Yesterday’s performance went even better than Saturday’s, as far as I was concerned. Others would argue the other way around. One of the tenor soloists was saying that for him it’s hard to sustain the excitement for a second performance. I’ve never found this to be the case, but I think that whatever you decide is going to happen is far more likely to happen simply because you’re putting your attention on it. So for him, Sunday’s performance wasn’t as fun, and he made more mistakes (as he reports it).
I, on the other hand, rocked! Of course, it helped that as we were chillin’ in the “green room”, waiting to line up and head on stage, the conductor took me aside and said: “You’ve got the strongest solo voice, so try to listen and balance the sound.”
Strongest solo voice? You’re kidding. These are professionals. I’m not a professional. Strongest solo voice?
I had no idea. I didn’t say any of that, I simply said that I would listen carefully to the balance. As I thought about the previous performance I could hear how loud my voice was. Not overpowering, but simply out of balance.
Up on stage, I know that there are people I know in the audience, but I can’t see any of them. The choir sings the first piece as the soloists and chamber orchestra sit in front listening. I enjoy sitting in the front of them like that. It’s like having surround sound, only live. Nothing quite like it. Being literally in the middle of the sound, but not making any of it.
Then comes my piece. We start, I listen carefully, balance my voice perfectly and the music soars. The voices weave back and forth flawlessly. I love being so completely “in” the music. I can feel how I’m balancing my voice with the rest, not too much, not too little. It’s perfect. Okay, it’s not completely perfect, there were still pronunciation issues, and frankly I imagine that any time I perform I’ll think of something I could have done better, but it went swimmingly. I sat down for the next song and then was back up for my last piece. I only had a few lines in the piece, but I sang them properly and musically (better than Saturday night) and then was done.
It was an odd feeling to be finished at the intermission. When we filed back in after intermission I sat down in the audience but near the stage so that I could stand up for applause at the end of the concert. I had not done that the night before, but rather, sat with my husband in the middle of the church and consequently was not up there for the soloist bows. It hadn’t bothered me, but the director said to make sure I was up there for bows on Sunday. Turns out I needed to be there because all the soloists got flowers! Such fun. The boys (okay, grown men) looked so cute and surprised at the bouquets.
After the concert a bunch of the musicians got together for dinner at a local Italian restaurant. I ended up sitting next to the director and across from one of the tenor soloists. About half way through the meal the director leans over and says, “By the way, when I told you not to kill the other soloists with your voice, you did beautifully. You hit the perfect balance.” I was beaming. I knew I’d done it right, but it helps to hear it from the man in the front who’s leading things. His turn of phrase made me laugh as well.
“So, did I pass my audition?”
“Hmmmmmm, I’ll have to think about that.” he said, with a twinkle in his eye. The woman who got me into this calls the director a tiny Santa Claus, and she’s right.
“I was going to have you audition separately for the interim director, but I guess I won’t make you do that.”