Year-End Performing (Or Not)
This week’s topic is to talk about upcoming performances for the remainder of the year but… I don’t have any! This is incredibly rare for a Juilliard student, but I have certainly not had a shortage of performances this year! Since September, I’ve been in two operas, three recitals, the Vocal Arts Cabaret, and more (not too shabby for my second year at Juilliard). Since I was front-loaded with performances this year, I’m going to talk about the performances I’ve had and what I’m planning to do with the remainder of my school year!
As mentioned before I’ve done an abundance of performing this year! Each of these experiences have been so unique and I’ve loved each of them for different reasons. Below are some thoughts about each and some of the differences between them!
I was lucky enough to be involved in two amazing performances this year. In October/November, I was in the Courtier Ensemble for Benjamin Britten’s The Burning Fiery Furnace in Studio 305. This was a dark piece that we set in concentration camp during World War II. This was an exciting challenge musically and dramatically to bring to life Britten’s score within the context of our new setting. Of course, the Holocaust is a very serious time in history, so our cast and creative team took special care to treat the stories of these people with the utmost respect and thoughtfulness.
I was also in Otto Nicolai’s Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor in March, a much lighter story based on the Shakespeare play The Merry Wives of Windsor. This opera allowed us to play with comedic acting and whimsical story lines. Our director chose a British ammunitions factory during World War I for our setting.
I love performing in opera and being part of an ensemble the most of any art form, however, it is the most time consuming with staging, music rehearsals, costume fittings and more. With two operas this season, I was booked for a solid few weeks.
Juilliard provided me with the opportunity to do two recitals this year, and I was also in a third with a few friends. In November, I was in an Evening with Johannes Brahms which was curated by my voice teacher, Edith Wiens, and featured students from my vocal studio singing Brahms lied.
The second recital was outside of Juilliard, and was a benefit to provide Christmas Meals to people of Bolivia who were without adequate food for the holidays. This was the first time I had done a benefit of this size and I loved getting to sing a variety of music and feel like I was using my voice to make a difference for others. In total, this recital raised $2,017 and provided nearly 800 meals to the people of Bolivia. This event was organized by my friend Shelen who is from Bolivia, herself.
The third recital was the Juilliard Songbook, in which student from my class are able to showcase what they have been working on all year. I sang the first three songs in Benjaman Brittan’s song cycle, On this Island, and my colleague, Brittany, sang the final two. I loved being able to perform for my school and I even had several friends and family members from home fly in to hear my classmates and me.
Vocal Arts Cabaret
This year I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in the Vocal Arts Cabaret, performing musical theatre and American Songbook selections. My second love is musical theatre, so it’s so nice to have an outlet to perform this style of music. This was an amazing opportunity to strengthen my acting abilities through a new genre.
For the remainder of the year I’m going to work on my technique and learn as much repertoire as possible. While I love performing, it’s important to have a balance of practicing and performing to ensure you are growing as an artist. I’m planning to take the next 6 weeks or so to work on as much as I can squeeze in until I leave for the summer. I’m hoping to do a recital at home so now is a great time to start preparing.