Sunday, December 5, 2010

Inspiration: "Simple Song" by Bernstein

Such a *gorgeous* rendition. I bet this would be an amazing encore in a recital! Hmm..note to self...

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Wishes from La Toya

Wishing the Happiest Thanksgiving Wishes to all who celebrate!
Very Musically Yours,

Monday, November 22, 2010

Night at the opera

It is very rare that a struggling artist like myself gets to indulge in an opera at the Met (sad but true!) So when a friend called me hours before curtain, I jumped at the chance!

I was lucky enough to see the opening night of Don Carlo! I didn't get a chance to see who was playing whom so I was presently surprised to see Marina Poplavskaya as Elisabeth!

I had previously seen Poplavskaya's Liu and I remember being so incredibly inspired by her choices for the role! Seeing her in a completely different role was a treat. I also got to witness the sheer power and force of her brilliant voice. At times, she appeared to sing directly into the wings and I could still hear her.

All in all, it was a very cool night. My first viewing of Don Carlo! The only thing I wished was that there were more younger people there.

Very Musically Yours,

Thursday, November 4, 2010

And now for something completely different...

What's up everyone??

My most recent perf was "The Desert Song" with Light Opera of New York [or LOONY which always makes me giggle!]. I played Clementina, the very spicy Spanish girl that opens the 2nd act with song and dance. I also did some stuff in the first act ensemble [including marching in as a solider]

We worked in CAP21, a space with which I was previously unfamiliar. There were a lot of musical theater and straight play actors that used the space. So it was really cool to get to be around that again.

Since this is "Light" opera, there's LOTS of dancing and dialogue. The prospect of dialogue was thrilling because I got to recycle my West Side Story Spanish accent. How often do I get to use that?? I told them they're gonna be sorry if they give me too many complex dance steps, however. I like to get down on the dance floor like any girl but as soon as you start counting step, I grow two left feet! Fortunately the director Gary was brilliant enough to keep everything simple to do but interesting to watch.

The rehearsals were spaced out until "Hell week" which consisted of 3-4 hour rehearsals Mon-Wed and a quick run through the day of the show. We didn't get to walk in the space until the day of! This isn't uncommon but, we had to dance!!! Haha! Luckily the process wasn't stressful or tedious. I think that everyone was so happy to be singing that there wasn't time to worry about anything.

We performed in the lovely church Landmark on the Park at 76th and Broadway to a full house! I had a great time doing something a little different for a change. I also felt like I learned a lot more about acting and how your acting can serve the music. An eternal student, I am!

Check out LOONY's site to check out the rest of their season:

Very Musically Yours,

Friday, October 15, 2010

Götterdämmerung -- Hagen's Watch (Salminen)

I have a friend who loves Wagner and suggested I watch it. Have been obsessed with this clip ever since!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Night at Carnegie Hall!

A friend of mine called me last minute with tickets for Brahms Requiem at Carnegie Hall tonight! It was the Collegiate choral with Eric Owens as the Bass soloist! I had no idea that I was going to get to see Stephanie Blythe sing The Alto Rhapsody beforehand! Was completely blown away with how effortlessly she is able to fill a hall with her incredibly lush voice.

I had only heard the Requiem on recording a few times so it was definitely a treat to hear it in person! Seeing choruses perform always remind me of the good ole days in High School where I sang in chorus for 4 years. This was also my first time sitting in the orchestra section of Carnegie Hall. I think my friend had been there plenty of times so when I began marveling at how absolutely gorgeous the space is up close, it was pretty funny to him!

Very Musically Yours,

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Opera Singers Initiative: Fall Fete

Tonight, I sang in a concert put on by Opera Singers Initiative . It was held at The Van Alen Mansion on the Eastside. About a year ago, I joined Twitter and started following someone named "Opera Singers". This person (who I now know and love) is the volunteer coordinator and asked if anyone wanted to help out at a benefit for young opera singers featuring chocolate. I love opera and I love chocolate so it was a no brainer that I take her up on the opportunity to volunteer. Once I arrived, I was excited to see the level of talent and professionalism that this unknown (to me) organization held. I immediately looked into auditioning to be part of their year-long program of concerts & mentorship. A year later, here I am performing in the same space that inspired me so much!

We got to meet and greet the guest and snack on some of the delicious food. Afterward, we went upstairs to begin the concert portion of the evening. I sang "Ne poj krasavisca pri mne" by Rachmoninov. Some of the funnier comments that I got afterward were different variations of "I was hoping my wine glass wasn't going to break". HA!

After the concert portion, in a culmination of the entire year's worth of working with them, the organization gave various award to some of us. I WON the Vocal Recording Award!!! I will keep everyone posted on when and where to hear what I end up recording.

It was a fantastic evening. I am so glad to have found this company and look forward to being part of their growing Alumni base.

Check out this wonderful organization here:

Very Musically Yours,

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mother Butterfly

This month, Bleecker St. Opera put on a production of Madam Butterfly. I played her Mother, who, in my opinion, is the glue of the entire opera. Let's face it, if there was no Mother, there would be no Butterfly. End of story.

All jokes aside, this was a very cool opportunity to work with another local NYC company. The small places fascinate me. You get to see all of the behind the scenes work that goes into an opera that you might not see otherwise.

We put this opera together in a very short time with very limited resources. It reminds me of something I heard on the Willy Wonka Documentary where the guy says something like: "We just had a vision that we wanted to portray, not a fancy budget. So we rolled up our sleeves and said 'Let's get some cardboard & some tape and let's put on a show'".

The leads and the production staff were brillant and so fun to work with. I had a fantastic time in this opera. It is a great company.

The above picture was taken with a really crafty person's Iphone. Not the most flattering picture of me, but I thought it was kind of funny to see me looking at the conductor for my cues.

Someday I'll read this blog and laugh at how silly I am. Maybe tomorrow.

Check out Bleecker Street Opera here:

Very Musically Yours,