Work Ethic as Inspiration, Day 68 (7 of 25)
My sojourn this morning for an audition with a multi-talented contractor, composer, and music director did not disappoint. Having heard that she had some different outlooks on life than the average classical musician, I still had no way of anticipating the woman I met and for whom I sang. We had an unusually interesting conversation about the state of the arts in New York and the need for positive, giving singers with a work ethic to match their talent. Certainly a topic that has graced my contemplations and conversations throughout the week.
As I wrote in yesterday’s post about the commitment of Nadine Sierra to her technique and to the integrity of the music itself, I worked hard to focus myself as well this morning in my audition that occurred not perfectly but wholly devoted to the text, music, and technique. It felt substantially rewarding to deliver yet another beautifully human performance without falsely straining for something impossibly flawless. Earlier this week, the Clarion Music Society also delivered an incredibly connected performance of Monteverdi’s Vespers, as I sat in the audience with a happy smile on my face, enjoying their efforts and stunning singing.
With a New York Times Review already accurately depicting the high quality of the period orchestra and early music singers, I need only say thank you. I had such a fantastic and worshipful experience, listening to the clear acoustic in the Park Avenue Christian Church, hearing the unique and well-blended tone of everyone from the larger choruses to the male chant trio, enjoying the diversely lovely soloists, and watching conductor Steven Fox‘s animated and precise conducting. Truly, I sat there with a stupid grin on my face all evening and also had the added pleasure of meeting some amazing performers and supporters afterwards. How lucky I am to live a life with such people and such music.
Tonight, I also had the rare pleasure of meeting with two singers from my past musical life in Philadelphia, Amy Armstrong and Matthew Principe. We shared stories of our journeys to our present lives, and we all have had some amazing experiences that have carried us to our current paths and goals. Matthew, a producer for the broadcasts at the Metropolitan Opera, brought us to my current place of employment at the Met and gave us a magical tour of the entire building. Watching Renee Fleming and Lawrence Brownlee perform Armida from stage right only added to my blissful day and enhanced perspective, although my conversation with Amy as we walked back to her hotel enlightened me the most.
Discussing work ethic once more and how it relates not only to enjoying one’s craft as a performer but also how often we work and with whom, I remembered the importance of discipline. All of these lovely and inspiring performances happen because of the intense preparation of everyone involved, from the producers, to the set designers, to the artistic directors, to the performers. For a performer, practicing daily, learning music, studying acting – these things result from not only dedication but especially integrity. I have much to prepare in the coming days, with exciting gigs and auditions to come. Doubtless today helped to provide me some motivation to work hard, not for my paycheck but for my art.