Theatre & Opera Magazine

Polka Band & a Goat's Head

Posted on the 27 March 2012 by Pinkall @pinkall
Finally, I have some time to relax.  These last two and a half months have been two and a half of the busiest months of my life.  I went to Dallas twice, just returned from Chicago, sang the National Anthem at the NAIA National Championship Game last week, played Don Jose in an opera, saw Yo-Yo Ma, prepared and sang a Doctoral Recital, performed Carmina Burana and Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, auditioned for the KC Symphony, KC Lyric Opera, and Union Ave. Opera, competed in KC NATS, sang 3 Bach cantatas, and sadly had two deaths in my life.
As I mentioned, I sang on National TV, sort of, last Tuesday.  I sang the National Anthem at the NAIA Men's Division I National Championship basketball game.  It was a lot of fun, the game was exciting, and it was in Kansas City - my favorite city!  Immediately before I sang, a man walked up to me to inform me that two "wounded warriors" would be standing behind me when I sang.  Then he said, "make sure to honor them".  I thought that was one of the oddest things someone has told me.  I don't know what he was expecting, but evidently I give off the vibe that I don't honor all veterans, especially wounded ones.  I assume by the loud "hoo ah!" behind me, after I finished, that I did well.  It was horribly difficult to hear because of the reverb though.Polka Band & a Goat's Head
Then I went to Chicago to compete in the Divisional Finals of the NATSAA competition.  As is my custom, I lost once again to the same singer, a soprano - who is a great person and singer, I do not feel bad at all that I lost to her - but it is a little funny.  I felt that I sang very well, so I don't have a lot to complain about.
While I was in Chicago, I was able to see some of my friends who were spending their Spring Break along the white, blistering beaches of lake Michigan, in March - it was in the mid 80s.  (insert global warming joke here)

Polka Band & a Goat's Head

German bar with live polka band, singing patrons,
and steins swinging in the air - AWESOME

Polka Band & a Goat's Head

first visit to Wrigley Field - not impressed

Polka Band & a Goat's Head

Self Portrait at "the bean"

Polka Band & a Goat's Head

Partially eaten veal - yum!

If you don't know me, I love eating.  I must say that I have never been so excited about eating as I was last week in Chicago.  I had the above, veal covered with crab (seriously!? - I'm laughing, it's so exciting), and tried a variety of other foods like a crab cake that felt so good, some creamy key lime pie, the best shellfish I've ever had, and a couple glasses of wine.  I also ordered an entire goat's head, but they were out - shocking, since the only person I would ever expect wanting something as weird as a goat's head is my Grandpa.

Polka Band & a Goat's Head

awesome live blues

Polka Band & a Goat's Head

waiting to compete at NATSAA - very foggy

I had a great time in Chicago, but missed Joyce DiDonato's performance at the Kauffman Center in Kansas City over the weekend.  It will be broadcast nationally on PBS, but it serves as a great testament to this new golden age of Kansas City.  Joyce talked about it on NPR, but there is more happening in Kansas City right now than in most major metropolises on earth.  The greatest musicians are flooding in to perform at the new Kauffman Center, universally acknowledged as one of the greatest performing venues in the world.  One of the world's leading art museums is in Kansas City, the town is bustling with many other artistic events, and I just found out that chef Anthony Bourdain is airing a show next month in his new season of No Reservations, highlighting Kansas City.  That is likely my favorite television show. It is so rewarding to be in Kansas City right now.  It has made me incredibly busy, but the opportunities are incredible - I wouldn't be able to do what I am doing any other place.
This week, I will be working on a paper and heading to Manhattan, KS for a meeting about this year's Summer Choral Institute - something I'm very proud of.  Then I will be singing in a masterclass on Saturday with a professor at the Cincinnati Conservatory and will be performing Brahms' German Requiem in English on Sunday.  Believe it or not, that's a relaxing week for me!

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