January 29, 2013

Voice lesson with hellterror accompaniment


I had a surprisingly good voice lesson today.  Surprisingly.  I was in good voice—I mean, for me, but good enough that a small amateur choir would be glad to have me, rather than metaphorically rolling their eyes and thinking ‘well she helps to fill out the row.’  Which of course I’m not doing in two and a half weeks because I’m going to RIGOLETTO instead.  Somehow having the date changed on me is worse than knowing going in that I wasn’t going to be singing in the concert, although Galen telling me I’m welcome to keep coming to practise because I’m learning repertoire helps—and having rejoined halfway through this concert’s rehearsal period meant I was going to be cramming hysterically the last fortnight or so anyway.  Which fresh level of frenzy would be starting about now.*

But Galen’s reassurance and avoidance of (fresh) frenzy don’t help enough.

Glump.  Grangle.  Rrffmp.  Noises like a hellterror trying to restrain herself from protesting the extreme slowness of this restaurant.***

I’ve been singing, of course, and I’ve been trying to remind myself that I sing because it’s FUN.  Oh.  Right.  Make a note [sic].  In an attempt to come to terms with not singing in this stupid concert, I didn’t want to sing in the concert anyway,† I have been ‘working’ on what you might call private repertoire, the stuff you sing while hurtling** or doing the washing up.  Which involves remembering not only the tune but the words, since practising your Italianate vowels when you can’t remember the lyrics gets old pretty fast.††  I missed choir practise last Thursday since I was still being paranoid and martyred about the weather . . . but since my top A was missing, what the heck.  That A has been reliable for most of a year now, what the arrrrrrgh, your body is your instrument, frell this, get me a violin.  I have no idea.  The B above the A has—or anyway had—been putting in an appearance often enough when I’m just doing exercises alone at my long-suffering piano I was hoping to be able to teach it to go in harness and conceivably reveal it with other people in the room before awfully long.††  But noooooo.  So this was another reason to concentrate on washing-up repertoire:  nothing too frelling demanding.  Except to the crumbly post-menopausal memory.

Today I sucked in a deep breath to start the depressing warming-up process since I was going to have to take my weedy, shrill, A-less voice into Nadia . . .

And . . . today a small amateur choir would have been glad to have me.  I say nothing about tomorrow.  Or about choir practise on Thursday.

* * *

* Especially the part about singing two of the pieces without the music.

** Hellterror and I left for voice lesson early so I could stop on the way to check on the non-arrival of my volunteer-staff-parking-in-the-abbey-close permit.  Hellterror decided she’s not going down stairs.  Come on, silly, you do go down stairs.  Not nasty dark cement pee-smelling^ car park stairs!  —Little badger face peering down at me from top of stairs . . . belly half an inch from the floor because all four little legs are braced like a sort of mini-Colossus of Rhodes, only furry.  There are advantages to long extending leads:  I told her I was going to go away and leave her . . . turned the corner out of her sight . . . and suddenly I had a puppy scuttling downstairs with surprisingly little difficulty.  But she clearly felt she had lost face because she then performed the same ridiculous meltdown over a sort of shallow gutter that follows the short side of the pedestrian precinct:  No, no!  I CAN’T!  There’s WATER in it!^^  Pavlova, get a grip.  It’s half an inch deep and about two inches across.  So we were live entertainment for the people at the bus stop for about two minutes^^^ and then I told her I was leaving her behind again, turned and marched off . . . and nearly tripped over the little ratbag she came after me so fast.

I seem to have missed this chapter in the How to Train the Perfect Puppy book.#

But I did get my volunteer staff parking permit.  And I’m going to be sad when I can no longer tuck little Miss Spirit of Perversity under my arm and venture across solemn business thresholds.  Mind you I can only still do it now because she dangles well.  She doesn’t fit in my lap any more either, but she doesn’t seem to have noticed.##  I can see me staggering around with forty pounds of bullie in my arms this time next year. . . .

^ You’d think the pee-smelling would be a plus to a hellcritter.

^^ My little vampire puppy.  Won’t cross running water.

^^^ She also made friends with several of the passersby, who I’m sure would not be so cruel as to make her walk down stairs and cross running water.

# Possibly because I haven’t got a perfect puppy.  Darling, yes.  Frequently hilarious, yes.  Even more frequently in grave danger of being murdered out of hand, yes.  Perfect, no.

## Chaos still thinks he’s a lapdog.  (Darkness fears the truth.)  But long-legged sighthounds don’t dangle so well.

*** Despite the way this makes Chaos drop back and stare worriedly into my face.

† You know, singing in public, etc, ugh.  But that bird won’t really fly since I’ve survived two weddings and a funeral.

†† I also discovered that my old favourite There Is A Tavern in the Town^, sung a full pitch down from the key signature in the version I have, is a great practise piece for that gruesome business of shifting from head voice to chest voice.  I made the mistake, however, of mentioning this to Nadia who said, Great.  Bring it next week.  Bring it—? I said, appalled.  You want to hear me sing There Is A Tavern in the Town?  You forget, said Nadia, I also teach seven-year-olds.  I have heard everything.

^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HzJvNB7-UkU

Wow.  My new piano-playing hero.  There doesn’t seem to be any good sung version though.  Hmmmm. . . .

††† At which point I’ll need a piece of music that has a B to attain.  My mezzo books seem to stop at A.


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