Huh

Nov. 23rd, 2013 07:48 pm
catchmyfancy: (teensy confused kitten)
Of late I have been enjoying a series of irregular dalliances with some delightful young men (as in under 30).  It's all quite casual and they're really really nice, generous and fun.  

One of them finds my physical strength quite remarkable.  In that he remarks upon it every single time we meet.  I didn't think I was overly strong, but apparently he finds me "really powerful".  He likes it.  

But every single time he uses that word, I shy away from it.  It's like someone's flicked a switch and I will flannel verbally adding about 87 qualifiers.  Who me?  Powerful? nah.  Me? nah.  Nothing to see, move along.

*headdesk* 


catchmyfancy: (dear buddha)
I am so behind in updating this journal that I may very well meet myself coming the other way.

Updates: fneh.

I shall tell you instead of a conversation I had with my Singer Enabler Friend Anna this evening on facecrack.  

Anna is the one who got me to audition for my current course, which I am one concert and one essay away from finshing...WOW.

SEF Anna is herself a big and burgeoning mezzo-soprano (although I reckon she's gonna be a dramatic contralto - Valkyries anyone?) and this semester we finally got to sing a duet together, and pretty much blast the roof off Melba Hall.  She loves singing with me because she can sing as big as she likes and I am all "eh. from bar 20?"   Seeing as I have been reclassified as a dramatic soprano and all.

I made the mistake of saying "....and yet sometimes I cannot think of myself as an opera singer."

And she came back with "Well, what else are you?  A gigantic cabbage?"

This is too fabulous not to put in my bio.  "Alexandra: opera singer, and DEFINITELY not a gigantic cabbage."

sometimes the Universe speaks, people, and it speaks of vegetables.  mostly of music.  but sometimes vegetables.
catchmyfancy: (ABANDON HOPE)
Two months since I posted.

Here's why:

July: life's promise shimmered on the horizon as I came into the mid-year break.

Then I got THE LURGY.  Everyone said it was vicious.  Normally I laugh at such things: if I get sick, then I get SICK and then I recover quickly.  I'm a Winter baby: there's always a cold or something in about July when everyone's immune system is pretty much over the cold, wet and dark.

Not this time.  I was sick - and voiceless, which was the very worst thing - for weeks. And weeks.  And I tried to go into work and would last a day and then back I would go to lurk at home. And fret, feel ill, and despair over my voice returning.

Also, dealing with The DeathCough.  I spent a week trying to turn myself inside out.  On the up side, now have a new decent GP.  On the down side: my chiropractor spent almost an hour putting everything back into alignment and then 45 minutes the next time only a few days later.  Being a trained singer, apparently I instinctively engage auxiliary muscles when I'm trying to do something respiratory.  Awesome for singing, deadly for what she called "hypercoughing" (I prefer DeathCough).

But return the voice did, after I completed the divine 36 Hours of Silence (I worked from home, and the only sound I made was the one time I was provoked and snarled at the laptop for being Difficult).  A week too late for a Very Important Masterclass.  But it did, and no lasting damage, according to the folx at the Melbourne Voice Analysis Centre.

August: back to study and work, and still convalescent.

BIrthday.  Ignored it mostly.  Had some people in for scones and tea.  Had a singing lesson or two and felt happy.  Discovered more Grieg.  Life's promise shimmered once more on the horizon.

Then Lurgy 2.0 returned for a final go-round.  It was compressed: went through the Blah in 10 days instead of five weeks, and no antibiotics or asthma steroids needed this time, just lots of sleep, and me making appalling puns.

Also have met a couple of guys online, including a Very Much Younger Occasional Lover (who lives locally, so it's door-to-door service *snorfle*).  In fact, the Very Much Younger men of my town seem to have been sent a circular, and they are all popping up on the dating website and saying "...how YOU doing?", even though I have my search parameters firmly set in (mostly) age-appropriate territory. 

Anyhoo, finally, I feel I'm coming back up the other side.  I've picked up a vitamin and supplements habit.  I still have eight weeks to prepare for my final recital.  And my darling friends Canadian Dave and Arash have proposed that we all share a house in the New Year and I think I thought it over for about 0.02secs before I said "oh. Okay, I guess."

Plus the sun is shining today (oh Melbourne: I am wise to you. This will be how it is all September, and then October will come in cold and wet and vile and break all our hearts) and I have this and this in the backyard.

catchmyfancy: (doctor who shiny)
ie just too sensuously lovely.

The kryptonite aspect means that, no matter what, I'm somewhat puddley at the end.

catchmyfancy: Owl looking at the viewer, Text "ORLY" - it's a LOWL! (ORLY?)
So I'm singing this aria and in it, Abigaille learns that she, a child of slaves, was adopted as a tiny child by Nabucco, King of Babylon. 

Yup - adopted by the king of the people her parents were at war with/conquered by.

She's smart, a loyal daughter, a warrior, a sister to a rather dim "true" (ie blood) princess, Fenena.

And then it all starts to go to hell, after she finds out her origin and why the crown was given to her younger sister when their father "loses his reason" (ie has a psychotic break of some sort and is largely absent).

And she decides to bring down her wrath on everyone and bugger the consequences.

Now, tell me if I'm reading this wrong, but:

ABIGAILLE = LOKI Y/Y???

I need to find a green performance frock.



catchmyfancy: (Default)
See the rather gorgeous Danielle de Niesse in my icon up there?

That's her playing Ariel in The Enchanted Island (fantastic fun Baroque pastiche by the Met Opera).

Tonight I'm off to see her sing at the Melbourne Town Hall.  heh.

catchmyfancy: Caroline Dhavernas as Jaye in Wonderfalls and the text "I surrender to Destiny" (Destiny)
One:
  • puts down one's cup of tea,
  • indicates that one shall be crossing over to their side of the couch,
  • makes sure that there are no indications of anything other than acceptance from their side of the couch and
  • KISSES THEM AND KISSES THEM TILL YOU'RE BOTH DRUNK ON THE ENDORPHINS
  • evaluates a sudden urge to get off the couch and somewhere more roomy (Nice Man is 6'4", one is not a sylph) as reasonable under the circumstances
  • ends up drowsing off about 6am.
It seemed the only reasonable solution to this one, anyway. 

Oh and PS: the Rachmaninoff Vespers makes awesome far-too-late-at-night snogging music.

Embedded

Apr. 16th, 2012 11:44 pm
catchmyfancy: (story of us)
Tonight was masterclass, and we were doing folk songs by Benjamin Britten.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, in masterclass, one person sings for everybody, and then the person taking the class - one of the three senior voice teachers - works on improving the piece with the singer for about 20 minutes.  Rinse and repeat for a couple of hours.

The teacher taking the class (who is incidentally my singing teacher for this year) likes to have a themed class so she can work on a particular genre and download her brain into our ungrateful and inattentive craniums where possible.

Of course, anything to do with Britten means even folk songs get complexAlso kinda interesting.

My teacher actually studied with Britten's partner, Peter Pears (that's Sir Peter to you, you grubby little soprano) when she was a young singer, and that's as close to the source material as you're gonna get in this life.

So we got into the style and how Britten puts most of the things you need on the page, even if you have dig around to find them, but then she did a Teacher Question: "what makes Britten and Pears so remarkable?"

Athoughts on stuff that might make any LGBT peeps feeling a little hope-challenged feel it more )
There was a point to all this, but I am still tired from seven hours' driving yesterday to sing in a concert, so it escapes me.
catchmyfancy: (dancer flexing)
Also pared down.

It's nice.  I like it.
catchmyfancy: (enchanted island - neptune and court)
FIRST WEEK DONE AND DUSTED.

To fully render my feelings of glee-n-squee unto you is not possible without the use of dancing unicorns, sparkly rainbows and kittens riding about on fluffy bunnies.  So I shall simply say: it was joyful to be doing this.

And I am (unlike many of the stewents there) fully mindful of the joyousnessness. Ness. Of the doing.

For example: there is this thing called Concert Class.  One is required to attend just over half of them. And long and many and varied are the dodges people use to get out the following:
  • sitting in a comfortable hall
  • watching and listening to amazing musicians (and they are superb)
  • who are playing a varied and fabulous program (all instruments and all manner of musickes: one saxophonist came out and played Bach partitas, one pianist came on and wowed us all with russian variations on Rondo alla Turca)
  • for two hours with only the requirement of
  • a few lines of critique per item.
So basically, they put on a Considered Concert every week (I like to think it's just for me but I let other people attend) and people try everything they can think of to get out of it, to the point where they have implemented the most bizarre administrative methods to stop them (probably it is unhelpful that the coordinator used to be a stewent and thought up many of the dodges. *snorfle*)  Cos they are unmindful of what this actually is.

Every class makes me go "yes!" (in a "knowledge, I needs it, GIVE IT ME" sort of way) and hanging around the Con is fun, there's always people I know and I'm slowly getting to know the rest.  It is possible I may have made myself more well-known by singing some Tosca for the vocal ensemble audition.  *ahem*  But what the hell.  This is so NOT the year to be hiding my light under any bushels.  I am what I am, dammit.

I went off and had my singing lesson from a world-class soprano and she got her accompanist to listen to me and he said the nicest thing ever: he said I sounded like a young Elizabeth Connell

Is there an emoticon for "Holy Fucking Shit, Batman"?

And that takes us up to Thursday.
catchmyfancy: (doctor who shiny)
Fronted up to my first vocal masterclass at 4pm at the Con today almost giddy with the amazingness of FRONTING UP TO MY FIRST VOCAL MASTERCLASS.

Extra bonus, my old teacher Julia was there and she was smiling with me being all giddy.  A little moment of resonance (there's going to be a LOT of those before this year is over, brace yourselves).

I has my technical requirements sheet for Semester 1 assessment: ready?

Do two vocalises, then pad out the rest of the 15 minutes with arias and songs 'n' stuff.

Ooookay.  Sure.  No worries. 

Got my lesson time.  With Rosamund Illing!

Hitting the music library tomorrow at 8am!!!!

NOT ENOUGH EXCLAMATION MARKS IN THE WORLD!
catchmyfancy: (Default)
HOMG HOMG HOMG HOMG HOMG H*O*M*F*G!

This is a really boring sentence to type and to read, but there's resonances here and some of them are 25 years deep:

Tomorrow is my first day of semester for the Graduate Diploma in Music at my Yewni.

For which I have actually arranged to study part-time.

Which means for two days in the week, I am a MUSIC STEWENT.  

Studying MUSIC. 

Really, actually, really, truly, really really really getting to spend TWO DAYS A WEEK just studying music and singing and all the things that go with it.

Like hanging out in the Conservatorium.  And the VCA.  And bitching and moaning about things and saying "huh - TYPICAL" a lot about the administration of the faculty and the course.

Studying with ROSAMUND ILLING.

Going to ALL THE CONCERTS EVER with my student card giving me student rush tix and concession.

Did I mention STUDYING MUSIC?

All of it with a slowly bubbling something coming up through my being.

Might it be happiness?  Might it be the thought that really I should have just cut my losses and put this whole thing in capslock_dreamwidth?

Cos, you know:

H****O****M******F******F******G





catchmyfancy: (Default)
I saw her do the role of Abigaille in "Nabucco". Abigaille is an extraordinary role (and a dangerous one if it's done before the singer is ready): one has to have vocal cords of steel and a will of iron and other metallic metaphors as well - she's a princess and she makes her play for power and pulls it off based on not much more than having more front than Myer. Batshit insane of course, as all the best roles are. And this roly-poly woman came out on stage and was Abigaille and left me breathless.

And then I got to stand behind her in the Royal Albert Hall (i was in the big choir) and hear her hang shimmering pianissimo notes in the air. Extraordinary.

Sadly, just as she was moving into all the fantabulous big big roles in her 60s (she is 63 in the performance below) she got cancer and died.

It is, as Terry Pratchett would put it, an EMBUGGERANCE. But at least she could do this (and fucking NAIL IT) and at least we still have it.  This is Isolde's Liebestod (deathsong), which I thought sadly appropriate.

Thank you, Miss Connell.


Oh - just to show the the joy she had in singing (can you spot it? *grin*) and the endless generosity of sound that I adored, here she is giving Rachmaninoff what-for in 2010:


Woot!
catchmyfancy: (Default)
I've had a whirlwind time of it recently, much of it due to [personal profile] john  and [personal profile] toby  coming and staying in my house for about three weeks, with the odd visit from the adorable [personal profile] anatsuno .

I am a dyed-in-the-wool introvert, but apparently there are some people who just don't ping my argh-people-AWAYgoAWAY radar, and my two lovely International Housepests of Mystery are amongst them. 

Between them, my two other gay boyfriends (Canadian Dave and Arash) and other random friends who seem determined that my FQ (fun quotient) shall not get too low, I have had the most wonderful, alcomoholic, fooderiffic, carefree and lovely time this past month. 

I was sorry to see my IHoM go (especially having a tenor on tap, as it were, and also getting to hear the nightly installment of Adventrs-with-Grindr), but a New Adventure Looms - I'm starting the Graduate Diploma of Music at my Yewni in *gleep* eight days.

I seem to be the only one who is worried about things like timetables and enrolling and credit points and teacher choice and textbooks and assessment  - the staff at the faculty are....well, a little bit free-range and supremely unconcerned about deadlines and I feel like Hermione half the time (cue [personal profile] john  doing his best Maggie Smith: "Five points from Gryffindor, Mr Potterr").  I asked my friend Anna (a fellow music stewent) what the textbook was for Practical Anatomy for Classical Singers and she actually laughed in my face.  Apparently we have to keep a journal about how we feel after each class and how it may have helped us in our practice.  Really.  REALLY?  At this point I have to admit that I am vacillating between horrified and positively gleeful.  Erm.

I know and have worked with both the former Dean and the current Dean of this Faculty in my position as Graduations Lackey...one is now my course coordinator and the other is - now my Dean.  Former Dean was kinda...well, flakey at the best of times and talked a lot about feelings (I see a theme here) and Current Dean (who I have met with, worked with and chatted to on multiple occasions) recently spent 15 minutes talking at someone he thought was me.  She rang me to tell me the gist of the conversation because she didn't want to embarrass him by pointing out she wasn't me.  I would have had NO such compunctions.  This person? Is, yes, large-ish.  Also a caucasian woman.  Also over 35.  Also: half a foot taller, and not, you know, anything like me to look at.   There isn't a *headdesk* big enough.  My faculty management, you guys.

The fun of it will be watching his face when I walk into the prep meeting for their graduation in a couple weeks.  I better see some squirming, is all I can say.

Oh yes, I'll still be working: I am trying to pull this qualification off part-time and still do my job three days a week.

Miracles of miracles, management are supporting me taking my long-service leave at a rate of two days per week during Semester. Possibly because it was that, or me disappearing for three months sometime this year - they all got very nervous when I qualified for long-service leave (not sure what to do for study leave: I may end up being strategically ill - I have 100+ days of sick leave to burn through. Don't get me wrong, I've been ill: just didn't use the leave. Which should tell you all the things you need to know.)

I also have the physical goal of getting much much fitter, and turning my body into a better instrument.  That's what I'm about to become: an instrument. 

Also - wow - must pull together repertoire list for whoever-new-teacher-will-be - it could be this person. Or not. Who can tell?  A tree in a golden forest, people, a tree in a golden forest.

The best bit, though, the thing that makes the tiny anxiety attacks (am typing this in a sweaty state, believe me) and pulling my hair out over getting arrangements nailed down worth it, is that I get to finally - FINALLY - just be a musician and a music student.  Still have to look at that one out of the corner of my eye, because I get a little tired-and-emotional when I think about it properly.  I went and had a prowl around the music library the other day and was looking at baroque ensemble facsimile scores (in which I am interested not at all although they were very pretty), but I got the sniffles anyway.  I'm blaming the dust. 

catchmyfancy: (captain logic is not steering)
The front garden was THIS HIGH in weeds.   Lots of rain, lots of sunshine, and they were having a lovely time.

I managed to ignore the mess for some weeks but eventually I got sick of the ever-burgeoning dandelions mocking me and so I had a moment of GRAHNGRAGHRFTGR and they were the first things to go.

But I cannot do sustained weeding: can't kneel for very long (if at all) and I have long legs and short arms, so bending from the waist is hardly optimal either.  So I hit on the solution of dragging out the old vinyl pouffe and plonking it right on the ground in the current Area of Interest:
(a) it sinks me close enough to the ground that I can sit and reach weed roots quite handily around me for up to an hour at a time; and
(b) I do have oddly good hip turnout, so I could reach right forward, practically supporting my weight on one hand while the other wreaked havoc upon my weedly enemies.

And it is DONE.  Path cleared, garden cleared, and a very full green waste bin ready to be collected. 

The story should end there: there were weeds, the weeds were removed without too much strain on my body, yays! 

Except it doesn't because it alerted me to some bugs in my programming. 

stuff about anxiety etc )
catchmyfancy: (no no no yes ys yes)
So today I had a moment where I actually knew it was ONE OF THOSE moments.  (Usually one does not, and you have to backtrack mentally when there's been time and perspective...)

I attempted to enrol in my Grad Dip in Music online, and of course got stuck. 

So I sent a text message to Canadian Dave (who I knew was back at work today and he had said "When you get stuck....") and he eventually called me back once the crazy had died down and gave me the missing bit of information.

And so I was able to finally push the button that said: "Accept my offer" while he said "....and there you go, you've just changed your life."

Then just a little while ago I had another moment after reading all the subject descriptions.  this one involved a lot of panicked sweating.  Holy crap do I have a LOT of remedial work to do on my music theory and similar...
catchmyfancy: (Default)
19 days.

24 graduation ceremonies.

6,376 students let loose upon the world, clutching their little degrees.

About 80 hours of overtime (not sure what I want to buy - I was thinking maybe Tasmania).

Moving on!
catchmyfancy: (sam & asgard squishy)
I have had a [personal profile] john in my house for some days.

We met here on Dreamwidth and now I have an International Tenor of Mystery as a friend. 

He brings me Veuve Cliquot, people!    Also we blend while singing. 

*boggle*

catchmyfancy: Caroline Dhavernas as Jaye in Wonderfalls and the text "Clincally Unstable" (clinically unstable)
I will explain.

So There Was This Guy.  He was a nice guy.  He had a sense of humour.  Physically he was my Type.  He worked at my Yewni.  There was some mild flirtage at meetings.  There was him ringing me to ask me things he already knew the answer to.  There were long phone calls and eventually I would ask: "is there a student on the line?"  And he would say: "oh yeah. heh."  And the Daily Email which got longer and longer as we got busier and busier and eventually, you just hit send at the end of the day (only way to keep the threads under control).  Eventually there was lunch.  And a dinner.  Some hugs.  And then.....nuthin'.  Yeah, we were both insanely busy.....but that feeling of mutual exploration and connection....gone.

I may be a strong independent woman who earns a decent wage, can sing opera and also row a split time of 2 minutes 30....but the Excuses started about then.  Not from him.  Nope - from meFor him.   (Oh, if there was a way to insert a death-from-blushing icon here, I would).

But then I got chatting with one of his minions (usual deal with the phone calls which left the students languishing).  This was David, but I dubbed him Canadian Dave.  Canadian Dave asked me how I was one day, and decided that I sounded down, so he would send me some links to cheer me up.  Which he did.  Canadian Dave kept sending me emails and sillinesses to keep on cheering me up.  Intrigued, I made it a point to get to know Canadian Dave better.

Canadian Dave is, basically, adorable.  He is in LUUURVE with the lovely Arash, a persian australian boy, who he basically decided was the guy for him and pursued him and dragged him back into his lair until Arash agreed he was in love with him too, OKAY?  They are off to Canada next year to get married (at which point I apologised for our retarded government and its retarded laws, I mean HONESTLY, it's like a time warp back to the 50s).  He is finishing off a Master of Environment degree at the Yewni.   He likes the same dumbarse TV shows I like, and he is all about the youtubes, introducing me to the mystique and wonder that is The Lonely Island (it is quite something to have someone say about "Like A Boss" that "I bet that's what you're like as a boss, especially the bit with the vodka."  Oh Dave. You are simply too fabulous.)

But the best thing about Canadian Dave is that he helped me remember there is a natural rhythm to the building of a friendship, romantic or otherwise: when someone gets to know you and you cannot wait to find out their opinion on things, and you both like  to do small things for each other and he tells you you are quite fabulous and a great catch and asks you out for dinner (with Arash, yay!) and it's all fine and easy.  Against Canadian Dave's great good cheer, the pale meanderings of the Guy have dwindled into not much at all.

The best bit was when Dave thought the Guy (before he knew it was his boss, then he was even more determined, heh) had been breaking my heart (or giving me the runaround) and he wanted to me to know that he and Arash would sort them out.  He said Arash could look pretty scary, and of course, he was a Canadian.

Oh, Canadian Dave.  *smishes him*
catchmyfancy: (shout! weightlifter)
...and I don't mean as in "quiet happiness".

I have both (a) actual things to say and (b) BIG LOUD HAPPINESS: I have a gig!  With an orchestra!  Ha!

Okay YES, it's a community orchestra, and a community choir, and the gigs will be in the far-flung parts of Melbourne....but finally: I get to sing with an orchestra! 

It is (finally, after so many fits and starts of the last few years) a Place to Start Building Things Up Again.

It's Lobegesang (or the Hymn of Praise) by Mendelssohn and I have the 1st Soprano solos.

Which is brilliant, as I get to sing a duet with James, the adorable little (well, quite young, but still taller than I - and his voice is as big as a Very Big Thing) tenor.  But he's just so sweet and we get on well (this is 90% of being able to do duets).

They sent me my audition video.  OY.  Many many many things to work upon.

WHAT A WEEK TO NOT BE ON FACEACHE!

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