July 2014: Italia

Viva Verdi

This is a portrait of Giuseppe Verdi which is hanging on the wall of the music school where we are studying with the Mediterranean Opera Studio. He was an Italian composer from the 19th century & wrote gorgeous operas including La Traviata, Aida, and Rigoletto. I happen to be singing three duets (two from La Traviata and one from Rigoletto) of his during this program, and I’m absolutely falling in love with this music – he was a brilliant man. His music is embedded in the Italian culture and “Va, pensiero,” a beautiful ensemble number from Aida that we are all singing at the end of our concerts, brings Italians to tears. Do your soul a favor today – search Verdi on Spotify and listen. Take a break in a quiet place and put away all other electronics. Close your eyes and free your soul to dance.

~ C

Fearless Feeling

Currently at the Mediterranean Opera Studio, Christina and I have had the pleasure of working with the brilliantly talented and inspiring Nelly Miricioiu in daily lessons. After one of these lessons I wanted to post this status update to my Facebook page:

Wow, what a workout!!! – Nelly Miriciou’s Voice Lesson. – 😊 Feeling Connected.

The act of letting go and releasing tension made me think of this quote:

“If you are brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting (which can be anything from your house to your bitter old resentments) and set out on a truth-seeking journey (either externally or internally), and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue, and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher, and if you are prepared – most of all – to face (and forgive) some very difficult realities about yourself… then truth will not be withheld from you.” – Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

The journey is our process.
The truth is our sound.
The music is our release.


~ J & C

Music Business

Jen and I are currently studying at the Mediterranean Opera Studio in Sicily, and we were lucky enough to have an audition workshop with Neil Funkhouser of Neil Funkhouser Artists Management. This workshop confirmed many of the ideas we already had about approaching the business of opera and how to view yourself and your instrument while journeying through the audition circuit.

To quote Mister Knowles: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man…”

It is important to remind all young singers (and young ANYTHING can be included in this as well), that you are running a small business: yourself.