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  • Writer's pictureAngela Mannino

Fall in New York Kitty

Updated: Sep 24, 2020

Who doesn't love Fall? The weather is great, the clothes are stylish and pumpkins are everywhere -- especially in everything I want to buy to eat and drink at Trader Joe's. In the past six opera seasons since finishing my years in the Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago, I've spent the Fall with contracts in Grand Rapids, New Orleans, Louisville, Chicago, Dallas and last year again in Chicago. This Fall I've been back at the Metropolitan Opera here in NYC. I was involved in a production that kept me quite busy (waaaaaaay more on that in my next post) all of September and October. I'm "off-contract" from the Met all of November which gave me the opportunity for a trip to New Orleans to visit family. This weekend I fly to Alabama for a concert with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. I'm back at the Met for the entire month of December and into January for another production. Busy. Working. Singing. Life is good. Add in some teaching, auditions and the like and right there, folks, is a typical opera singer's schedule for five months.  Yesterday was such a busy day for me -- I'm actually relived that I have no plans outside the house on this rainy and chilly day. Yesterday was so crazy that I feel the need to document it to offset days like today where I'm home trying to stay productive. Incidentally, we cooked up a storm today-- roasted broccoli, carrots and brussels sprouts, made a little homemade meat sauce over polenta. I've still got big plans to go to the gym, too. We also baked a pie. Did I not mention "IT'S FALL???"  ANGELA'S BIG DAY: Gracie (our new cat) wakes me up pawing at my face. I smell coffee that Chef Paul brewed in the kitchen (think small NYC apartment -- he's on the other side of the wall) so I tell myself that getting out of bed is the first step towards making it to my 12:40pm audition. Coffee, breakfast, shower, vocalize, set hair in hot rollers, decide on audition attire (purple power dress), pet Gracie, get music together...wear comfy boots and pack heels for the audition. Take train to midtown...running a little late, but make it to audition on time. Person who is scheduled before me is already singing so I change shoes, fluff hair and hope for the best. Sing aria of my choice and the panel chooses their selection. We chat a bit about my background. Audition went well and my mood is on cloud nine. Forgot to grab money to pay my accompanist so I put the comfy shoes back on and run to the ATM. Need to break a larger bill so I treat myself to an iced coffee. Next on the agenda I walk 10 blocks over to Lincoln Center. It was a beautiful day to be running around town. I had two stops to make at the Met: first the payroll department and then the music library to pick up a score for my next production. Across the street (dangerous and conveniently located) is Bed Bath and Beyond where I had only one 20% off coupon with me and therefore only one thing on my list: a travel-sized garment steamer to take with me this weekend so I can steam my two gowns for the concert. Went back home on the train and Chef Paul made me a late lunch (he was off yesterday), I had a 4pm appointment for a radio interview with a Montgomery radio station to promote our upcoming concert followed by a phone chat with the conductor to talk through the four songs and my movement of the symphony. Changed into "professional casual" clothes, I headed out on the train once again because I had a new voice student having her first lesson. I was only few stops away from my house when I received her last minute cancellation email. Frustrating, but understandable. Fortunately, I just crossed to the other side of the tracks and went right back home. If I hadn't already had such a busy day I might have kept going and made good use of the studio which I was still stuck paying for, but I was pretty happy to call it a night and watch Dancing with the Stars. Needless to say I didn't need to go to the gym any free moment I had was spent petting Gracie!

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