Day 2: The day I discovered that there are poorly attended concerts all over the country.
I couldn’t help but think of my dear BOCers last night when we held an aria concert at the library and the performers outnumbered the singers. I have performed in (and, I add sheepishly, been responsible for promoting) a handful of poorly attended concerts. We set the date, and rehearse, and invite our friends and fans, and then…no one shows up. I can think of at least three BOC concerts that followed that trajectory, and I’m glad that I surround myself with people who can still put on a good show and laugh at how few people are in the audience.
Hearing all of these standard arias from my new colleagues always makes me think of the voices I know best which I have heard sing those arias before. Because I didn’t go to music school for undergrad I never really had singer friends, and even when I was at conservatory I kept a lot of people at arms’ length. But after 4 years of singing with many of the same people, getting to know their voices and their stories, some of my dearest friends are other opera singers. Even as I make new opera friends, I am still a little territorial on my old friends’ behalf, jealously wanting to guard their signature arias from other people.
After the concert we planned some leisure time, so I offered to buy some wine if someone could drive me to the package store. My use of the New England colloquialism was met with blank stares, and someone asked “why would you need to buy boxes?” Once I translated into standard English and was driven to the store, I was relieved to hear that the clerk was from New Hampshire and had family in Boston. All tricked out in my concert dress and prom hair I must have been a sight. He offered a discount if I sang for him and I politely declined.