Friday, February 14, 2014

If You Can't Stand The Heat....

...then get out of the kitchen.

We had our final rehearsal auditions today. This time they picked a song a week ahead of time from my repertoire list and then chose one on the spot.

My first aria was Per Pieta from Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart. In other words, an extremely difficult aria, but one that I’m working on and practicing with. It is a song I would never otherwise use for an audition. At least not now. The song runs up and down between to octaves through out the entire duration of the song. 
But it’s incredibly fun to sing. 

After this song they picked Berta’s Aria  by Rossini (in Swedish) because they wanted to see a different character. 

Then we talked…

The first thing they did was throw themselves at me with criticism.

 “You do this thing with your eyebrows, you become completely stiff in your face, I was bored after the first couple of phrases”. 

“Do you know you're doing this with you hands” then they mimicked my gestures.

“I don’t think this repertoire is right for you.”

“Your high notes are better than your low notes, it sounds to me that you feel more comfortable there.”

These were among the things they said to me.

I’m never one to fish for compliments, but I just felt completely dumbstruck, but I did my best to explain myself.

My eyebrow thing is hard to explain, but you see it my videos. It is a form of insecurity.
I know I don’t do it when i practice so it becomes hard for me to know exactly how to get rid of it for an audition or concert. I was told from my first audition to not show my insecurities. I don’t necessarily feel insecure when i sing. 
I really don’t.
But something in my mind or body sort of stiffens.
 It’s sort of a way of focusing. 
I, of course, want to get rid of it, it’s not something that I like that I do, but it just happens. I think about it every time I sing, and it’s just so incredibly hard to say why I do it. Usually if I’m on stage acting as well it goes away. They asked me if i enjoyed being on stage. 
Yes, I really do. I like moving around and doing things while i perform and i want to find away to feel that way  when i have to sing a concert or do an audition where I am forced to stand straight up and down. 
I was very aware of my hand gestures. That song is so hard, I had to some how keep myself going. I had to keep my energy up, keep my support going. I was so sweaty afterwards. 

They felt my high notes were better than my low notes which is the first time I’ve ever heard that. I love singing low notes and only recently have I managed to find enjoyment in high notes. So it’s very new for me to enjoy doing that. 

But of course, this was just a list of songs that are sort of in the same voice range and that I know well. I am slowly working my way upwards. I told them I think i’m a lyrical soprano with a fuller voice. The nodded.

At one point I found myself explaining my entire singing history. I sang with one teacher in Norway for 6 years, then another for one year, then another for a couple months and sporadically when I was home in Norway. I moved to Sweden where I had one teacher my first year, was forced to have another teacher the second and finally now I have been able to choose my own teacher and I’ve had him from a year and a half and I’m finally learning to sing. 

Then my phrasing a musicality. They felt i just sing through each note and it becomes choppy. This I know and is something I’m working on learning to to as we speak, but of course it hasn’t settled in my body yet. I feel it's hard to sing that way when your just trying to get through the music. Once I feel stable with a song then I can start to play and phrase and create music and show my emotions as I sing. That is after all the best part about singing, but it's hard to do when you're just learning how to sing. They felt it should be something I always should do even when learning music. I’ve started and will defiantly be doing more of that from now on.

Their final words were. “Just keep working on it.” 


Oh, and that I was dressed nicely. That was their only compliment. 

It isn’t always fun and games. 
It’s also just a matter of opinion.
It wasn’t that bad now that I think about it... because... I sort of wanted to cry afterwards.... 

I think I’m just going to go out an do some shopping, I have some discount coupons in my wallet…

xx Erika Grace

Photo: Åke Cappelin

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