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2005-05-27 - 10:51 a.m.

It's happening again. I've gone months and months moaning and bitching about how much I hate the piece we're singing (Lord of the Rings Symphony), but now that the performance is tonight, it's finally starting to get under my skin a little. I'm finally starting to walk around humming various parts of the piece.

We have a guest conductor for this, Mr. German Conductor. The man is adorable. Prince R is really sick of me gushing about how adorable he is, but I can't help it. There is a brief baritone solo when (in the movie) Aragorn sings at his coronation (Out of the Great Sea to Middle Earth I am come...) and the choir sort of echoes him. It's hard to explain. But Adorable German tried to set the mood like this: (to the soloist) "You are their king! And this is the first time you see your, your folks, ja? Folks, that is the right word? Ja, you see millions of them! And they love you!" To the choir: "He is your king, you elected him, ja? And you love him! The ladies, you love him because he is so handsome! And men, you are a little bit jealous, because of course you think, well, I would like to be king, but you respect him. And he sings to you and you are glad you elected him, you say 'all right.'" Adorable, right?

He's also spectacularly excellent at cuing us in, which is majorly fueling the Adorable German love at this point. I've been thinking about my relationship with conductors as a singer as opposed to when I played in an orchestra. Maybe it's just because I'm older and smarter and look at the conductor much more now, but I feel a deeper connection to conductors as a choirister. I'm sure this isn't a personal connection thing--I adored my youth orchestra conductor, who was also my cello teacher. But I find myself far more dependent on a conductor now. I pay more attention, and am more conscious of a give-and-take relationship, a flowing of musical understanding, sympatico if you will, between the conductor and his chorus. It's most striking with guest conductors. With Doug, our regular conductor, I'd be concerned if this wasn't happening. But in the last twelve months, I've sung with a number of different conductors, generally only for one performance, which means two-three rehearsals. But I find myself trusting them implicitly. I find myself feeling a great surge of affection for these men (arrgh, there are so few women conductors), and even though Adorable German is Adorable, I felt the exact same rush of warmth for Dr. Salamunovich, who was old and cranky and probably the most gifted conductor I've ever sung under. I wonder if instrumentalists have this same reaction, or if choiristers really do depend on the conductor more.

Ideally, I'd like to start up with voice lessons over the summer, if we can scrape the money together. I've noticed myself slipping into some bad habits, and my breath control is not what it should be at all. Part of that is probably asthma after-effects, but part of it is also the terrible posture I'm slipping into.


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Die Entfuehrung
Die Entfuehrung aus dem Serail (The Abduction From
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