Greetings from the great white north, where the deer and the antelope play. This weekend the number of non-functioning deer in the ditch vs. the number of non-functioning cars in the ditch were about even. Unfortunately, I have no idea WHAT conclusions to draw from that factoid. Discuss.
The drive and the bridge were uneventful. I didn't get lost, I didn't fall asleep, I didn't get a ticket. Check. Check. Check. And I got a check. Except I didn't. It's in the mail.
The concert went well, all things considered. Being a hypercritical soprano, I must add the all things considered into the equation, because I was still not 100%, vocally speaking. The last vestiges of my cold were hanging on for dear life, and my poor little cords, after a couple weeks worth of coughing, weren't inclined to cooperate. So I went to both rehearsals and performance armed with hot water and cough drops. I melted, mentholed and gargled my way through the weekend, wearing a red sparkly gown. When a soprano goes into battle, she does it with style.
Messiah (if you don't already know) is a LONG SONG. Lots of choruses. Lots of solos. Lots and lots of solos divided up amongst four soloists. Ergo, there is lots of sitting and waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I sure was happy when the shepherds finally got around to abiding in the fields, because 45 minutes is a long time to sit.
During all this sitting-pondering-wondering-worrying time, there isn't much else to do, but scan the audience and try to focus your mind...which instantly returns you to pondering, wondering and worrying. And this, in turn, quite frankly SUCKS because none of my solos are pondering, wondering or worrying solos. My solos are shepherds and angels and sheep (implied when the shepherds are keeping watch over their flocks by night because they weren't tending to EVIL DUCKS you know). My solos are about rejoicing greatly, Redeemers liveth-ing, and beautiful feet, and no, no NO, I'm not going there. I don't write them, I just sing them.
But my mind was filled with gunky throats and ow do I feel a tugging in my ear, and should I or shouldn't I sing with a cough drop in my mouth, and wow, look at this nice full hall. My mind, like the sheep, had gone astray.
After what seemed like a lifetime of other people singing, the shepherds took their places and were ready to abide in the fields. I stood up, said a Hail Maria Callas and hoped for the best. And -- all things considered -- it went fine. The chords cooperated. The high notes highed, the runny notes ran, the Redeemer livethed and the feet, well, were just fine.
At the end of the work, the soloists joined the choir in the last chorus of great screamitude. We Amened ourselves into a tizzy and got a standing ovation. After several curtain calls, we came back onstage to sing the Hallelujah chorus ONE. MORE. TIME. Because three hours just wasn't quite enough Handel for one evening. But they loved it. And by the time that last chorus came around, my mind did too. My voice and I made it through, and after spending much of the evening in super-technique combat mode, I was finally able to relax and sing.