memory bingo

Working on a very small chorus part in Amarillo Opera’s Amahl and the Night Visitors.

Although the part is tiny, the chorus is challenged to learn a couple of long laundry lists. While coming onstage we call out about 3,051 names in rapid succession. These names are spinning in my brain like bingo balls.

bingo hopper Does anyone know anyone named Babila? I’m asking for a friend.

Once the names are spunkily sung with rapid-fire precision, the chorus begins enthusiastically listing the foods we are bringing as gifts to the Kings. There are exactly 3,052 of those. Anyone heard of a mignonette? A medlar? Anyone?? I haven’t either, but I’m singing and emoting like I love ’em. I love Opera. It drives me to the dictionary.

I’m such a poor shepherdess, I’m simply carrying a lame head of lettuce to present to the Kings. The 3 Kings are excellent actors. They act as if I’m presenting them with a new, monogrammed ipad! They are pros; each and every one of them.

amahlAmahl is a sparkling and tasty Christmas aperitif. It sets the mood for the coming season and it leaves us wanting to know more about the amazing child.

Short, sweet and to the point. There’s some glorious singing that will raise the little hairs on the nape of your neck. It’s a perfect night out. I think it would be a fun event for grandparents to take their grandchildren (older children who are able to sit still for one hour) to see and introduce them to the magic of theater.

Here’s the link to the Amarillo Globe News article:

http://amarillo.com/lifestyle/arts/2013-11-01/local-take-amahl-cozy

Here’s hoping for a BINGO! this weekend.

Christmas-y tidbit love to all.

backstage pass: Candide

” A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  Lao-tzu, Chinese philosopher.

Note by note, bar by bar, page by page the expedition has begun. I’m grabbing your hand and pulling you alongside. Join me?

Candide

I’ve been up to something. I’m singing in the chorus/ensemble of Amarillo Opera’s Spring production……CANDIDE. Our first rehearsal was last evening. You guessed right! I’m gonna blog this adventure’s every jagged twist and turn. You’re gonna inhale the musky waft of grease paint and hear every backstage squeeze of the corset on our expedition together. My role may be as a potted palm tree stage right, but you will be privy to the inside scoop of how this massive musical undertaking makes it to opening night.

candidechorusJPG
The first read-through of CANDIDE.

We have an abundance of intoxicating topics to discuss:  Leonard Bernstein, Voltaire, satire, history and music. Lots and lots of gorgeous music.

We’ll start at the beginning…..the audition. Be very relieved I don’t have a photo (or recording) to share with you. Don’t think I could post my pale face and breathless, shaky attempts at singing. Knees knocking in utter terror and a voice cracking at the high notes are not the makings of a fun blog photo or a great audition. This is a big chorus show…..so somehow, I made it. Guess they needed a few Clydesdales of the female vocal range.

Who knew my horsemanship skills could be used in the opera?
Who knew my horsemanship skills could be used in the opera?

This Candide is Bernstein’s musical adaptation of Voltaire’s novel Candide, and yes, I read the novel. The book was in-ter-est-ing. The plot? It’s outrageous, ludicrous, racy….we’ll talk more later.

candideart

We’ll be counting down the days until opening night, April 6th. I’ve tried putting a countdown clock on the right sidebar of this blog to help us as the anticipation builds. We’ll see how that works. Sure, I’ll be blogging about other things along the way, but this series will continue until CANDIDE opens. Bloggy pay dirt!

Learning this music makes my spirit soar. I’m grateful to have such a sparkling jewel in my life right now. How lucky am I? I’m taking your ticket. Welcome aboard. Let’s have some fun.

Traveling-mercy love to all.

Disclaimer: I am a Board member of Amarillo Opera. I want you to come to this production. I’m extremely biased. Read this series at the risk of learning to love CANDIDE.