I just returned to Rome from Berlin, where I made my debut at the Berliner Philharmoniker! It was a little scary and a lot amazing. I reunited with Donna Brown and the Golden Gospel Pearls (some of whom are pictured above) for a night of gospel and Black American slave songs. I sang one of my favorite in the latter category - Give Me Jesus. It was very well received, to my relief and delight.
Something else, happened, though. After the show, a couple of people - at separate times - came up to me to tell me how unique my voice is in a beautiful way. This means a lot to me for many reasons. The first is that as an opera singer, there is a list of rules we are taught must be present in order to actually BE an opera singer. Following these rules, however, tends to make many singers all sound the same. Sure, some have a unique quality such that you can recognize the singer without seeing him/her/them. But often, one soprano basically sounds like the next.
My teacher, Delia Surratt, has a much different philosophy. The technique she is teaching me allows me to use my entire body as the microphone it is, which allows me to sing (and sound) the way only I can. The feedback that my voice is unique is the best possible feedback anyone could have given me, and I'm so super grateful.
I have 19 more days in Rome (but who's counting? :)) and then I head back to Berlin for good. I'm SO. EXCITED. I'm very much looking forward to being settled (all this traveling/moving has taken its toll), and to dig into the music scene in my new city. Until then, more voice lessons and a lot more of the touristy stuff :)