Ah, dear blog, how I’ve missed thee!
Seriously speaking, I returned to my home in New York City only a week and one day ago; however, I feel as if I have lived three weeks worth of time, travel, and gigs. Having allocated any supposedly extra time to finding Christmas presents, decorating a little, and reorganizing the apartment that still feels slightly like someone else’s, I feel a bit out of sorts without writing or exercising daily. As a classical singers at Christmas, my many colleagues and I share a happy load of holiday concerts and performances, Messiahs and Amahls among the hodgepodge of musical offerings to usher in the wintertime. Running to my fifth gig this weekend across two boroughs and states in the rain with a gown, I saw three friends scarfing down dinner after two previous gigs before our recording session and felt somehow better to have company. Despite the little rest and less time for real meals, a few beneficent contributors to my sanity have welcomed me home and kept me going like the most helpful and addictive of all drugs imaginable through this holiday season. For them, I give thanks.
- Choral contractors, unions, and thoughtful managers and directors: Jacquie Pierce, Nancy Wertsch, Margery Daly, AGMA, AFTRA, Sony, Justin Raffa, Anthony LaGruth, David Shuler, Bradley Brookshire, and Dino Anagnost have all contributed to keeping me and my colleagues busy and paid while keeping their performers at their peak ability levels with sensible breaks and kind considerations.
- Incredible people with whom to share a home: Jo Brodzinski, who allowed me to enjoy her company and home for seven weeks in the Tri-Cities, and Ariana Chris, who took incredible care of my NYC apartment while I traveled and keeps me entertained like a sister this week before returning to her first home in Canada.
- Public transportation: Despite complaints these several years of construction with the MTA, the subways have improved, with signs in now over one hundred stations to finally tell passengers when to expect the arrival of the next train. The monthly unlimited Metrocard has yet to increase again, which keeps me very happy for now, especially after three weeks of traveling at the mercy of others when snowed-in in the Tri-Cities. I now fully appreciate snow plows (apparently an oddity there) and the incredible freedom I have at my fingertips every time I swipe my Metrocard and wait for the train on my twenty-four hour, seven-days per week metallic travel companion.
- Worthwhile compositions: Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to sing in a performance of Handel’s Messiah at a Seventh Day Adventist Church in Brooklyn as part of their services. Although I could have possibly run a marathon in less time, the gratefulness of the congregation and the smiles on the faces of even the smallest children as they all joined in for the “Hallelujah Chorus” made the trip worth every minute. Last night, my dear friend Jenny Greene offered me her complimentary ticket to see her dress rehearsal of Thomas Pasatieri‘s new opera, God Bless us Everyone, a new sequel to Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, following the life of Tiny Tim as a grown man. Although as a new production it has a tiny bit more distance to travel toward standing alone as a finished work, Di Capo’s director, orchestra, and cast seemed well up to the task. Furthermore, its themes of love, peace, and forgiveness ring as true as the well-composed music itself for a lasting holiday classic to come.
- Loved ones: Although I already miss my dear new friends in Washington state, I so gratefully return to those I left here at home. Not having seen everyone yet, I have so much to look forward to these next couple of weeks and into the new year. My family at my sister’s home in Pennsylvania to see over Christmas weekend, my musical friends I have yet to see, a new connection from the Tri-Cities who visits me for New Year’s Eve, and my new colleagues and companions from an upcoming puppet film and puppet opera.
Doubtless I have much to do and many more challenges ahead this season, even as I rush off for tonight’s performance of the Mozart Requiem with the Dalton Chorale. Regardless of the difficulties, I am more sure than ever that I have exactly what I need, here, now, and in the future. Thanks to all of you who make my reality well worth living.