The Merry Wives of Windsor
The start of my summer has come a few months early in the form of some REALLY AWESOME NEWS! I will be performing Alice Ford in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Otto Nicolai) with The Delaware Valley Opera Company. This will be my first lead and I could not be MORE excited. Before I go into more detail about the basics of what I have been doing to start getting ready for this, I'm going to tell you a little bit more about my audition experience for them.
When I auditioned initially in November, the experience was awesome. It was a friendly room and I walked in feeling comfortable. Well, as we now know, I made the principal artist roster which allowed me to audition for their summer season. Having never auditioned for them (Delaware Valley) before, I had zero clue as to how the audition process actually worked. Now, what's really neat is that once you make principal artist roster, they ask you your preference in roles and they try to stick to that when casting. I knew that there were going to be other people in my Fach (a German word that really denotes voice types by qualities of the voice) ...
Quick side bar... The first real explanation of Fach in here makes me giggle. "The Fach system is a convenience for singers and opera house (Wiki)"... It's not very convenient for singers at all. People who are perfectly capable of singing lighter (or heavier for that matter) Mezzo roles will often not be heard because it's "the wrong Fach". So. Convenience for the singer? Not for me. More of a convenience for the houses.......
..... (And now I'm back) I knew there were going to be other people in my Fach looking for the same roles. In my fit of brilliance, I requested six auditions for the shows from the summer season thinking I would receive two of the requested. I was wrong. I shortly found that they do their best to accommodate all requests. Due to my excitement, I was tasked with learning four arias in a month. I auditioned for Alice Ford and Anne Page (The Merry Wives of Windsor) the first Saturday in February, I auditioned for Fiordiligi, Despina AND Dorabella (Così fan tutte. - I know. I know. Three roles and all different Fachs? But depending on how they were going to cast I legitimately felt capable for any of them) the second Saturday in February, and I auditioned for Alisa (Lucia) the last Saturday in February.
Now, I felt very happy with my auditions. I think I actually felt more comfortable in my later auditions because I had been a teensy bit gung-ho about trying to sing for everything and inadvertently became VERY familiar with the audition panel. I have not heard in regard to the casting of the other shows so I believe that Alice Ford will be my summer adventure. I could not be MORE excited. I ordered my score within 24 hours of finding out (which might be a little silly because I should probably wait for a rehearsal schedule but.... Whatever. The earlier the better ☺️). I did my first ever special loan from the Philadelphia Library which was neat. It was the libretto for Merry Wives. Now, I know the production is in English but sometimes the English transliteration is so silly that it's nice to see the actual translation.
Another thing I'm looking forward to is my audition for is The Center for Contemporary Opera in NYC. They are a very important institution in NYC that gives life to new opera and creates a home for it as well as a growing audience. I really fell in love with new music in graduate school and even passing the prescreen to get to the auditions is an achievement I'm proud of. Hoping to have some good news in regards to the Center for Contemporary Opera later in the month.
Thanks for your time everyone!
Until next time.