Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Land of Cheese

en route to Platteville, WI

Brian, looking very official with his clipboard

the set goes up for our public show at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison

tying on the sun planet drop

et voila! Magic Flute set!

corralling children, per usual

Pamina aria

i summon the dragon!

And...blogger decided it didn't want to upload any more pics tonight. More later! I'm having a rather splendid time in Oshkosh this week. It has been A-MA-ZING to stay in the same place for three nights, as opposed to the past two weeks where we've had to drive nearly three hours every day to a different hotel every night. Yesterday we went jogging by beautiful Lake Winnebago, and today we went to the YMCA for a workout and then did some outlet mall shopping and had dinner at a fantastic Korean restaurant in Appleton. Tomorrow we head to Madison, where we get to stay at our director's house for the night--which means a free meal and hot tub time! Our director is totally awesome and hospitable.

That's all from the land of cheese!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Tour is eating me alive you guys. Thankfully, only four more days and then I'm home for good. I've stayed in nearly every Super 8 in the state of Wisconsin and several in Illinois, some nice and some definitely awful. I could easily do the show in my sleep (and at 9:30 am it sometimes seems that way) and I could probably put up our set in five minutes flat.

me putting up our set in five minutes flat

I will seriously post some more pics later, but I just fell asleep on my keyboard typing this, so I'm going to have sleepies now. I'm in Oshkosh right now. I type that more to remind myself than anything else.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


From the genius that brought us "OMG Shoes" comes....MUFFINS! This has been putting us in hysterics all week, so I needed to share it on the blog.

Tour is going well, exhausting, but fun. We're currently in Platteville, WI, which is almost to Dubuque, Iowa. It's actually kind of pretty here, so I'll try to take a few shots tomorrow. And there is a whirpool in this Super 8, which made it an uber wonderful day. We ordered pizza in to the hotel tonight instead of going out, and I got to watch the new Office episode, which I wouldn't normally get to do at home on a Thursday -- I'd be at church! Now I am super tired so I must get to sleepies -- for some reason I can't shake this respiratory stuff. Not enough sleep, eating poorly, bad air in hotels, interacting with a bajillion children every day -- it's certainly a recipe for illness. I need to try to work on that next week if I ever want to actually feel good during a show. On the plus side, I can probably sing Ach ich fuhls half-dead at this point, and sing it pretty damn well. I'm thinking that means I should add it to my list? Can't decide.

And I will leave you with my favorite quote of the week: My Papageno for this week, Brian Hotchkin said of being on tour: "We're living on the fringes of society, like crack whores". Yes, after five Super 8 hotels in five nights, I do indeed feel this way....

More later from the fringes!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

the tour continues

Greetings from Champaign-Urbana, home of the University of Illinois! The Super 8 here is a breath of fresh air compared to the one we were at in a southern suburb of Chicago last night. It looked like a bombed out building in post Cold War Russia, the hallways reeked of smoke, and there were lots of shady characters hanging out in the lobby. There was a large sign at the front entrance that said "NO GUESTS AFTER 9:30 pm" -- ????. I imagine to keep the prostitutes away? Luckily Nick came to stay with me so he could take my car back to the city. It was a long day yesterday, what with our 1:30 show in Palatine, my regular Monday teaching in Plainfield, then to the south suburbs to the hotel. Today's shows in Olympia Fields were fun, especially since we got to do two shows at one school (it's SO nice not to have to re-load the set and head to a different school in the afternoon) and -- my mom came! She really wanted to see the shows, and these were the closest ones to her, so she drove up to see me. She's such a supportive mommy.

Tonight we are going to find a cute dinner spot near the University and chill at the hotel. No whirlpool, unfortunately. :( I am feeling much better now and my voice is pretty much back to normal, thank goodness. It's nice to finally be well for a day of shows! Tomorrow our shows are around here but then it is back to Wisconsin for the remainder of the week. We have a public show in Madison on Saturday morning, and Nick is coming up to spend the weekend with me. I won't be going home until Friday the 18th which feels like a really long time at this point, but I'm sure it will fly. It's really nice to have a break from the usual daily grind, although I think moving from hotel to hotel will get wearing pretty fast. I have my camera and cable so hopefully I'll have some pics to share soon!

More later!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

tour blog update

The shows today went well, despite feeling as though my head was in a thick fog. Unexpectedly, our artistic director and development director attended the first show this morning -- my first show in two months-- so the pressure was on. But she seemed really happy about the performance and only had a couple of notes for me. I only forgot a couple of things, and everybody thought I sounded great even though it sounded weird in my head. I seem to have lots of sinus pressure in my head right now which is making my voice not sound or feel right to me. I've literally been taking Tylonel or Nyquil every 4 to 6 hours so I have no idea if my fever is gone yet, but I'm guessing it is. It's nice to be in an actual real city and not a weird mountain town like my last tour week. We've had lots of delightful meals in local cafes and restaurants, and this Super 8 has got to be one of the nicest I've seen. It has a whirpool, so after our shows today we hit the jacuzzi for an hour, then napped in our rooms til dinner. Tour can be lots of fun when you have the right people, no snow storms, and no major illness involved. :) I'm looking forward to the next three weeks. However, the costumes smell like poo by now and the van has seen better days. It is basically a filthy mess. I think I'm going to take a few of the shared costume pieces home and wash them this weekend since I have to wear them for the next three weeks. Gross.

Tomorrow we have to get up ungodly early to drive an hour north to Algoma for a 9:30 am show, then I have to drive like a bat out of hell back to Chicago and pray that I get there on time to teach. It's going to be an exhausting day, but at the end of it will be my Nick and hopefully a couple of drinks. We start tour in Chicago next week, so I don't have to go anywhere over the weekend! Sweet deal! More later from tour central...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

the land of cheese

Well, in a strange turn of events I now find myself in Green Bay, WI for OFY. One of the other Paminas fell ill this week and the director called me this morning, pleading with me to drive up and do the remaining shows this week. I'm not feeling so hot myself (seem to be coming down with a bit of a cold), but I can still sing, so I told her I would do it. I made a billion phone calls, canceling and rescheduling various things for the next several days, then got on the road by 12:30 for the two hundred mile trip up to Green Bay. It actually went very quickly, as there was little to no traffic, so now here I am at the Green Bay Super 8, getting ready to go have dinner with the gang. We've got two shows tomorrow and one Friday morning, then I will dash back to Chicago to make my teaching in Palatine in the afternoon. It's going to be a crazy couple of days, but hopefully I've now endeared myself to OFY that they will hire me back next year. :)

Other than crazy car trips, the week has been fairly uneventful. The St. Matthew Passion concerts went swimmingly, both were nearly sold out, which made for very exciting performances. Despite it's EXTREME length, the audience seemed to really love it. I'm completely smitten with the music of J.S. Bach. It's just so enthralling. I'm hoping to work up some oratorio arias this summer and coach them with a colleague from MOB.

So that's about all the news from the midwest. I was feeling very midwestern today as I drove through the nothing-ness of Wisconsin. As I drove through Sheboygan, I just had to call Skafish (my bf who lives in NYC) to leave her a message about livin' the dream. You see, we always used to joke that we'd end up singing at Sheboygan light opera (who knows why we chose that city) and here I am, not so far from it. But a gig's a gig, as you come to realize in this biz, and I'm pretty fond of this one. So here we go, tour blog part deux....