Monday, May 19, 2014

Train in Vain

This weekend I went home to Bergen to celebrate the 17th of May with my family. At first it felt too close to our premiere, but now it feels like the smartest thing I could do. I feel more relaxed and ready to give everything I've got. My voice feels much more stable and suddenly everything is easier to sing. A little break did me well.

There's still parts of the music that need some fine tuning and thankfully we'll have a full day of that tomorrow! 

I finally have some pictures to share of my costumes:

I am NOT looking forward to returning that white slip and robe. I love them! The gown is ordered from JJ's House and I am incredibly impressed by the quality. They sewed in just a week and the shipping took 3-4 days, but was delivered to me today by UPS as I was out of town. I chose one of the standard sizes as that takes a little less time for them to sew and the measurements were the same as mine. I have a size 8 = Bust 35,50"(about an inch too big for me, there's a built in bra massive padding which gives the bust a beautiful structure) Waist 28,50", Hips 38,50"(not important as it's loose around the hips anyway). Length 59" They always add an extra 2" to the length for heels and it fits me perfectly in 10 cm heels. 

xx Erika Grace
Photo: Erika Grace

Friday, May 9, 2014


I haven't been writing for the past months because in march I got hit with a never ending cold. I've been frustrated for two months and it was sort of been the end of the world.

My friends and teachers and my family have all been very positive and supportive through out. I'm very grateful to be surrounded by so many positive people and my urge to sing is even greater than before!

I can sort of say I'm myself again, but I still get coughs every now and then, I don't want to over share, but we singers talk a lot about, you know, slime and stuff... anyway, I still cough up slime...sorry. Gross, I know!



Never mind...

The thing that has been most frightening is that as soon as I could sing again I didn't recognize my voice. I'm still adjusting and I'm freaked out! My teachers say it's a good thing, that it's a good change, but when I have such an important performance ahead it's scary suddenly not having the voice you had before or more the voice you knew how to sing with. I think I notice bit more stability in my singing and my vibrato, or at least I've been thinking so much about it that maybe my mind has overpowered my body and sent a cold to let my vocal chords rest.

Anyway, lately I've been singing a lot of soul as well. I told me teacher yesterday and he plainly said that "any lust for singing is good as long as it doesn't hurt." I found Alicia Keys all over again. I used to listen to her a lot when I was still dreaming of a pop-star life, but since I found Opera I haven't had the urge. until I saw THIS:

and THIS:

and THIS:

Isn't Jamie Foxx amazing? His piano playing and then that voice, I mean... Swoon!
The lyrics just crack me up! That's my sense of humor.

So I've been combining opera and belting while I run about my day at home. I think I have some "Spring Cleaning" motions going on. I washed out my entire laundry basket and sang while doing so. I've still got lots to clean.  It's going to be so nice here for spring!

I met my neighbor the other day at the grocery store. He likes my singing and commented that he hears me every now and then. I bet that's not what my neighbor underneath me thinks.  At least I've got one person om my side. Since I moved to Stockholm I started getting angry letters in my mailbox suggesting that I never sing at home. I never practice ridiculously early or late (except for the occasional party, and last time we did that, she liked it!) And I usually stick to maximum and hour if there's a situation where I have nowhere else to practice. But usually I'll just take 5-15 minutes warming up in the morning (9.30-ish) which is when the construction people start anyway. (They even start drilling and pounding at 8.00 am!!!!!) I just take is as a message that I can practice at home if they can drill that early in the morning.

More Poppea updates to come!

xx Erika Grace

Photo by Erika Grace

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


It’s getting closer and closer to my final performance at Stockholm Operastudio. It’s exciting to see everything come into place as well as feeling far from ready. I don't feel completely finished with learning the music. I have so many difficult rhythms, but I know that's just part of the process. I perform better when I’m in character and when I know where to stand, walk and lay. There’s a lot of laying. Most of it takes place on a bed. 

Today I got up too early to go meet my teachers at the costume rental place in Stockholm. It turned out to be candy land! There were so many fun clothes everywhere! A great way to start the day.  We found the perfect costume, a beautiful night gown with an even more beautiful robe. It’s gonna be some sexy-time on that stage, I tell yuh! I also have a gown that I’ll change into that I've ordered online. I can’t wait to see it! (Let’s hope it fits!)

We are at the theater now, it's such a beautiful set. It's going to look amazing when we get the lighting in place. I keep forgetting to take pictures. I will post some in the next post!

Heres a little information of how we do it at Stockholm Operastudio:

Each performance consists of two abridged versions of the operas. Xerxes will begin at 7 pm and after a short break be followed by The Coronation of Poppaea which features elements of Pelleas & Melisande.

 Our libretto is slightly different from the original since we are weaving it together with Pelleas & Melisande. The Pelleas scenes will be Nero in the past, young and in love with his true love, Melisande. Where as Nero and I are in the present where I am more a tool and somewhat a pleasure that, when and if given the throne, will rule Rome as Nero is much too incapable of doing so by himself. We will not be using an actual physical crown as the crown is more a metaphor for Poppeas desire for power. And in the end...well, you have to come and see it!!!!  

Fun fact:
According to Cassius Dio, Poppaea enjoyed having milk baths. She would have them daily, because she was once told "therein lurked a magic which would dispel all diseases and blights from her beauty."

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Erika Grace

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