Family Vacation?

Jul 31, 2011 | Opera Mom

Family vacation? Well, not really. It’s not often that my family and I can “indulge” in a vacation for vacation’s sake. My schedule is erratic, so often the family vacations wherever it is I happen to be singing. This time ’round we had an opportunity to head up to the northern coast of California to beautiful Mendocino!

After one intense day’s rehearsal of the Mozart Requiem and Mahler’s “Ich bin der Welt” my family joined me in Mendocino. This is one of those moments where balance of family and work is most difficult. We are in a beautiful, quiet place and I am only in the position to tell my family to go and have fun without me. Rehearsals were plentiful, intense and emotionally exhausting. They need not join me for that. So the compromise comes in the form of them enjoying the day and we meet for dinner and evening relaxation! It worked! I was able to really focus on the intensity needed for the rehearsal, knowing that I could look forward to an evening of relaxation with the ones that inspire me the most.

After the final rehearsal on Friday, the family met me in Mendocino to explore some local shops, a coffee house and of course to meet the people doing the same. We had the wonderful opportunity to meet one of the singers in the chorus along with her husband at FRANKIE’S PIZZA. They make fantastic coffee and have great little beer/wine list for such a small shop! To me the importance of chatting with the chorus members is HUGE! They work so hard in making the performance happen. It was a perfect day!

The next morning, we parted ways again so that I could sing the Mahler several times….yikes and of course, the Mozart. For those who don’t know, the Mahler and the Mozart are complete opposites on the spectrum of music. It seems nearly impossible to sing both these pieces in the same program, but I was hired to do so and determined that it would be great! The final rehearsal was really difficult as I was asked to sing the Mahler several times and then had to mark the Mozart in most places to save myself for the concert that evening.

The concert was fantastic! I opened the concert singing the Mahler. I felt right in the same zone as the orchestra, conductor and the audience. It’s a brilliant moment when the feeling that you are simply the conduit for the music happens. It doesn’t always happen that way, but it did this time. The music played us! Then it was time for the Mozart Mass in C minor. It clipped along and thankfully my athletic coloratura came to the concert as well. It was a grand success for the final concert of the 25th Anniversary of the Mendocino Music Festival!


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