I have a feeling this is going to be a rather long post as so much has happened over the last week! I am rather horridly jet lagged from my trip to New York (didn't get to sleep unitl 5.30 this morning), I think partly because I spent most of yesterday in a dark theatre - the young vic. It was the ENO Young Singers' Programme's Kurt Weill concert and it went really well. We had the good fortune of working with a lovely director - Mark Rosenblatt - who really trusted our instincts and created a brilliant show with next to no rehearsal. It's great to have a director who quietly encourages you to do your stuff, and politely tells you if your stuff is rubbish! The lighting guy, Phil, was also a genius. The show was 45 minutes long and had 55 lighting cues!!! The audience seemed to enjoy it and I had a ball singing the music. Jazz is very close to my heart and it was nice to use a bit of that for once. A triumph all round I think.
The New York trip was hugely rewarding. Working with Catherine Malfitano has been one of the best things I have ever done. She has massively helped me along the path from provincial-class to world-class and been so nice about it! I am also massively grateful for her and her husband Stephen for putting me up when my accomodation fell through. My lovely pianist friend Carol Wong also stepped in at the last moment and put me up when I first arrived. I feel lucky to know such wonderfully kind people. I had 6 hours of tuition with Catherine and we got through all the opera arias for Cardiff. I know the work we did will make a massive difference. I have recorded it all on my ipod so I now will go through it all again so I don't forget anything - the devil is in the detail, as they say.
Whilst I was in the big apple I also go to catch up with some friends from the Mork Morris Dance Group, who I worked with on King Arthur at ENO and the fabulous soprano Alyson Cambridge who was Euridice in the Boston revival of the ENO Orfeo. All in all it was just the tonic I needed. Being away allowed me to really focus on the music and reminded me that despite all the constant admin that comes my way, I am still a musician and that's what it's all about.
Plans for this week include starting with my personal trainer; getting my brace tomorrow; a massage to loosen those shoulders; hopefully finalising plans for the aldeburgh residency; more work with Phillip Thomas and a run through of the programme in Redditch on Saturday. I also need to get cracking on some music for concerts I have coming up: Elijah, St Matthew Passion, Bach cantatas, Britten's Les Illuminations, and various recitals. I think that's enough to keep me busy. Oh, and my flat needs some serious tidying. Because... even divas have to unpack their luggage when they're jet lagged. I'll post again tomorrow when I get my brace!