Mahler Symphony No. 4 Cleveland Philharmonic Orchestra – April 2017

I’m back from a month away in the midwest singing concerts of Mahler Symphonies 2 and 4. What a month of absolute joy and now I’m back in the saddle in Sacramento! I’ve been receiving warm welcome home texts from friends, but there was one in particular grabbed my attention. “You’re home! I’ve missed you!…let me know when you’ve finished re-entry. I’m here!”

Re-entry, like from outer space back to earth’s atmosphere. After a month away in intense rehearsal and concert situations, out of body performing experiences, spiritual experiences with conductors, singers, orchestras and audiences, intense focus in preparation for auditions, meetings with potential collaborators, starting new projects, reaching out and meeting with colleagues that I’ve not seen in years, and even seeing family and friends. Yes reentry is what this is.

Finding footing in the day to day after this kind of intensity is incredibly difficult. Priorities SUDDENLY shift. Career mode goes back into first gear after being in fifth gear for weeks, and yet concerts are still on the way. Deadlines exist. Pipelines of work need to be filled. Poetry still needs to be interpreted. Vocal technique still needs attention at every turn….Also, voice students need support, your teenage kids need help staying on track with school work, they have projects to present, have looked at colleges and attended prom while you were gone, and they need to tell their mom about all that is happening and has happened while you were gone. Friends have life changing shifts coming to the fore and have sparks of inspiration to positively affect the communities in which you live. Time must be spent in all these places.

Be present. Observe. Be sensitive. Contribute to the conversation. Be vulnerable until it hurts. Love even more than that. Take care of yourself, because there is much to do. Find the balance. Surround yourself with those that will help you keep finding it, and do that for others.

Priorities shift after an intense trip like this, but remember, these are the priorities that continue to feed the need to speak with more strength and vulnerability through art.  #operamom