and rely on the kindness of strangers to direct them when they are lost.

We have no excuse.

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Today, I had my first audition for next season (not counting Sarasota). It was for Glimmerglass Opera. For those unfamiliar with that company, they are very good and an excellent company to work for. I’d love to sing there. I have confirmation of 8 more auditions thus far and am waiting to hear back from a couple other companies to see if I’ll be heard. Fingers crossed.

The audition went very well today. I opened with a new piece from a not so often performed opera by Mascagni called L’amico Fritz. It’s one of the few times that us “boring” mezzos get to let ‘er rip – that is before the age of 35 or 40 when we finally have the maturity to sing Carmen and Delilah, that’s when it really gets fun for us:). I decided that would be a fun way to start things…and I Iearned something…

I must get used to the size of my voice!

Seriously! I started singing and almost knocked myself over! My new teacher has gotten my voice out of it’s little box and it’s freakin’ huge, and I forget that when I sing in his little studio that is covered in carpet and curtains to keep him from losing his hearing (he has a way with voices that results in all of them being really big and loud). So when I get into a live space, it literally startles me. It’s quite funny. I started singing and my first thought was, “Crap, that’s really loud.” Which I suppose is a good thing if I’m trying to be an opera singer:). But then I had to keep reminding myself that there were people in front of me and I was supposed to be performing, not focusing on and freaking about the size of my voice.

So I got done with the first one and they shot the breeze with me a little bit about my cover at New Jersey with Cenerentola. I had not listed the aria from the show on my list because although it treats me well in a performance situation, it has yet to do so in an audition setting. So I let him know that’s why it was on my list but that I’d be happy to sing a portion of it. Well, a portion of it to him meant all but one or two pages of the eight page song! So, I thought, “Well, just let her rip and see what happens.” And lo and behold, it was probably one of the best of I’ve ever sung. I hadn’t looked at the thing in 2 months, so there were 2 notes that were funky, but hey, I hadn’t prepared it, so I’m guessing there was some grace for it. But all in all, it went great…and I had all 3 high notes at the end. Woot! And while I was singing that song, I had to remind myself to pay attention to what was going on because I was so distracted by how easy everything was! Ha! Really , Sarah, you must get used to this voice.

So after a successful run of that, I sang my english aria, which I hadn’t sung in 4 years but revived yesterday. After the greenlight from my teacher, I was ready to offer it today, and it went off without a hitch.

Was it my best singing? No. But it was pretty darn good, and that’s all I can ask for in the pressure situation of an audition.

1 down (whew)

The Election is Over

November 6, 2008

We now have 2 years until the next campaigning fiasco begins again. Anyone else feel that $5.3 billion and 2 years of campaigning is a waste of money and time?

Now it is done and we have a new president.  My two options last night for the results were: I’ll either be unhappy or not quite as unhappy.  I ended up unhappy.  I have nothing against Obama personally. I don’t know the guy, so how could I make any statement about him personally?  I just disagree with every policy he wants to implement.  I disagree with McCain on almost everything as well.  And so as I promised in my previous post, I voted for neither.  Chuck Baldwin got my vote.  I could agree with him more than these 2.  My other votes were spread between other 3rd party folks and a republican.  Couldn’t find a democrat I could agree with enough to vote for.

I wish Obama the best.  I love my country, I love our democratic process and I hope he does right by the country.  Time will tell. I will support him when I agree with him and stand in opposition when I disagree.  But I refuse, at any point, to demonize him and treat him with the insane disrespect shown to Bush. I disagreed with Bush on several issues, but never resorted to the demonization, dehumanization and hate that was shown him by many. Somehow opposition has become synonymous with hate these last 8 years.  I hope that the 57 million who did not vote for Obama can reverse this trend and that those who disagree with the 57 million do not claim hatred when all we do is raise our opposing views.