How Can I Keep from Singing?
Something I heard often while I was applying to different schools was “Juilliard doesn’t have performance opportunities for first years; you won’t really be able to sing at all your first year.” And while they were all well-intentioned, they were certainly not right about that. While no first years this year received roles in the opera (as expected; the roles typically go to the students in the Artist Diploma in Opera Studies program, and our voices are not well-suited for full-scale opera yet) we are all in the chorus, and we all have at least two solo performances this year.
My first solo performance this year is in the Vocal Arts Showcase #1 on Nov 17, better known as Aria Night. It is open to singers of all years who want to sign up, and each singer performs one aria. It’s an exciting chance for me to perform one of my new pieces without the pressure of having to have multiple pieces be performance-ready so soon.
The other two performances are the First Year Presentation (December) and the First Year Songbook (April). Each first year singer performs two pieces, one in English and one in Italian. It’s so exciting talking to the other singers about their pieces and what they are working on at the moment.
In addition to those “formal performances,” the first-year vocalists perform for each other in class very often, mainly in diction classes. We all learned and performed “Caro mio ben” last week as a basic way for our teacher to examine our diction, and this week we are performing for each other again. These are some of my favorite performances because I know that everyone in the room is supporting me and that there is nothing at stake if I make a huge mistake.
I’m looking forward to all of the opportunities I’ll have to perform this year!!