I had such big plans for this week. In addition to the concert on Sunday with ASO of the Varese pieces, I really wanted to get a lot of work done on memorizing Lucrezia Borgia and getting the sucker into my voice. It lies low and heavy and is a great opportunity for me to liberally throw around my chest voice - something I rarely do in Mozart or even Rossini. The only problem is that the low heavy tessitura of the Donizetti lies in complete opposition to the high floaty tessitura of the Varese pieces, and I don't think it would be a good idea to practice all that heavy singing every day and then expect myself to float high b flats on Sunday afternoon (and at the rehearsals before). Add to this the fact that I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and am just waiting to see if this little illness turns into a full blown cold / upper respiratory infection or wanders away without making my life a living hell. So now I have to figure out how to learn this score just by looking at it.
Every singer has different methods of learning and memorizing music. I worked with someone recently who can just look at a score for several days without singing a note, and have it memorized before they even make a peep. I hate that person. I have no such photographic memory skills, although I am a pretty quick learner. Usually I teach myself the notes as fast as possible (the old fashioned way - by playing them on the piano and singing them lightly until my muscles/brain remember the order of the intervals). I like to get with a coach and sing it with them because I can memorize the music really quickly if I record my coachings and listen to them a few times. It's funny, I can't just listen to a recording of someone else singing my role and memorize it quickly, but something about listening to myself sing it gets it into my brain rather speedily. I'm sure there's some scientific brain study in the making about why that is - paging Oliver Sachs (he writes a lot about music and the brain). I was supposed to have a coaching on Lucrezia today to run through all of it and get it onto my ipod so I could listen to it a few times and not have to belt it out all week, but still get the whole thing in my memory. But I had to cancel the coaching because I didn't want to risk singing for an hour on a sore throat and getting laryngitis or something (which happened to me recently). So I just have to sit here and look at the score like my photographic memory friend and try to keep my brain from wandering and thinking about what I'm going to make for dinner later. Maybe I DO have a photographic memory, but it's just plagued with a lot of ADD. Yep, that's my excuse. Hmmm - what AM I gonna make for dinner? NO NO: Donizetti Donizetti DONIZETTI .....Spaghetti, linguini, rigatoni..? Ack. Never study when you're hungry.