I forgot to alert all of you that I am performing my first tenor role, Canio with a small company in Mendocino, California (Opera Fresca). Internet access is minimal here, so I have not been able to complete the second part of Spontaneous Formant Tracking.
These analytical posts require time and internet tools and links. I will be done here on Monday and will get back to work on that subject. It keeps nagging at my conscience! Anyway, some of you might be interested to know how Canio is going!
There are goods and bads in every new experience.
1. First the good! The role is not that difficult for me. I expected stamina problems because although this is a short role it is intense all the time. I don’t experience any stamina problems. All the notes are there and I am free enough to be able to act the part. Not bad for a first tenor experience.
2. The bad! This is a question of quality. How easy and beautiful does it sound? Thank God I know myself enough not to panic! This is not Metropolitan Opera level yet and some notes don’t sound great. All of that is due to illness. My folds are considerable relieved from reflux, but there is a very important byproduct from chronic reflux: Asthma symptoms! (More on this later!) This means that the lung tissue and folds remain thick even when there is no substantial reflux issue. The drug Ipratropium Bromide (the modern version is called Spiriva) gives me enough relief to feel confident about the opening tonight. I will update next week.
The prognosis for the future is looking good. One of the excellent singers I have had the pleasure of teaching occasionally, when his busy schedule allows, has won his bout with reflux and recommended a non-surgical procedure that I am looking into in addition to my dietary improvements (more on this later as well).
Beyond the joy of discussing important singing issues via this blog, I have found great hope through the friendships I’ve made here. One friend who took a couple of lessons from me before his adventures in Germany got a fest contract after his first audition and wants to continue our work together. Another student just won first place in the Teatro Colon, Buenos Aires young artists competition. Another baritone switching to tenor will be singing “De miei bollenti spiriti” tonight, and most touching to my heart, my “self-described avocational singer” student just sent me some practice clips that knocked my socks off. What unites all of these people are two factors: difficulties and the determination to overcome them. They inspire me in their search for balance in singing.
I could probably talk in the same way about all the students I work with currently. Each one face difficulties (technical, illness, age, etc) has made remarkable progress in a short time and each is ridiculously dedicated.
So I dedicate my first tenor experience to my students and fellow journeyers who are not only people that I have come to love and respect, but who show great care for me in my own trials by offering their advice and prayers. Congratulations to all of you for your progress!
Particular congratulations to Ray, Claudia, Leo, Adam and especially Frances!