Last weekend I was in Alabama to sing Mozart and Vivaldi with the Mobile Symphony Orchestra. The guest conductor was Patrick Dupré Quigley, the director of Seraphic Fire and a good friend who has given me many musical opportunities over the past 8 years.
I love all the different kinds of gigs I do — soloing with symphonies, choruses and period orchestras, collaborating with early music chamber groups, faculty recitals at ECU, and ensemble singing with some of the best choirs in the country — but for sheer pamper factor you can’t beat a solo appearance with a symphony. Symphonies are set up to host soloists from around the world with nice hotels, arranged rides and organized itineraries. Here are some of the things I encounter on a symphony gig that make me feel like a true diva:
Singing in a nice hall (here the Saenger Theatre in Mobile),
Being put up in style in a fancy hotel,
Ordering pre-performance room service in said fancy hotel,
Having my own dressing room with my name on the door,
Wearing a new gown and super-sparkly bling (this fabulous Swarovski set was my Christmas gift from my parents with teamwork selection from N),
Being asked to sign posters,
And getting beautiful flowers onstage during the curtain call (yup, this was a selfie and I’m not ashamed to say it).
The Symphony was wonderful to work with and I enjoyed my time in downtown Mobile. And N and baby A and Charlie the dog all survived back at home! It was a great weekend. At the end of it, as always, I was happy to land at RDU and drive home to my family, now expanded by one 18-pound little cutie.
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