Friday, March 25, 2005

My Singing Voice

I've had three rehearsals this week, and my voice is sounding strained, tired, and the sound just sometimes completely stops! I miss the voice that I had before I got really sick in December. It was nice and relaxed, and my high notes were easy and controllable. I'm quite a bit frustrated since my singing voice is such a big part of my identity. My self-confidence has definitely gone down since it went out of whack, but I'm making plans to go to the Laboratoire de la Voix in the 19th arrondissement. They'll have specialists who can tell me what's wrong, I hope. And hopefully, I'll understand the undoubtedly complicated (for me) French terminology.

I'm currently reading Renee Fleming's new book, The Inner Voice. I found out about it when I read an interview of hers in a French magazine that I found in the veterinarian's waiting room. I told John immediately, who was still in the states, to get me the book, as specific English-language titles are harder to come by over here and are, not to mention, ridiculously expensive new. For those of you who aren't familiar with Fleming, she is an American superstar soprano at the moment, specializing in Mozart and bel canto (Donizetti, Rossini, and the like). I haven't seen her live....yet. Maybe when she comes to Paris...she loves the French and their way of living. I don't blame her. In the book, she is very candid about her ups and downs in preparation for her career in singing, and does her best explaining, in layman's terms, the workings of the singing voice, and how she thinks her own particular voices works and feels. Finally, a book by a great singer about real singing. I've read the book known to many classical singers, Great Singers on Great Singing, but these great singers didn't seem to really know what they were talking about. These were people with natural talents who, for the most part, couldn't answer the interviewer's main question of "how do you do it?" Fleming has a divine voice, but she has done a lot of work. Some of it was natural, but a lot of it, seems to have been a result of a lot of study, analysis, and experimentation.

Wooooh...I'm getting tired. I don't know if I can handle waking up around 6 am every morning, going to bed after midnight, watching Maylin all day, and not taking a nap! Don't know what's waking me up now. There was no excuse this time. Ah, now I remember. It wasn't Maylin, but it was John. I think he must have had a difficult night sleeping because I vaguely remember, in my state of half-sleep, him moving about the apartment many times. Us moms rarely get a good night sleep. I miss the feeling of waking up from a very deep sleep, feeling completely refreshed. Nope, I wake up tired.

Oh, good news. Thanks to a tenor friend of mine who seems to be putting in a good word for me everywhere about my musical abilities, I've gotten a gig performing a concert in a little over a week! I would be playing the harpsichord (which I haven't touched in ages because I don't own one) for some Bach cantata excerpts. I'm not sure if I can actually hack it (especially if they just give me a figured bass line), but I'm meeting the director today (I'm hauling Maylin over again to the 12th -- wish me luck) to look at the music and find out what I might be able to play. (Did I use enough parentheses in this paragraph?)

In college, I was a very good writer. Not needing to write papers for almost 10 years definitely me a bit out of shape with the pen. I hope this blog will get me back on track.

Okay, time to start the day. I'm going to get into the shower to endure some severe changes in water temperature (is this a common problem in old apartment buildings?). You can imagine me suppressing my screams as the water goes from ice cold to burning hot and back again. Have a good day.

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