Moments of great transition need support – and I was so lucky to have had the support of The Finzi Trust to live and learn in Berlin while transitioning from Mezzo to Soprano. The time spent in Berlin has afforded me one of the most important stepping stones in my career.
I am now back in London and determined to capitalise on the changes I have made as a singer. While I am excited about reintroducing myself to my contacts in the industry, there are a few basic needs to satisfy before I can get onto these more lofty creative goals. The most important of these being food and shelter and of course both these needs, require income.
Now, Dear Reader, do not fear I have not, gone all Belle de Jour on you – although doing so might up the hits on my blog significantly. Instead I have resorted to that stalwart of the jobbing singer’s repertoire: Temping. My dear mother always said I would be grateful to have completed my law degree and I am (certainly temping is preferable to packing bags in Safeways or other employment requiring limited qualifications!!!!!). However, I am not sure she envisaged me spending an entire day looking busy, but trying to resist the lure of all internet sites not protected by the firewall.
It is, however, interesting to see how the other half lives and to imagine what my life might have been like had I not pursued my passion. The particular firm I am at supports its workers with all kind of perks virtually unheard of by the struggling artiste. The state of the art offices in the centre of London’s business district have more in common with a luxury cruise liner than a place of work. It sports 2 roof terraces, a restaurant, coffee house, an onsite gym, dance studio and music rooms (something I am taking advantage of for several hours a day). When you add to this salaries only Bryn Terfel can dream of and bonuses beyond the imagination of all but the most fortunate of performers, there is a lot to recommend this vocation and it’s lifestyle.
Ah except the laborious, attention-to-detail-work regarding capital markets and real estate finance which have seen the bottom fall out of them and their clients lose their jobs in the last year or so! Oh a missing out on the feeling of complete release and joy when you find that magical spot for a note that allows it to spin and vibrate with minimal effort. Not to mention when all that work in the practice room allows you to actually convey the emotion of a song or a role. When all that work allows you to live a little bit of Mimi’s frisson upon meeting Rodolfo, Tatyana’s excitement of pouring her passion for Onegin into a letter, or Micaela’s triumph over her fear of finding Don José amongst Carmen’s band of smugglers.
Back to the practice room then!