What an eventful week! I celebrated my anniversary with my honey, and my Diagnosiversary, marking a year since I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I wrote about the day before the test, the day of the test, and what the diagnosis symbolized for me, and now I am TIRED OF FEELING ALL THE FEELINGS. Readers too, may be tired of hearing me feel sorry for myself. So today I leave that behind and promise to rant and ramble without a second thought to my troubles and their DEEP EMOTIONAL SIGNIFICANCE!
So who watched the Inauguration? Beyonce was pretty awesome, eh? What’s that you say, she was lip-synching? If you are scandalized by that, you are a rube. Everyone does that in high stakes situations (though it’s worth noting/backdoor bragging that when I sang for two hours at Fenway Park I didn’t, but I digress). It’s cold, windy, and loud, sound systems can always crap out, and everyone in the world is watching you. I really don’t have a problem with anyone singing along to themselves.
I do find it irksome when people lip-sync in less stressful situations, and when they don’t use an original back track. This happens on SNL too often, and was all over the New Year’s Eve TV performances. I should be ashamed to admit I watched New Year’s Rockin’ Eve last month. I ended up going to bed at 10:30 because I could not watch another “performance” of someone stomping around a stage in Times Square while singing along to their radio single.
There was an editorial today comparing Hillary Clinton’s testimony on Benghazi to Beyonce’s performance at the Inauguration. Take your time and laugh at that. I’ll wait.
As it turns out, those two women have sliiiightly different responsibilities and expectations. Also, the gravity of their obligation to the good people of America differs just a tad.
While we’re on the topic of the Secretary of State, it looks like the senior Senator from Massachusetts will be stepping into that office in the near future. I’m trying to be happy for John Kerry, who was made to be Secretary of State, but it’s hard to get over my disappointment that we will be subjected to yet another special election.
I have barely recovered from the November elections, during which the presidential and senatorial contests provided brutal advertisements and sound-bytes. I really don’t want to do that again, despite my affinity for both politics and policy. We’re still in the fun stages of speculation, but it’s hard to enjoy the gamesmanship when I know the nasty stuff is coming up again.
More auditions this weekend! This will be my third weekend in a row with auditions in New York, and will be the last for a while as far as I know. Last weekend I sang for a panel that included a very well known operatic diva. She was gracious and pleasant and absolutely lovely, and I was a blubbering, inarticulate mess. My singing was fine, my talking was less than impressive. At least I wore a nice dress and hit my high notes.
Yesterday I started working with my pianist on a set of songs by Samuel Barber that we will perform at a recital in March. I have sung Barber many times – his Hermit Songs are among my standard rep, and I sang Knoxville, Summer of 1915 in recital a year and a half ago. The pieces I selected include those with texts by Hopkins (Heaven-Haven) and Joyce. One of the Joyce pieces is titled Nuvoletta and taken from a section of Finnegan’s Wake. Although singing Joyce means by definition singing words that seem like nonsense, the language is always so, so fun. I’ll post details about the recital once they’re ready.
Also this week I met with the director at a theater in Boston where I will be appearing in a Gershwin/Cole Porter cabaret. We listened to some tracks and talked about the game plan for this show which will feature about a half-dozen other local performers. Just discussing singing “Summertime” got me all excited, once I actually sing it I’ll be over the moon!
What are your favorite Gershwin or Cole Porter songs – or if you’re classically inclined, what do you love from Barber? Or Joyce for that matter?
Have a great weekend!
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Edited to add: After my rant about Beyonce, a piece in Slate came to my attention that addresses the issue in greater detail. You should read it!
Love the Barber Reincarnations, especially The Coolin’ (choral pieces, the kind of singing I did). Even had a small group do The Coolin’ at our wedding.