Things have been clicking and clicking and clicking into place in the past few weeks. Finally, I am beginning to feel the rhythm of life here, how to work most effectively and when I should just give in and go for a beer. For the first time in my life, most of my busyness is coming from singing; practise, coaching, self-coaching, and research into topics that I really care about, that will really affect the way I make music. I absolutely love this ability to focus on one thing, the thing that I love.
Vocally, these last two weeks have been thrilling. Utterly thrilling. I think every singer looks for that thing in themselves that is unique. What is unique about us is what we hope will capture the imagination of others – audience, directors, conductors, colleagues. The things that make us unique could be seen as what we will personally contribute to the world through our art form. This last weekend, I feel like I discovered something new about my voice. I know that this is not something completely unique to me, but I feel privileged that I am able to access this… my upper extension. I have not worked on my very high register very much in my life, and I always knew that I could sing very high. It is interesting, in the coluratura soprano world, the amount of rep you can sing very much depends on how high you can really sing. The past few weeks, I have developed my high E flat and E. This is significant because it opens up a bunch of new repertoire to me! So, this weekend, I felt so good about a student recital in which I sang the aria, ‘Glitter and be Gay’. When I sang the E flat at the end of the piece, I felt like I could go even higher! It feels so easy, so free and full and fabulous. When things line up like that, it is a moment that inspires me to keep going, to keep working hard.
Another ‘aha’ moment in the past week was a Canadian moment. The past few weeks, I have been really missing France, missing the Paris time in my life and longing to be back there. That was a beautiful time in my life, but I am now in a new stage of life which has the potential to be just as inspiring and full of learning if I only embrace it. When I was walking on Mont Royal on Sunday night listening to Joni Mitchell :), it happened upon me that I felt really Canadian. Even the part of me that feels a little bit French, contributes in a unique way to my Canadian-ness. Montreal is so full of wonderful art, history, music, food, and it would be an absolute shame not to embrace this time in my life as a time to get to know Montreal, to get to know the seat of the origins of my country, and to adopt this place as yet one more place in the world that I am passionate about. In fact, I decided, it would be a shame not to do this for every place I will ever live for the rest of my life. That night, I went home and read up on Montreal – I read up on history, monuments I had seen, my neighborhood and the neighboring ones, and historical buildings in this city. Montreal is mysterious and full of character and I cannot wait to explore it and learn about it, and to throw myself into this business of living here as fully as I can. There is just simply no other way to live.
In a similar vein, I realized that for the past few years, ever since I got back from my semester in Paris, I have always been wishing to be somewhere else. Now, I can let go of those attachments and be fully in the moment. I never thought something so crucial and so beautiful in my life would eventually prevent me from living fully, but it has and it is time to let go. It is time for me to embrace my Canadian-ness, my emotions, my struggles, my talents and my weaknesses, and really know how I fit into THIS place and time. There is no place I would rather be than right here, right now, doing what I love and dreaming of the places it will take me.