Greetings, all! I hope that you are well.
It’s hard to believe that September is already here – this summer has really flown by! For me, this summer has been one of the busiest! I’m grateful for the abundance, but it has been a steep learning curve for me in time management and protecting my energetic boundaries.
At the end of June, I rounded out my first year of teaching at the Kingsway School of Music with their spring recital – 13 of my students performed, including 5 singers! It has been a fun and challenging experience to teach young singers and to see their voices and confidence levels grow in just a short span! Just after the recital, I headed up and over to my old stomping grounds in northern Wisconsin for a quick visit with my parents. It was fun to explore the area as a tourist and to soak up the beauty of the forest and lakes. One of the highlights was finally seeing the “Min-Aqua-bats” – a water acrobatics show on Lake Minocqua, complete with a pyramid of waterskiers!
July was music camp month! I played piano and assisted in a Baby Piano day camp for one week (3 hours a day with 12 kids, aged 3-6) and also led my own Voice Camp another week (6 hours a day, 4 girls, aged 6-10). I organized Voice Camp into daily themes based on genre (musicals/Disney, pop/rock, jazz, choir/a cappella, classical/opera), incorporated rhythm, notation, and aural skills into each day, introduced them to new artists, explored jazz and classical instruments, and gave each girl a mini lesson every day. We also went to the nearby library branch and had reading/listening time every day, which they LOVED. I was so happy to see kids excited about the library and actually had to work hard to make them pick only music books. We also worked on a few canons and group songs which they performed for their parents on the last day. For the first Voice Camp I have ever led, I’d say it was a success!
August has been a tricky month – we had a great loss in our family and we are all still adjusting. I was able to take some time off of work to be with family, and I was grateful to have the opportunity to re-connect with extended family. I know it will take time to truly process all that has happened this past year, so I am trying to be compassionate towards myself and give myself downtime when I feel I need it.
But no rest for the willing! September brings Opera Sustenida’s very first LIVE opera production with three performances of Verdi’s Il trovatore in Toronto! Since July, we have been rehearsing with our Live Chorus and soloists, securing venues for rehearsals and performances, advertising, managing ticket sales, writing press releases, filming, building sets (not us personally!), and creating costumes…to mention just a few things! It’s a bit staggering to think that we are producing this behemoth of an opera with a company of just four people, but we are so thrilled with how it is coming together and can’t wait to bring it to life later this month!
I’m performing “Inez,” the loyal friend to Stephanie DeCiantis’ leading lady “Leonora.” After two years, it really feels good to be back on the stage with live performers and our outstanding cast is a joy to sing with. I’m also especially proud of our VIP ticket package which includes a complimentary mini Tarot reading (my idea!) – I will be doing Tarot readings on the 18th, with friends doing readings the other two days. All I can say is that our Trovatore is going to be unlike any opera you’ve ever experienced – check out our SM for a taste!
For those of you not in Toronto, we will be creating a digital version for on-demand streaming, with a release date in early 2023. Keep an eye on your Inbox for more information…
My fellow Divas and I will also be presenting a “pay-what-you-can” concert at the Columbus Centre on Tuesday, September 6th entitled “Eroine italiane.” We’ll be performing favorite arias and duets from some of our favorite operatic heroines. Details and registration can be found here. Proceeds go towards the Columbus Centre’s “Cultural Tuesdays” program.
In the meantime, I wish you a fruitful September wherever you find yourself.
With love and gratitude,