I have been so wrapped up in my vocal health that I have had nothing about which to write. Boring. Typical singer behavior.
Back around April 5, I started feeling a little scratchiness in my throat. By the 10th I had full blown flu symptoms, and the following week bronchitis. I was hoping to be on the road to recovery around Easter (the 20th, yes, I know, ridiculous), taking it week by week, not singing full out except for a handful of performances. I really thought I’d be fine by this week — and yet, the voice is playing hard-to-get with me, and messing with my psyche. During the next two weeks I have 1) final rehearsals with orchestra, for a small-to-medium-sized role in an opera which opens next weekend; 2) beginning rehearsals as one of three characters in a children’s opera opening in early June ; 3) rehearsals for a concert of Brahms Liebesliederwalzer and Zigeunerlieder sung by 4 soloists on May 17th, 4) two performances of a show built around Beatles songs (again with three performers), 5) a performance of a musical (large role) and 6) two performances in another musical (medium role). I am single cast in all of it, there are no covers. All of this is for my full-time job in one theater.
Yes, the genre pendulum has a mighty wide swing there, between Brahms chamber music and “Hard Days Night”, but I have always done that, and when I’m healthy I can navigate the changes with relative ease. But..
A sensible person would just go to the doctor, get written up sick for the next two weeks, and let the theater deal with the fall-out. That is allowed here in European houses — sick is sick! If you can’t sing your best, you don’t sing! But we Americans either can’t or won’t do that, whether through some sense of responsibility or that “the show must go on” attitude, I don’t know. So I have been going into work, marking the rehearsals instead of singing full out, and then working myself into a ball of stress when the voice still doesn’t do what I want it to do during performances. Everyone is probably sick of my yammering; I am already sick of it myself.
I think the best-case scenario right now is getting through all of it, not at the level I would have liked it to be, but “good enough”, pulling waaay back on the pop stuff and trying to sing as healthily as I possibly can. The option after that is to start cancelling things one by one, if my cords decide not to play along at any time. That is the last thing I want to do. Just keep your fingers crossed for me until May 18th.