Richland, Day 78
Challenging? Out of my comfort zone? Not too much so far in the Tri-Cities region of Washington state. My original flight landed late in Salt Lake City on Sunday, causing me to run through the terminal only to find my connecting flight delayed anyway due to flight attendant scheduling problems at Delta. I guess that counts. Oh, and I tried a new mushroom today, which might qualify as uncomfortable for someone like myself who grew up hating mushrooms and only recently has attempted to discover the truly tasty ones. Honestly? Hand-picked morel mushrooms by the astronomer husband of the accompanist for my recital? Both delicious and priceless, not uncomfortable.
Although I did actually have a bit of a long and tiring trip to this wine country with its plutonium legacy, I have had little but comfortable rest and great accommodations since my arrival. Having met our soprano soloist Molly Holleran and coached with the accompanist for our recital, Sheila Zilar, I feel secure that the donors and orchestra subscribers will have a great program on Wednesday night. Tomorrow, I have my first rehearsal with Nicholas Wallin, the conductor for the Verdi Requiem and cannot wait to get started. For those of you who may never have performed or heard this piece, take a minute to listen to one of my favorite movements.
Having some time to spend tonight with Justin Raffa, the Conductor and Artistic Director for the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, I happily recounted to him my experience of singing the Requiem in the chorus at the Metropolitan Opera with James Levine. Performed in 2008 on the anniversary of Luciano Pavarotti‘s death, it held a newly dear significance for Maestro Levine who rehearsed and conducted the orchestra, chorus, and soloists with inspiring musicality and emotion. Aside from the obvious musical, emotional and spiritual implications, I’ll always remember watching Olga Borodina‘s amazing breath technique from directly behind her in the front row where I sat, and I doubtless will never forget my first opportunity to perform those same mezzo solos here with the Mid-Columbia Symphony.
Tomorrow, I take some time to network at a local rotary meeting and of course with the other performers involved at our rehearsal. This week promises a low key and comfortable environment to prepare a truly awe-inspiring work of music. Something tells me all of this will end before I can blink. Time to get some sleep so I can joyfully experience all that I have here in a surprisingly rich land.
For those of you holding me to my promise to blog about doing things to further my career for 25 straight posts, I’m waiting to start the ticker back at 17 of 25 until I return to New York. Obviously I work toward my dreams and goals this week – that goes without saying, and without counting.