Theatre & Opera Magazine


Posted on the 22 August 2011 by Pinkall @pinkall
Today is the first day back at the Conservatory for my second year of my doctoral study.  I am very excited to begin and I have some very exciting things planned - the most exciting of which I am doomed never to speak of.  Oh the torture!!  If you don't already know, I divulged the information of an incredibly exciting opportunity on my blog last week, and a few hours later had to censor most of the post because I got in trouble for sharing some secrets.  Well, I will post the whole thing on September 17, but until then I must continue to wait until I have permission to say anything - you can read the censored version here.
(actually, I received an email hinting that I may be able to announce something soon - oh I am so excited.  There is more about "the secret" later in the blog)
In other news, I will be singing some demonstrations for the Conservatory in September over the recitative in Bach's St. John Passion and the recitative in Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas - obviously singing the role of Aeneas. These are both very old and are sung using specialized baroque performance techniques.
(you really should listen to the whole thing, but if you're lazy, fast forward to about 7:30 and watch to the end)
Also, I have accepted a gig to sing the Evangelist in David Lang's "Little Match Girl Passion" here in Kansas City in May - which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music, one of the world's most prestigious composition awards.  It is obviously a modern piece, but it is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fable by the same name.  Listen to a little bit of it.

It is, for lack of a better description, a minimalist minimalist piece (or minimalism on steroids).  I mean this because it is built on a significantly small scale, but is a very large work, whose harmonic progression is very slow - this doesn't mean minimalism isn't exciting though, personally I absolutely love it.   It appears really simple - perhaps too simple, but is actually super complex; it requires great precision in tone, pitch, and the hardest part of all for singers - counting!  Minimalism makes for some great ambiance, emotion, and best of all - it glorifies perfection - just like the classical era of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.  Because minimalist music doesn't quickly evolve - unlike doo-wop or rock musicians playing four chords in relatively quick succession - it is more important for the music to transform between the chord areas over a longer amount of time.  This transforming style works great with the heartbreaking story of the Match Girl: a poor and abused girl, who sells matches, transitioning from life to death, lighting matches so as not to freeze during the night - watch the beautiful Disney animated short film about the story (the music in the Disney film is not from the production we're doing, but it is beautiful as well).

Yesterday, I started my new church job at Village Presbyterian here in Kansas City, the nation's fifth largest Presbyterian Church.  I will be responsible for singing, probably a lot of solo singing, and conducting whatever they need, whenever they need it.  It appears that they will be flexible in working with my INSANE schedule, which I am very thankful for.  I sang for a pot-luck dinner (where the food was so good, you'd think they were Methodists), and met many of the wonderful people that I will be working with, many of whom are highly educated musicians.  They have three choirs, a brass ensemble, three handbell choirs, the Kansas City Wind Symphony, a youth choir, a youth orchestra, and children's choir.  WOW!  I will certainly have a lot of fun.
As to my future schedule, I will of course be doing my cross country audition circus again this fall.  I have selected some exciting things to audition for, and I am very confident - the most confident that I have ever been - going into the new audition season.  I have made a small vocal change over the summer that has brightened and freed my sound very much.
Also the Conservatory will be performing La Nozze di Figaro (the marriage of Figaro) and Carmen coming up, so I may be performing in those.  The auditions will soon take place for those operas and I will give you all the details about that soon.
Okay now, back to some news regarding "the secret":  as you may know, I will be singing with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus during the year, and we have been rehearsing for some coming events, and for a performance of Brahms German of my most favoritest pieces!  However, I was quite humbled last Monday when they announced my news, the same news that I cannot announce publicly yet, in front of all the singers.  I stood and they applauded - I felt so very honored.
But so as to not make too many people upset at my teasing - I have decided to just keep quiet for the moment, trusting that I will be able to simply make a statement at some point beforehand, even if it does not involve any significant details.
Sorry mom, but you probably shouldn't say anything to local newspaper yet...but I won't be able to stop you if your bible study group wants to pray for me, naturally by putting me on the prayer chain...I know some good gossip gets around that way (wink, wink).  

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