So now that I’ve turned 30 I’m “ageing out” of a number of competitions and programs that I wasn’t either good enough or on the ball enough to enter in my 20s. It’s not a big deal – it’s not like I could have done anything worthwhile until I was, what, 27, and I’ve been kind of busy auditioning for one thing after another, producing my own operas, and doing the windfall-out-of-nowhere roles that I did get.
Anyway, this is my last year to enter the Met Auditions. Yes, THAT Met. They run a competition that occasionally launches its winner into stardom. I meant to do it last year, but it happened shortly after my disastrous COC audition and I felt too soured on the whole “real opera” thing to go.
But this year I’m feeling good about my career, so I thought, why not? I’ll pop down to Buffalo and it’ll be fine. The Buffalo auditions are on January 15, so…
I have a gig that night and the next day.
Singing King Harald’s Saga: Grand Opera in Three Acts for One Person at a concert in Simcoe.
This is as straight-up a conflict between love and money (well, potential money) that you can get. Do I stick with the low-paying gig doing a ten-minute long opera in which I portray eight characters and the Norweigan Army? Or do I cancel, go to Buffalo, and try to convince a panel that my Bellini is good enough for them to advance me to the regional, then national competition?
I wavered for about two minutes, asked Ben for his advice, then decided: I’m sticking with King Harald’s Saga. Not just because I’ve committed to the gig already and it would be a dick move to back out (though it would), not just because I find auditions and competitions daunting and my failures depressing (though I do), but because I do what I do because I love doing it, and I’d much rather spend the weekend in Simcoe introducing the locals to a bizarre masterwork of contemporary vocal music than putting myself up for capricious and arbitrary judgement for about the millionth time.