amethyst73: (tazz)
As promised... photos of the full outfit after the recital earlier this afternoon! (Which my husband says went really well.  Video eventually.)

Front view. Top borrowed from my mom-in-law, skirt made by a friend, sash from Target


Picturesque in the church garden


~2 yards of fabric = not quite floor length!
amethyst73: (tazz)
I went to JoAnn's after posting the previous sewing entry to acquire more lace.  While they had another spool of lace in the same pattern, it wasn't exactly the same color - more of a stark white than the cream I had already pinned in.  And they only had the one spool left, period.  So I shrugged and bought it - that's one of the nice things about knowing that nobody will see it closer than many feet away!

I was able to use my mom-in-law's sewing machine, from circa 1951.  (You can tell from the centenary medal they put on it.)

As I mentioned, it only does straight stitching, but it still works!


After I hemmed the whole thing (yeah, it's puckered, big deal for my purposes), I decided to hand-sew it to a hairband, so that I'd have a way of actually putting it on without having to hide my whole head.  I ruffled it to give the affair some height. I think it came out pretty well.

Later this weekend, I'll put up photos of me in the whole outfit!
amethyst73: (tazz)
Every once in a while, I do a crazy sewing project.

I'm singing in a recital a couple of weeks from now, and the aria I'm singing ("Son Vergin Vezzosa" from Bellini's _I Puritani_) is sung by a girl who thinks she's going to get married in the next ten minutes.  It's kind of the Italian version of "I Feel Pretty" - she's showing off her dress, and her hair, and particularly her veil.

So I'm making a veil.  It's not a real veil, it's supposed to be more of a prop than anything else.  I chose some flowy, billowy, and (as you can see in the photo) kinda shiny synthetic material that probably gets incorporated into bridal wear on a regular basis.  It turns out that this material frays frighteningly quickly.  Note to self: either don't use synthetics next time, or for heaven's sake buy a bottle or two of Fray-Check and apply immediately.  I pinned the hem as quickly as I could, which will hopefully minimize the fraying damage until I can actually sew it.  After I cut the piece and pinned the edges last night, I threw it over my head (the way they always do in the opera) and concluded that I either can't spend much time fully under the veil, or I need to make some modifications so that my face can be seen.  As of last night, it made me look less like a bride than a ghost!

I also wanted the piece to have some definition around the edge, so I chose some lovely-looking lace ribbon.  I failed to do math, though, and ended up with only about half the ribbon I need, so I'll be going back to JoAnn's yet again tomorrow (sigh) to get some more ribbon, assuming I can find the same stuff.

But lookee lookee how pretty it's going to look (as long as you don't look too closely) when it's done!

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I've been wanting to get these up for a while, but the DVD of this past year's recital only just became available.  So... here's me, singing Adele's Laughing Song (Strauss, Die Fledermaus) in May of 2010:



And here's me, singing Adele's Audition Song in May of 2011:



Enjoy!
amethyst73: (Default)
Had a busy but generally good week and weekend.

Pasted from G+ )
amethyst73: (Default)
Busy last few weekends, these.

Easter weekend started a bit early, with a midday service sung by our choir in a FREEZING COLD!!! church.  (Easter weekend was cold.)  Easter day, we sang a whole lotta music, because, well, Easter!  And we went over to my in-laws for lunch and afternoon hanging out.

The following weekend - last weekend, our bishop visited our parish.  This meant whole lotta additional music, because, well, Bishop!  Bishop Marc Andrus is a really cool guy who likes good modern music, and who preaches a really excellent, clear sermon. 

This weekend went like this:
Saturday morning: go to skating class as usual.  Fail to understand why our frame is going completely out the window after the mohawk turn in the Fiesta Tango.  Come home, shower.
Saturday afternoon: Sing for a while at home, to clear throat of gook.
A little later Saturday afternoon: Go be part of recital, in which I demonstrate to those present that I own a high D.  :)
Saturday night: Watch some more of "My Left Foot."  Get completely discouraged by how grim it is, and turn it off at the attempted suicide.  As Huz puts it, one moral of the story appears to be, "Don't be born Irish."

This morning: go to choir and do somewhat spiffy music because a good friend of our choir conductor, who is a really excellent composer and organist, is in town and is playing with us.  Sit and listen to some of his short recital afterwards.
Early this afternoon: go home, change into street clothes.  Pick up Huz, retrace steps and overshoot church to end up at in-laws' for Mother's Day lunch and hanging out.
Late this afternoon: go home, do an errand.
This evening: go south a few towns to meet a friend who's temporarily in the neighborhood for dinner.  Good times were had.  Thanks, [livejournal.com profile] haamel  - see you soon!

Fun!  But tiring.  Ready to have a quiet evening at home now.

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Fear not, I am still here. I am merely frighteningly busy, between working on The Guest List for The Memorial Service and other such matters in the morning and some evenings, and trying to pack in a whole lotta work during the day between now and when I take my next trip to Boston in May.  Oh yah, and there's this recital thing too.  (And my choir director is stuck in South Africa, waiting for British Airways to be able to fly through Heathrow again.  My life is EASY compared to that.)

I think I might have gone through most of my social circles at this point (finally).  I don't mind so much talking about Mom's death, it just gets kind of exhausting after a while.

I didn't think finishing the book that I started while I was in Boston right after she died would make me cry.  It's a sort of marker, a reminder that it all happened.  (And Tigana is still a very good read on its own merits.  Even though the last sentence screams "Sequel!!!!" and Kay has never written one.)

Sometime I suppose it will quit feeling weird to call my father on weekends, as opposed to briefly saying hi as part of a longer conversation with Mom.

Sometime Easter season won't feel just plain weird.  We'll see when it gets to Pentecost whether it's Easter-specific or church in general.

Sometime it will hit me - really hit me - that she's gone.  I 'spect that'll happen right after the aforementioned Memorial Service, which I'm in charge of.  Once that project is done, I'll have much less "stuff" to do that''s related to her death but so full of fiddly details that I am buffered from emotional thought.

Right.  That must mean it's bedtime.
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As posted earlier, our choir did the Rutter Requiem last Friday night, and our director recorded the performance.  Normally I don't do this sort of thing, but here's an .mp4 file of me doing the Pie Jesu.  (People told me it was really good.  After getting a chance to listen to it... yeah, I'm really pretty pleased with it!)

EDITED to add: Our church site has been completely revamped (it's now all Flash-driven and pretty and stuff).  Among the other bells and whistles, it's got a "Music Clips" section under Worship.  I am rather pleased to note that this piece is one of the three on display (that's where I'm linking the file from now, actually; please let me know if the link quits working).
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My apologies for the late notice...

The choirs of Christ Church Portola Valley Woodside and Saint Bede's will be presenting the Rutter Requiem in the context of a requiem service tonight, November 6, at Christ Church.  My good friend [livejournal.com profile] catagon3 and I will be singing the two soprano solos.

Location:
Christ Church Portola Valley and Woodside
815 Portola Road
Portola Valley, CA 94028

Time:
7:30 PM

amethyst73: (Default)
Often in the evening after dinner, I'm tired, and very much not in an "I wanna practice singing" mood.

Yet, much more often than not, once I start, I get extremely engaged in what I'm doing and generally feel like I've accomplished something come the end of it.  (Like, I think I managed to sing the sillily high D - the one up above the treble staff - cleanly, twice tonight.  That's once more than I did in lesson this past week!)  And I have energy while I'm practicing, once I've gotten into it.

Now, why can't I remember that?  Why can't I just remind myself, when I don't feel like practicing, that I'm almost always glad that I've practiced once I've gotten started?  Must be a little like various acquaintances and the gym...
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I've just started learning "Mein Herr Marquis" from Die Fledermaus, aka Adele's Laughing Song.  (Story background: Adele is a chambermaid, to the wife of the Marquis.  On New Year's Eve, they all three of them end up at the same costume ball - Adele knows the Marquis and his wife are there, the Marquis and his wife don't know she's there.  But the Marquis thinks he recognizes her; this song is her rebuttal.  Basically, "Look how aristocratic I am, how could I possibly be a chambermaid, how funny the thought is!") 

Here is a YouTube link to someone who's much better than I am singing the piece (auf Deutsch.  I will be singing it auf English, which will make things a little easier). 

In my edition, near the end, there's a leap from D above middle C (just below the treble staff) to high C - the one waaaaaay up above the staff, just shy of two octaves above the D just before.  (The singer I linked to CHEATS, by putting a bit of cadenza-y stuff in between the two.)  Two octaves... well, a challenge is a good thing, right? 

amethyst73: (Default)
Like [livejournal.com profile] ladybird97 , I haven't posted anything of substance in a while.  So, I post!

Work has been going along in a mixed-to-reasonable fashion.  We've got positive expression for enough of our genes to make it worthwhile to start on The Big Interactome Project.  One thing stands in our way: the ELISA that we're figuring on using to detect interactions isn't working.  Again.  We plan to work on the problem next week.  But meantime, just about everything else is ready for launch.

We had a fantastic time over the holiday weekend at the giant gaming party hosted by cerebralpaladin and orichalcum.  We saw a number of people that we hadn't seen in quite some time, and met some new - and of course cool - people.  I played two D&D games: one set in ancient Babylon, in which my thief character helped figure out why it was raining on the Jewish Quarter and nowhere else (everyone else in town was blaming the Jews for stealing their rain - turns out that basically, they were right!), and one in which all the PCs were members of a theatrical troupe.  The troupe put on plays of heroic adventures, and in this one-shot, we had to basically *become* adventurers to get our hands on a kidnapped playwright who'd promised he'd write us a play.  The last game that I played was in a system called "Dogs in the Vineyard," in which the PCs were essentially lawgivers of the One True Faith in something like mid-1800s Mormon Utah.  You can get a sense of the mechanics of conflict resolution from this Wikipedia article and the character creation and gameplay from this review.  It is significantly more freewheeling than any game system than I've ever played before (not that that's very many).  The traits and relationships that you use to define your character have essentially no limits on them in terms of their definitions: "sense truth", "skeptic", "healer", and "joyful celebration" were some of the traits in our group.  Having played a session, I can pretty definitely say that the more vague you can be in your traits and relationships, the better - it means that you can more easily bring the die values of those traits and relationships into conflicts.  It was fun, and I wouldn't at all mind playing in the system again.

We had our first choir rehearsal of the season a couple of nights ago.  We have two new people: a strong bass and a strong soprano.  Having two whole basses to our name makes a huge difference, as does having a soprano who can actually generate volume on Wednesday nights.  I'm really excited about choir this year - we're gonna be goooooooood...... :D

And next weekend we're going to see Spamalot and Yellow Face, both should be good pieces of theater.  I'll be interested in hearing what y'all think of the movie 9; it's on my 'hmm, could be interesting' list.
amethyst73: (Default)
I know this is late notice, but I thought I'd let you know that I'll be singing a fairly long solo as part of an Evensong service tomorrow night.  The details are as follows:

Location: Christ Church Portola Valley Woodside
815 Portola Road
Portola Valley, CA

Time: 7 PM

It's a little off the beaten path.  Probably the easiest way to get there is to take the Sand Hill Road exit from 280 (or up Sand Hill from Stanford Shopping Center); it's about 3.8 miles from 280.  The church will be on your right, and is the one after Valley Presbyterian Church and before the Town Center.  Hope to see you there!

Good days

May. 3rd, 2009 02:20 pm
amethyst73: (Default)
Yesterday was quite productive.  We:

• got taught the steps to our first true ice dance, the Dutch Waltz

• got work done on my car
    This took longer than it was supposed to and I failed to bring anything to entertain myself with while waiting.  So I hung out in the customer lounge and watched a bit of Game Seven of the Boston/Chicago basketball game.  It's the first time I've watched pro basketball in literally decades, and the main thing that struck me was, wow those guys are beefy!  Muscles on muscles in their torsos and arms.  Way back when (in my kiddie memory of Larry Bird and his ilk) I remember that the typical basketball-player phenotype was tall and skinny.  When did that change to tall and burly?

• performed in the voice studio's recital
    Which went quite well, really.  Laurie's Song went at least as well as it's ever gone in practice, ditto the Doll Song.  The Green Dog was fine till the very end when I flubbed the timing.  Pretty much everyone was an active pleasure to listen to - it was really nice!

• had a fence between us and a neighbor built after the old one blew down a couple of weeks ago

And today, I've already done church and we've gone skating.  We need to go over to Stanford so I can pack up some supplies I'll need, take care of the neighbor's cats, and go grocery shopping.  Yes, busy.  But good.
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I had a voice lesson today!  We stayed completely on topic, were very technical, and got some good work done.  Yay, makes me happy.  :)

I was able to listen to some of Obama's address to the joint Congress this evening on my way home.  And I came up with an idea when he started talking about tax cuts for bunches of people. 

I don't know whether the huz and I are going to end up qualifying for a tax cut.  I do know we don't make enough to qualify for a tax hike!  But I've told various friends on various occassions that gee, I like my government services: education, roads, police & fire, etc, and if it becomes necessary to increase my taxes to pay for these things, please go right ahead!  Yes, that's right: tax me! 

We happen to be very fortunate, financially speaking; we have quite sufficient to pay our mortgage, and no ongoing large expenses (e.g. kids).  I am fully aware that a lot of people will greatly appreciate (and in some cases, rather desperately need) any tax cuts they get; that's fine, that's who the tax cuts should be helping.  I also know that there are likely to be cuts everywhere  at city, state, and federal levels to try to start balancing budgets. 

So here's my idea.  If by some mischance we end up with an income tax break, we'll tote up what would otherwise be given to the tax man and donate it someplace useful, such as the education foundation for the city we live in (it helps fund music and science programs and stuff like that), or the library foundation, or some other civic-related thing that we know could use the extra money.  (We already donate to these programs already and will continue to do so even if we don't get a tax cut, don't get me wrong!)

I honestly don't have time to do community service as President Obama would much like me to.  But I do have the wherewithal to help pay the people who help run those services.
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The Stanford Symphonic Chorus and the Peninsula Symphony are joining forces next weekend to present a concert of American music. The program includes Copland's Quiet City, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, and (most exciting) the world premiere of local composer Brian Holmes' Amherst Requiem, a setting of the traditional Latin text mixed with several of Emily Dickinson's poems medidating on various aspects of death. (I haven't heard the whole thing yet, as the chorus is present in only three of the movements, but I really like what I've heard so far!)

Performances are this Friday Nov 21 at 8 PM, and Sunday Nov 23 at 2 PM. Both performances are at Memorial Church on Stanford Campus. Tickets are $10 student, $20 adult. You may purchase tickets in advance from Peninsula Symphony's website, or purchase them at the door.
Hope to see you there!

Eeek!

Jun. 2nd, 2008 05:55 pm
amethyst73: (Default)
She wants me to start working on the "Doll Song" from Tales of Hoffman!

Here's a video of Moira Shearer doing it back in 1951.
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Local folks should go see the Hillbarn Theater's production of Elton John's and Tim Rice's Aida.  The first fifteen minutes feel a little like watching a low-quality Andrew Lloyd Webber show, but then it definitely picks up.  Really strong cast - I keep disbelieving that this is an amateur theater group! - and the story is as powerful and moving as it was when Verdi dreamed it up.  [profile] nezumiko, a lot of the music is right up your alley.

And if you're interested, the Stanford Symphonic Chorus, Stanford Symphony, Stanford Taiko, and I forget who else are presenting the world premier of Cosmic Flames, a recently commissioned piece by Chinese composer Zhou Long.  It's about fifteen minutes of interesting stuff for, well, orchestra, taiko, and chorus.  Tonight is our first dress rehearsal, and I'll be most interested to hear what the orchestration is like.  It will be performed with the final movement of the Beethoven 9th Symphony.  We'll be performing these pieces, as well as Carmina Burana, when the music department tours in China at the end of June/beginning of August.
amethyst73: (Default)
When many many Papagenas, Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ge-nas, Pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-ge-nas,
Upon their parents blessings bring!
amethyst73: (Default)
I'm done!  The recital went very well; pictures later (probably tomorrow).  Service also went well; managed to make sufficient mistakes in rehearsal to force me to pay closer attention to the music during service, and everything went well there too.  Yay soloists (including [profile] catagon3), and yay Carson Cooman for (1) writing kick-ass music, and (2) being a good enough friend of our director to come and play organ on his own compositions that we sang.

*blink*  That wasn't very grammatical, was it.

Anyway.  Done with singing for today; hopefully voice will be back for tomorrow's early service, where I get to sing even more!

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