Thursday, July 19, 2012

Things are beginning to click!

The last two weeks have been good weeks for me on both fronts.  I have gotten back into a pretty regular study schedule with German and have noticed a lot of progress as of late.  I am now picking up small chunks of passages when I listen to Radio Horeb or watch Extr@.  I find that I am beginning to be able to express myself with a little more ease in daily conversation and am feeling more and more comfortable with the language every day.

Speaking of Extr@, I discovered this program while looking through my subscriptions on youtube the other day.  One of the channels I had subscribed to had liked one of the videos of Extr@.  Upon some research I discovered that the program is designed for language learners and is available in English, French, Spanish, and German.  The storyline is silly and the production value and acting leaves a bit to be desired, but I do find the program easy to watch and I can catch a lot of the dialogue.  Overall, German is progressing nicely now that I am back into the regular swing of things.

I have also been having similar experiences vocally.  My first roles as a tenor are coming up in about two weeks and I am starting to become comfortable singing them straight through in succession.  I was worried a few days ago because I felt like it was a struggle to get through the second, more demanding role of Rinuccio, however I eventually reminded myself that I will have some time to rest in between my sung parts in the role as compared to in the practice room where I sing through them in succession.  I recently discovered the vocal posture that I like to maintain while singing and this has made my life considerably more easy.  I have to verify that this is the correct posture when I meet with JRL in a couple of weeks, but I believe that this finding is a huge step forward for me.  

As this upcoming performance is nearly past, I am beginning to look forward to auditions for some summer young artist programs and putting together my package for this.  I am still lacking one aria in my package, but I hope to be able to rectify this problem also when I meet with JRL.  Singing has become really exciting again and I find that I fall more and more in love with the art form as I continue to progress, both vocally and linguistically.  Ultimately my language goals are designed to further my artistry and the more I delve into languages the more I see the beauty of the way composers set words to music; and the more I grow vocally the more I am able to enjoy telling the stories of these operas and songs.

In a quick look ahead, after this performance I am going to be focusing on securing my audition repertoire for the upcoming season.  After I have those pieces in a good place I intend to start to work on a recital program to be performed before I leave Rochester in about a year.  I am still trying to iron out a potential program, but I am leaning heavily towards performing "La bonne chanson" by Gabriel Faure and "Dichterliebe" by Robert Schumann.  It is said that Faure's work is considered by some to be his Dichterliebe, so I think this will be a nicely tied in program.  My plan is to sing both works in their original keys, which I personally believe is the best way to perform art song.  This way the audience hears the music exactly as the composer envisioned it.  As I begin to prepare this program I will reflect on it here and provide details of any upcoming performances of both the recital and any opportunities I receive through auditions.

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