Wednesday, January 26, 2011
On January 23 I had the wonderful opportunity to perform in recital the songs from my upcoming recording in Roanoke, VA. Last year while I was covering at the MET I was hanging out with conductor Steven White in the green room. We were talking career stuff and I started telling him about my idea for my recording and one thing led to another and he suggested I bring the program to Roanoke to try it out before I record it. Brilliant! I had been dying to get back to Roanoke since my debut there with Opera Roanoke in 2004 as Gilda if for no other reason than to see the larger than life sized picture of me and tenor, Scott Piper that hangs in the Roanoke airport just over baggage carousel 3. I heard about this banner from several people and was glad to get to see it in person and get my picture taken with it!
Putting together this recording and the gathering of these songs has been extremely rewarding. I was eager to get them into performance mode and Sunday afternoon was sublime. My pianist, Carol Goff, who was my first vocal coach and still teaches at the fabulous Townsend School of Music at Mercer University, flew to Roanoke with me to present these songs. This was my first complete outing of the songs and it felt incredible to sing them as one whole program. I was able to get a good idea of how the entire recording will flow and was also able to get a better sense of what order I should record them in to best suit me vocally. I'll have to pace myself in the recording studio and the beauty of a studio recording is that I don't necessarily have to record them in the order in which they will appear on the CD. I recorded the recital on my iphone and was able to get a good enough recording so that I could listen back and take notes. This week I'll listen a few more times and keep gathering ideas on how best to express and deliver these little gems that I have gathered.
This past week I was in Hattiesburg, MS to do the same recital at The University of Southern Mississippi. I like the idea of being on the road singing songs. It reminds me of when I traveled with the Gospel singing group, Jeff and Sheri Easter. I toured with them the summer before I went to college. I sang back-up, sold CD's, cleaned the bus, and babysat. We had Dolly Parton's old tour bus that still had the stained glass Dollywood butterfly skylight in the top. Yes, I wish classical music would be so popular that we could travel around the U.S. from state to state on large tour buses singing songs. What if? More exciting news from Hattiesburg to come!