Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Race

This race for the solo became even more interesting last night.

I did sing it in the church, with the organ accompanying me. Neither my voice nor my technique faltered, but because it was our very first rehearsal in locco, the organ was messed up and not yet configured and I couldn't really measure piano and forte in that brand new accoustic territory, totally unexplored for me. Also, in the last phrase, I lost the key and sang it a bit out of tune, which obviously had to do with the fact that I couldn't hear the organ from the altar. All in all, the rendition was less than perfect, as it was supposed to be, given it was my very first try.

After I sang, the director said he was really sorry, but we only had two weeks before the performance, so he thought it would be better for me "to rehearse for another time". I think I handled it pretty well, and just told myself I could survive this. Then he asked Monsieur Volontaire to do the solo. It was really obvious he didn't have studied the piece, and sang it even worse than me, even though he apparently has an enviable musical education and background, and plays some obscure historic instrument in a professional Baroque camerata. So, again the director said it was "less-than-good".

Then, he asked Carmen to do it one octave higher, in Soprano register. She did it, and frankly pretty well. She rocks. But because "Et Exultavit", the song with the solos, was written for first Soprano, then Alto, then Tenor, it sounded really odd to return to a soprano after the alto part. The director scratched his chin, then his bald scalp, then his chest, and said he was so sorry none of us did it well. Then he scratched his head again and told the three of us to study it really well at home, and then on the 29th, our last rehearsal, he would select one of the three to do it.

Carmen insisted with the director that I do it, that she would whisper very low the melody for me to sing it louder before the audience on the day. She's a big fan of Baroque music, especially Vivaldi, and is all anal about having everything done as the score demands. And the score says "Tenor solo", not "Soprano 2 solo", nor "Baritone solo". And she probably won't study because she wants me to do it at all costs.

The rest of the rehearsal was pretty good. By the end, our voices were adjusted to the space, and we sounded good enough as a choir. The only bad thing was the reek that exhaled from Monsieur Volontaire, who by disgrace is placed just next to me. He must have farting issues because most of the times he smells like he doesn't wipe his ass after pooping. Also, he is a terrible fellow singer as he doesn't respect the score, and because he can sightsing so well, he moves up and down through all the four voices (and sometimes hum the organ or the basso ostinato, too!), doing weird and unpredictable experimentations all the time, and making it hard for me to concentrate on the tenor part.

Then when the director paused to fix something with the altos. Monsieur Volontaire the Reeking Ogre poked me to say he thinks there shouldn't be a competition for the solo. I said it was all fine. Then he insisted and said he thought it was wrong. I smiled and said he should let the director know in case he doesn't want to candidate for the solo anymore, and I dropped the smile when I said I wouldn't give up on it, that I wanted to do this solo and that I was going to study and work for it. Then turned to the director and the rehearsal continued.

After the last round of the whole "Magnificat", we went to have some beer'n wine with tortilla, olives and meat somethings for the carnivores. Monsieur Volontaire held Carmen captive out of the bar, complaining about the "competition" all the time. Bad sport, bad smell, little patience, little flexibility, a colossal vanity. Something tells me his days in this choir won't be many.

Now, we're short of time to study and the race is on. Time's on my side, which means I have an advantage. I am a super-fast learner for Music, and I'm really keen and focused. And not afraid to lose.

Speaking of being moved by Will and choosing Love over Fear, I've decided I'm taking a Solfege course beginning next Autumn. I really miss a background in Musical Theory and I know I lose many great opportunities because of that. I'm really short of money, and no perspective of getting another job soon, but I'll leap, and the net will appear when I need it.