A salute goodbye!
WELL... today I am leaving to head off to Twin Lakes, Michigan, located in the Manistee National Forest and home of my employer for the summer, Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. That's right, readers, Joseph Roberts is now a camp counselor! I'm talkin' sleepin' on a cot in a cabin, need a flashlight to go to the restroom in the middle of the night, eating off of plastic trays in a cafeteria camp. Now, I know what you're thinking: "Why this makes perfect sense. When I think Joseph, I think outdoor ruggedness." In all honesty, I had a great time at the rehearsal weekend a while back and enjoyed an experience I most likely fought tooth and nail against when I was a kid.
The long and short of it is that my voice teacher sent me an email earlier in the semester telling me of an audition to sing the title "role" in Felix Mendelssohn's oratorio Elijah, based on the life of prophet in 1 and 2 Kings. Now, forgive me for being a little corny, but ever since I started singing fo' realz I have wanted to perform two things before I die: the Count in Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro and the aforementioned Elijah. There aren't a whole lot of musical works that I absolutely can't contain myself over, but Elijah is pretty high up there on that list. Sure, it's a tad on the long side, but there are sooooooo many beautiful and dramatic and thrilling and poignant moments that you don't even notice the (very brief) lulls. Needless to say, to have gotten the job and have the opportunity sing both of those things within a year is vvvvvery thrilling for me. Unfortunately now I have to get new goals, which just seems daunting and tedious ;)
-- I kid you not, I'm writing this post while watching The Daily Show and Jon Stewart just mentioned Elijah the prophet. So... that's cool--
AAAAAAAAANYway, the fun thing about this experience is that the campers will make up the choir and orchestra, with myself and three other professionals doing the solos. I had the pleasure of already being aquainted with Emily Goodwin Smith, the mezzo soloist, because she is a student at U of M and was in my voice studio. Sabrina Laney Warren is the soprano soloist and tenor John D. Nevergall rounds out the quartet, with Maestro Christoph von Kuczewski-Poray leading us with his baton.
Having gone through the three day rehearsal weekend in May was definitely eye-opening as far as realizing exactly how exhausted I was going to be every day and still have to maintain the stamina to sing Elijah at 8:00 am or 9:30 pm, and I am thankful at least now I know what I am in for and can plan a little better. That, and I am thrilled at the group of people I am going to be working with. In addition to the soloists, the other counselors are an absolute blast to hang out with and know the ropes of Blue Lake a little better than I do. I guess if you're going to be in a fox hole for a while, you might as well be in it with people you enjoy , right?
Now to the point. Internet access is basically nill at the campsite, and while I am bringing my lap top with me to Europe, I'm hoping that I'll be having such a great time I won't even want to pick it up. That being said, I have lined up a couple of "guest bloggers" for my brief respite to tide you over until I get back. I'm sure they'll explain who they are when they post, so look for them soonish! I have also written a couple of back-logged posts that will upload while I'm gone so hopefully you won't be too bored. (Listen to me, acting as if I have an active audience. I can probably count the people who read this regularly on one hand!)
Finally I leave you with a recording of the Overture to Elijah. I am ub-sessed with this piece and this particular recording. It comes from the one with Bryn Terfel and Renee Fleming, so it can't be too shoddy. How can you NOT want to know what happens next?!?!?