catchmyfancy: (lieder)
Ah, we are now deep in that part of the Eisteddfod where I just sit there and go "bwuh"?

I just got 2nd in the lieder section. 

Let us take a moment to examine that statement.  Even two years ago pre-voice-loss this would have been because all the other people in the section dropped dead apart from one girl who sang something sweet and pretty and she would have come first and I would have come second after stepping over all the corpses to get to the stage to collect my certificate.

Now, I place and once I even WON (but that was last year and details remain hazy) in lieder.  I find this whole situation just bizarre.

My singing was okay, but I was on automatic pilot cos I was listening to the official accompanist have a brain melt-down cos she didn't have page 2 all this week and it's a tricksy one and she got about two bars ahead of me but oh thank DOG, it's by Wolf and it's the Modern Musickes and so unless you knew the piece you couldn't tell and thus the automatic pilot (which for this lied was fairly deeply ingrained and which involved a LOT of "smile and wave and keep on singin'") was good enough for second; and me and Janet (the accompaniste) both got the giggles when the result was announced.

I then very ungraciously rang the lovely Jin to see if she could play the Championship for me but she has a concert: curses!  So i shall hie me hence to Janet's this week to practice.  I am worried about our timing.  She made Pace Pace like a DIRGE the other night.

By the way, if you don't have anything else to do on Friday night and live in Melbum and have $6 spare: the final is on at the Hawthorn Town Hall (cnr Glenferrie Road and Burwood Rd) at 7.30pm and there will be seven artistes vying for the Championship and Sally-Anne Russell will sing the Thinking Music portion of the night and I AM UP FIRST so, you know, if you wanted to get some barracking in but couldn't be arsed going to the footy...

here is tonight's adjudication, mostly good, but the woman is bizarre: her ideal is a singer who does the Classic Park and Bark.  Apparently I *gasp* move my head.  So sue me for attempting to look a teensy bit other-wordly:

Nicely controlled opening phrases.  You capture the mood beautifully.  The lightness and clarity are to be commended.  The voice is making excellent progress and the German was very good!   Your posture was much better tonight, just sometimes your head tilts over to one side, try to stand still!  A well-controlled and charming performance! (86 points)

You'll have to excuse me: I am off to stand in front of a mirror and practice being insane, lost, desolate alone and miserable as expressed in many high Bs  without moving.

catchmyfancy: (silly-sung)
The nights are drawing in, the air has a crisp autumn tang, I have been scrabbling through my bag madly trying to find my other Big Sparkly Earring while sneakily photocopying large gobs of music on the photocopier at work before leaping out the door in high heels and make-up and already late....yup, it's officially Eisteddfod Season in Melbourne!

Went this evening to the Oratorio section for the Eisteddfod Formerly Known As the Camberwell Eisteddfod (I have no idea how to spell the name they changed it to, EFKACE will just have to do for this particular set of despatches). 

I have to confess, am not overly interested in Oratorio, although I SHOULD be, given that most of the gigs in this town for the Soprano-without-Portfolio are singing the solos for masses, oratoriae, cantatae, etc etc.  I've just always seen it as the very Whitest of Really DWEM* music, and everyone always looks like they have either a stick (or in more extreme cases, someone's hand) up their arses.  So winning or not winning is all the same to me.

Mostly I just went tonight because I wanted to get a feel for how this adjudicator is marking, what she's looking for, and what her weird little surprises are going to be like.  Every adjudicator has Their Platonic Ideal and you never know what they want, or how you measure up, till you've sung for them at least once, and I wanted to fire my opening salvo in a "meh" section for me.

I'm at the stage now where I can go in and pretty much sing cold and do okay. 

Which, given that my day started with discovering one of the goldfish at work dead (and the others working through their grief by declaring that the Dead Goldfish Buffet was Open) and pretty much went downhill from when I put my hand in the tank and extracted the remains....well, I wasn't going to pull something amazing out of my arse.

Also, I chose a Bach piece, Blute Nur from the St Matthew Passion

For Bach, one MUST be in the zone (not skirting around the edges).  Also, this should be a heart-breaking piece and have everyone sobbing into their programs.  I just couldn't wring my customary angst out of the piece. 

So I got third.  Here is the adjudication:

A lovely warm vocal quality and a good choice for your voice.  The phrases flowed easily.  Sometimes the 'attack' is not always clear and connected, shape the vowel mentally and vocally prepare for the vowel shape you want to sing.  Section B was nicely contrasted and secure.  the soft return of the Da Capo was effective.  A refined and secure performance, sincere, and well within the style.  Excellent German.

Only one word about emotion and all the rest about technical stuff.  I'm feeling somewhat annoyed and worried about that.  Still, not bad after the day I'd just had, including a fight with my boss, getting only half the things I needed to done and not nearly enough sleep.

Also made me realise that I should return to the fabulous Hore Israel (Hear ye, Israel) which I used to do and which always makes me feel like I'm!.Very!!.SHOUTY!!!.  But I have the control to do it justice these days. 

I actually got to watch another huge-voiced soprano with No volume control (ie me five years ago) crash and burn tonight and she was out in the foyer reading her crit and saying "but I CAN'T do pianissimo on a high F" and I had to go into the Ladies' so I could giggle without being seen. 

Nothing now till after the concert; but I sent off entry forms for another four Eisteddfodau today - I'm hoping I'll get back in the groove and start Prodding some Serious Buttock.


*DWEM = Dead White European Males.  Who wrote everything in my repertoire bar the spirituals. But, YOU KNOW.  Anyway.  *ahem*

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August 2017

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