I just finished up a month of working in Omaha, Nebraska where I enjoyed the spring weather, flinging shoes at Cinderella and singing in Italian!
To close my 2013-14 opera season I performed the role of Clorinda in Opera Omaha's production of La Cenerentola (Cinderella). Yes, I just sang in Cendrillon (Cinderella in French) in New Orleans and, yes, I sang one of the step-sisters again and, yes, they are both basically the story that we all know and love. However, the two operas are 100% different except for *most* of the basic facts of the story. In this Italian opera by Gioachino Rossini the step-sisters' roles have significantly larger roles than in the French opera and are true opera buffa comedic characters. Comparing the French and Italian operatic versions of the story would be like comparing one of the operas to the Disney movie!
It was my first time singing this opera and I'm thrilled to add another great soubrette role to my repertoire. I feel like I've learned so much about articulation and style from our Italian conductor and I've observed some first-rate technical singing from my cast mates. It's been a really fun challenge, but I've learned that when singing such virtuosic music with so much patter (fast, repetitive, almost gibberish musical lines) it is crucial to keep the body calm and to say the words with minimum movement / maximum clarity.
*Backstage Clorinda before Act 1
We had a great time on and off the stage. As I've said before, it's always interesting to see what the living situation for a month in a new city will be like...especially for those of us who enjoy cooking for ourselves. The opera company housed the cast and production team at a hotel with a kitchenette in each room. Breakfast was included each morning in the lobby, as well as dinner Monday through Thursday--what a perk! But for an intense rehearsal period such as that one and roles that demand a lot of stamina onstage and vocal rest offstage, it was wonderful to cook for myself and unwind in my cozy room.
(in the picture--sautéed greens and quinoa)
Especially, since one of the opera donors is the owner of Omaha Steaks and was very, very generous to the cast....
Let's just say I didn't need to purchase any meat while grocery shopping in Omaha. He sent over a variety of boxes with an assortment of steaks, but from what I know about preparing a steak--you sear it in a pan and finish in the oven--I decided to snag the box of 16 hamburger patties. Our lovely kitchenette did not have an oven :-) so I think I made the right choice as I enjoyed a few of them for dinner over the course of my time there and we had two cookouts using the grill in the hotel pool area with the cast.
And then there's my new favorite thing...something that every traveling wannabe chef needs. Thanks, Mom, for getting this for me for Christmas!
I've always been a sucker for travel size toiletries, but this really "turns up the volume" and helped me channel my inner Barefoot Contessa in Omaha!