“That most wonderful time of the year” – finally some respite – I have made 17 performances in 26 days – now I think I understand much better what James Ehnes feels like, and I will consider January and February to be extraordinarily light months. Facing fabulous prospects – especially moving to the country in the summer, and perhaps conducting a concert in Winnipeg in August.
I’m feeling awfully good about life these days.
So – last weekend I had two church services and a concert on the West Island with an amateur choir I inherited last year. All went ok, but just ok. I am looking forward to better this weekend, when those groups try again. I think they will all be better rested and more mentally prepared this time. I am on the bus right now, on my way back from a solo gig as an evangelist in the Christmas Oratorio. I was pretty surprised to get a call – it has been many years since I have sung as a soloist. Afterwards the organist was very kind and complimentary to me, which I really appreciated. I was generally happy with how I sang, though I felt I forced the high end a bit because of lack of security – there was a frog in my throat and I’m really not accustomed to singing with one, so I had a bit of a hard time above the passagio. I was quite happy with how solid my singing was this weekend – even my melismatic singing behaved itself. I flew through the long passages with a smile on my face, it felt and sounded completely comfortable. If I had had more gigs where I sang this well when I was younger, I never would have become a conductor. I chalk most of the result to motivation. 60% of it was sincerely wating to do well – both for my friends and for the music. 30% of it was for closure – the last time I sang solo it went really badly and I wanted to make sure that I did better this time. And 10% of my motivation was – get this – having nothing to lose. That really helped me calm down. My preparation was the best it has been in a long time for a concert, but it was the nothing to lose moment after my first line didn’t go as well as I wanted it to that helped me most of all. After that I calmed down and gave a mostly successful performance of music my voice was born for.