I freaking ROCKED!I worked so hard for this role and it paid off. I sounded great and it was probably my best performance to date. I just kicked tail. I looked good, too. It takes a lot for me to be that kind to myself, so it says a lot.
Other really good things happened, too. The mezzo that I replaced (She had the solo for a number of years and was devastated when I replaced her.) finally spoke to me about her feelings.
“I told John that if he was going to replace me, I was happy it was you and that he would never find another singer to do “He was despised” better than you. Thank you for not making a liar out of me.”
I was so touched and happy. She and I have worked together longer than just about anyone. I cut my teeth on my first professional opera engagement with her as my mirror mate in 1993. She means a lot to me and so it was high praise indeed.
Not to say that I wasn’t a basket case before hand, I was. I was nervous as all get out. See this photo? I was waiting to go onstage and I am pretty sure that I had chewed off my entire tongue by this point. I had to use every ‘Calm me down’ trick in the book. Luckily, those worked as well.
There were other SNAFU’S as well. My stomach hurt SO bad. My voice coach and Bass soloist let me munch on his box of wheat thins at intermission. I hadn’t eaten that day (It’s hard to sing on a full stomach), so I really needed it.
When I went out to sing my final aria, I breathed in and realized I had a huge piece of Wheat Thin lodged in my throat.
I managed to get through the song and then the second I was done I ran off stage and was hacking and coughing and gagging. Security, singers and the signing chorus were all around me.
I lived but my HELL. I don’t recommend it.
My coach, Harry (And every other person) had zero idea there was anything wrong while I was singing. In fact, Harry said, “I was going to ask you what you did differently tonight because it was so emotional and really the best you’ve done. You should choke on Wheat Thins more often!”
I am glad that I have one more night to soak in the pure joy I get from doing things like this. It takes a lot out of me though, so it is probably for the best that I don’t do it often. Otherwise I would have “Performance Hangover” a lot. It isn’t pretty, as you can see here:
I hope you had a great weekend, because I did.