What a summer this has been! Of course, I started the summer with the intention of learning Figaro, as well as all of the soprano arias in the Bach passions, as well as a whole chunk of other arias and art song. Of course, I was over-ambitious and under-endowed with time, and maybe 20% of the projected projects were completed.

In the meantime, I received many affirmations that I have chosen the right path – in the form of money, luck, encouraging words, and gigs. Of course I know that I have worked hard, and to an extent I am deserving of what I have received. But, I cannot help but have the nagging feeling of doubt that reminds me not to buy into the champagne celebration too much. It seems these things come in waves – all the encouragement comes at once, and then all the criticism and discouragement will come at once. How can I stay focussed on the task at hand, appreciating the good things that happen but without believing that I have ‘arrived’?

Today I had a coaching with Tracy Dahl. What I expected to be a helpful coaching was actually an incredible coaching, and badly needed. Tracy is one of those rare people who will actually tell you what she thinks, and I greatly admire her for it. She is exactly what one needs in the midst of too much praise or too much criticism. As a side note, it was very helpful to hear from another coluratura, who understands what our voice type needs and what it doesn’t in terms of technique. What she had to say was immensely encouraging, challenging, and invigorating, but most of all, it was Honest. I feel as though I have been given two gifts for the year ahead – the gift of knowing where I stand by industry standards, and the gift of having a few more tools to help me become polished. Who could ask for anything more?