It's fashionable nowadays to rail against the hateful, offensive, blasphemous word "accompanist." "Collaborative pianist"or just "pianist" tend to be accepted as more PC, more considerate, more elegant.
My opinion: nope.
I like the word "accompanist." Why? Because when I with you up on that stage, OK, yes, we're collaborating. But I am not following you. If I were, I would already have to be behind you. I am accompanying you. To accompany is to go with, to remain with, to stay with. If I am your accompanist, you can trust me. You can trust that I am by your side and sticking with you, from capo to fine. My favorite aspect of accompanying, the reason I still do it, is that bond of utter trust between my soloist and myself. In a sense, we have to accompany each other.
That is why I am proud to be an accompanist.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Country Mouse In New York, Vol. III: The Metropolitan Opera, Where Opera Is Not Fucking Around, Bitches
With the audition done Saturday night, I got to the real treat of the weekend: Rigoletto at the Met. I cannot fully explain how exhilarating it is to walk across the plaza at Lincoln Center at night when the fountain is going and the crowds of little old ladies are walking (very slowly, and usually right in front of you) toward the Met, which is one of the most beautiful performance venues I have ever seen. It’s breathtaking. The front windows are beautiful, and the chandeliers are just unreal. They were a gift from the Austrian government, and they’re dripping with real Swarovski crystals. With all the lights on, in the main lobby with its looping starcases and red and gold decor, the chandeliers sparkle fiercely, reflecting in the windows until you see stars everywhere. It’s magical.
With the money I saved by train-ing rather than plane-ing, I sprang for a balcony ticket instead of one in the Family Circle (i.e., the nosebleed section). I’m glad I did. I could see and hear everything. And if you’ve ever been to a production at the Met, you kow how visually stunning the productions are, especially the ones in lavish period costume. Rigoletto, set in Renaissance-era Mantua, was positively sumptuous. The gowns were SO EPIC and I WANTED ONE. The ducal palace was just AHHHHH, Rigoletto’s house was the perfect balance between quaint, ramshackle and macabre, and the tavern and pier next to it were just fantastic. The singers were wonderful. If you for some reason don’t know the plot, I won’t spoil it, but let me just say it’s good. Go see it now. And the music? Psssssht girl, you know it’s good. I’m still humming “La donna e mobile.”
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
This, of course, was the reason I went to NYC, so here goes. I was auditioning for an opera coach training program at a prestigious summer festival. I turned in paperwork, signed up for the waitlist, and about a month before the audition, got a slot. I got the address, verified it on Googlemaps, found reviews of it online, and was ALL SET YO.
(Now, I did something kind of stupid here, so at the risk of tarnishing my image of perfection, I choose to lay my mistake open in hopes it will benefit future generations. I’m sullying myself for you, my children. You’re welcome.)
Monday, January 17, 2011
For an audition for a summer program, I went to New York last weekend. I’d never been to NYC before, so I was excited. It was a good excuse to figure out the NY subway system, see Manhattan, and enjoy the opportunity to be an adult in a big city.
I ended up taking the train because it was cheaper than flying. Unfortunately, it also took like 12 hours longer. Don’t get me wrong, I loved that the train went through beautiful Pennsylvania countryside and adorable little towns. But by the end of it I was tired, frazzled and probably didn’t smell very good, and I had a terrible headache. The only huge points I can give it is that though it was a train ride, we did not encounter dementors. Well done, Amtrak.