My new theatre concert “My favourite things” is a reality now. Try-out is done and dusted.
Room was full, piano was great, @Manuel you rock big time, voice in top form .
I went for it.
“Vol overgave en passie wist deze diva -jazeker, dat is ze!- het publiek in vervoering te brengen met haar temperamentvolle performance”
“Wat ze ook zingt, ze legt haar hart en ziel erin -of het nu gaat om een aria van Bizet of Verdi, een nummer van Gershwin of een volksliedje uit Azerbeidzjan”
” It was a fabulous recital! Loved it, tears to my eyes, also laughter and a lot of admiration for your voice! Feelings all over the place! “
” Wonderful evening ,superb recital, and stories that made us laugh and cry!! thank you Carla and Manu”.
” 1000 emotions and goosepumps!”
Well, it looks like they all loved it.
Today I am reflecting on how different is the perception of a performance from THIS side of the wall, the performer’s side, that is.
So, here it comes.
I come in, and I start to sing.
Did you want opera singer? Well, that’s what you are getting to begin with.
Let’s play it safe.
It does not get more “opera singer”dan Carmen, and as expected, public settles in for more opera, the faces and the expressions are saying : “Yes, I know this” .
My first speaking line, first ever from a dutch script, goes very “newsreading” style.
Well, I am human, I am not a robot, and if the room is warming up to me, I also need to warm up to them. So, 2 lines are enough for the moment, let’s reassure them with more opera.
“Lascia ch’ io pianga” is the perfect choice, if you heard it in a concert, on tv, on an icecream publicity….sounds familiar enough 🙂
An arabic friend in the first row stares at the floor, and then looks at me again with watery eyes.
Yes, when music is beautiful, is universally beautiful. Haendel, good job and Carla good job as well.
The question is : “What do I sing in the shower?”
At this point we start shaking up things a little bit, and jazz is the right twist.
I sing the standards sitting, with my eyes closed. Weirdly enough I AM in my zone. Manu is totally backing me up, and I trust him to lead.
I wake up to an audience that starts to realize that no, this is not going to be just an opera concert, and yes, there is a story to be told.
Yes, the story.
Focus, Carla , Focus.
They need to be drawn into your story, in the same way they are drawn to your music.
Words come out more easily now, as I go on with memories, stories, fun stuff.
The “nostalgia” segment comes up. Homesick, belonging, loneliness, all themes very dear to me.
And to most of my audience, because when “Caruso” starts, I see, to my dismay, the third row in tears. And not only one tear. No. red-face kind of tears.
Oh Jeez. Is that bad? Or good? What if they leave thinking : “This is soooo depressing, not coming here anymore”?
No time to waste speculating. It is the time for cheering spirits up, and an old tarantella does it for all of us. My dialect flows in my throat like red wine.
From this side, audience looks like they recovered: red eyes are still there, but now everybody is smiling.
Tarantella is indeed like a good glass of wine, it makes you feel warm inside.
We thought we were out of the woods, but now comes MY difficult part.
I chose to talk about “In Viaggio” about those incredible 9 months of life and death.
I thought it was going to be risky, tricky, and to be honest “Icameheretolistentocarmennottocryoveryourdeadmother ”
Still, I chose to go for it. Ok, then let’s go, let’s do it…
I choke a couple of times on the text. Yes, I do. Damn.
I choke looking at my friend in row number 4, knowing she knows what I feel.
Knowing she was there when this happened.
No turning back. I close my eyes and I start “Notturno”.
Welcome to my life, people. Sing, laugh, cry, and pull through.
I sing it without a single slip and I open my eyes. OHHHHHHH
The audience is on THIS side of the wall. They are on my side now, they are in my world, they laugh, they cry and pull through.
And sing as well.
Oh yes. Amsterdamse grachten is a hit, and even if this is only the first part of the show, I get enough requests of enchores to convince me that they are going to enjoy the second part as well.
And so it is.
The second part goes impeccably with me improvising on the script, God knows I miss one of two grammatical rules, but hey, that’s show business baby, and the audience is warmed up, cosy, inviting, totally lifting me up to the end.
It is a rollercoaster of stories, pieces, emotions, waves come in and out, flushes of tears and laughter as well.
I am, we all are, in an endless musical menopause, hot flashes included,ahaha.
Here I encounter 2 big surprises #performerperceptionVSaudienceperception
-One very dramatic Verdi`s Aria , which almost did not make the cut, as I thought it could be a bit too bombastic for this theatermusica concert, gets the biggest applause of the evening (completed with “Zooo…” , dutch equivalent of “Whoaaa”).
-One small spanish lullaby, which almost did not make the cut, as I thought it could be a bit too quiet for this theatermusica concert, gets the longest applause of the evening.
I am totally in my element, and audience as well.
The concert ends with HABANERA , and that’s a standing ovation.
Wait people, there is one singalong more and THEN is finished. Please, allow me, let me sing.
Uhm….I thought this was the perfect ending, Maybe not, audience does not agree, I can tell.
Things to think through when perfecting this show, next time.
Now is the time of standing ovation, tears, joy, and love, so much love from everybody.
So much love.
In the previous blog I wrote: “I will be naked. I hope someone will clothe me”
Looks like they did. Feeling FULLY clothed right now.
So much that we are going to have another try-out…are you coming? 🙂