I thought the last break between postings was bad, but here we are 2.5 months later...
I'm alive and mostly well, but i'll get more into that in a second. Quick update. Since our last communiqué I've done Tales of Hoffmann with Northwest Opera in the Schools, Etc..., continuing the tour of Cinderella en España with Seattle OPera as well as doing their previews for Magic Flute, and will be closing La perichole with Tacoma opera this weekend. Since Holy Week was included in this period, my work at the church ramped up significantly. I've also been auditioning, as well as working on Susannah and other projects for Operamuse.
While I'm grateful for all these opportunities, I would be foolish to say I love every minute of it. Like any job, the life of a freelance musician has its pros and cons. The freelance aspect of it, especially not having a dependable and steady paycheck every month can be very stressful. Add to that the fact that at this point in my career every opportunity leads to the next, it becomes hard to turn down gigs and you have to always bring your "A Game" in everything you do.
I've been very fortunate in the gigs I've been given this year. it has been pretty much a sprint since Thanksgiving, but that grind finally caught up to me. At the beginning of April I was rehearsing the previews for Magic Flute and Perichole. I started to not sleep well, had a fever, and coughed a lot. I did all the home remedies and jedi mind tricks I usually do, but wasn't getting better. There were moments in Perichole that was so drugged up it was amazing that I was as functional at all. I couldn't control my body temperature for close to a week. Suffice it to say, I was a hot mess.
I scheduled an appointment with the doctor for about a week later, but they called me a few days later because someone cancelled that day. When I met with the doctor I found out I had walking Pneumonia and my lungs were unable to intake the normal amount. They actually were almost to the point where they would have to monitor me. She gave me drugs, and I left optimistic. I had rehearsal and Holy week masses the next few days. I could barely sing two measures without having to breathe. Since singing long phrases without breathing being one of my finer skills, I was very frustrated. This was in conjunction with holding back coughing. A week later I had a follow-up, lung intake was still the same, but my symptoms overall were much better. She gave me more drugs and now I'm 95% over it. I still cough occasionally and am getting junk out of my lungs, but it's manageable.
This kind of question is very common for singers, to sing when sick, regardless of whether its a rehearsal or performance. WE know what it takes to put these shows together in the financially strapped times the companies are in. We artists aren't usually rolling in extra money, so we're trying/having to do things perhaps in a job with steady paycheck with benefits we wouldn't do. Will I get paid? Will I get others sick? Will my affected singing hurt me down the line with company? Will a sick performance get a bad review and then I have to deal with that down the line? A lot of thought goes into whether or not a singer should cancel/Miss an engagement. Thankfully for me this time, I was well enough for when it really mattered and to my knowledge I didn't get anyone else sick. I was very lucky.
But now onto other things. Operamuse is growing and we have exciting projects ahead. I also will be returning to Puget Sound Concert Opera to do Sir Tristan in Flotow's Martha, a rarely done Operetta, but it's fantastic.