Wednesday, May 30, 2012

16 days and counting

Dear Readers,

Thank you to Jeff, Mr. Moore, Will, Dr. Starkweather, Greg, Prof. B, The Lowes, Ms. Wong and everyone else involved. What an exciting and didactic experience Tuesday's WUGATV taping was!!

The WUGATV recording ran smoothly yesterday and I've spent the last several hours listening to the audio track. I have ambivalent feelings about critiquing 70 min of my singing, it is an arduous and unenviable task. I wish I had sung each piece 100 times and could choose a take with no errors, oozing art, teeming musicality. On the other hand, the smiles and support from those involved really made this recording session worthwhile. Not every student is offered the opportunity to be filmed for the TV station and I learned very important lessons:

In a setting like the one on Tuesday:
Stop when you make a mistake or error - it's ok.
Do several takes, everyone is there for you to do your best - it's ok.
Don't second guess yourself during your music - get through every song it might be the best take.
Don't be afraid to take a 5 - 10 min break.
Bring a bottle of water/food with you.
Be comfortable, there really is no pressure at this point.

I've made a list of the best takes and sent my opinions off to compare with those of Prof. Burcinal and Greg Hankins.  Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope that all is well and they can start editing the clips -  the plan is for the show to be ready to air by the end of the summer... more on that when I am actually told a date. 

I am leaving Athens for home (NYC) on Sunday. Then leaving home to Rome (italy) on the 15th. 
In addition to Rodolfo, I have made a binder filled with the following music to sing in italy:
Dalla Sua Pace/il Mio tesoro
Com'é gentil
Quanto e bella/Una Furtiva
É la solita storia
De Miei Bollenti
Che Gelida

I also plan to bring:
Liszt Petrarch Sonnets
Core 'ngrato

Is there anything Italian that you think I should work on or would like to hear me sing?
Ach so fromm (M'appari tutt'amor) ?
Spirito Gentile
Ecco Ridente?
Michaelangelo Sonnets B. Britten?

Until next time,

It is very strange to write about myself... the narcissism and self-regard make me a little uncomfortable, your thoughts? Anything that you're interested to know or to read about... maybe I'll post something more neutral next... 

Monday, May 28, 2012

If you were curious

Greetings readers,
I have just been given the important dates for La Musica Lirica's productions.There will be 2 other operas being performed while I am there: Coronation of Poppea (Monteverdi) and Barber of Seville (Rossini). We are scheduled to give several if not weekly concerts/recitals.

If you were/are curious, below are the dates - some, if not all, are subject to change:
-La Boheme, orchestra rehearsals (July 2,5, 7-Generale)
-Barbiere, orchestra rehearsals (July 3,4,6-Generale)
-Poppea,General rehearsal (July 3)
Concerts:St. Pietro Cathedral (June 28) 
LA BOHEME: July 9 (San Marino), 12 (Cesena), 15 (Novafeltria), 18 (Alfonzine), 19 (Pesaro). 
There will be one more performance of La Boheme.

POPPEA: July 3 (Rimini), 7 (Novafeltria), 9 (Novafeltria), 11 (Montegridolfo).
BARBIERE: July 8 (Novafeltria), 10 (Fusignano), 14 (Novafeltria), 17 (Cesena).Studio Concerts (June 22, June 26, July 6)
Artist Concerts ( June 21, June 27, July 4)
Scene di Opera Concerts (July 13, and July 16)

I do not know which of the 6 Boheme dates I will be singing, hopefully several!!!

In addition to performing a typical day with La Musica Lirica will be
Italian classes: 8:30-12:30 M-F.
Coachings and lessons: throughout the day, starting 12:30, M-F
Opera Rehearsals: Six days a week and, once shows go up, seven days a week.
Week days: start 2:45 and go until 10:00 pm with one hour break for dinner around 6:30 or 7:00; Saturdays 10:00 am to 1:00 pm; 2:00 to 6:00 pm.
Looks like am going to be pretty busy... what a dream come true :-)!
More to come, thanks for reading
- Joe

Saturday, May 26, 2012

What Are Your Thoughts?


In preparation for my summer engagement I have been tirelessly translating Peanuts Cartoons, the often surreal fruit of Charles Schultz' imagination, and observing hours of Boheme recording/videos. It may seem obsessive, but I have been reviewing the Illica/Giacosa text [the librettists of Puccini's La Boheme] to uncover which words are further from my vocabulary than others. For example: in the first act when Schaunard makes his portentous entrance launching coins throughout the squalid turret, he asks "This man, who is he?" and Rodolfo responds "Luigi Filippo m'inchino* al mio Re." In review I realized that though I have translated and memorized the text [Louis Philip (Monarch of France), I prostrate myself to my King], I never use the verb inchinarsi when speaking Italian. Inchinarsi - to prostrate oneself, to bow. So, I have decided to write sentences and tables trying to incorporate the words that are not yet fluent to my italian memory.

Additionally I have been writing out tables of conversions of Weight, Volume, Temperature, Distance and Speed in order to acclimate myself to the European systems.

I have been to Europe. Last year I was in both Italy and Greece for the entire summer, first as a teaching assistant for Dr. Masciadri (double bass teacher at UGA) and performer with the Festival of the Aegean/Greek Opera Studio Greek Opera Studio Gala Videos 2011

I have a premonition though, that this experience will be somehow more vocational than my previous trips. I will have an apartment with a kitchen, I will be in a town where I have no friends - though I plan to make many -  and entirely enveloped by my studies and the culture.

With all of this in mind, what type of advice or memories do you have from your own experiences abroad? Have any of you been to Italy? Are you fluent in English and another language?

Mi consigliate su qualcosa, per favore!


*notice m'inchino is not minchione - the topic for another post ;-)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

"Una trasmissione di mezz'ora dedicata al tenore Joe Brent"

Great news to share with everyone!

As it turns out, I have one final obligation before I head to Italy....

I have been invited to sing a half-hour recital for WUGA-TV!!!

I'll be singing some of those classic italian tenor arias:
Core 'ngrato
De' Miei Bollenti Spiriti (Traviata)
Amor Ti Vieta (Fedora)

Frederic's aria from the G&S operetta Pirates:
Oh is there not one maiden breast

The Sigmund Romberg air from The Dessert Song:
One Alone

and some lesser known works:
Nuit De Decembre - Leoncavallo (which as featured on my first DMA Recital)
Auch Kleine Dinge - Hugo Wolf
Be Not Afeard - L. Hoiby (also featured on my first DMA Recital)

This is such a wonderful opportunity to present my self and represent the school of music.
An enormous THANK YOU to Prof. Burchinal - Dr. David Starkweather - Will and Mr. Doug Moore for making this possible.

In the mean time - trying to keep Boheme fresh in my voice and brain!

thanks for visiting,

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


Dear All,

I am fairly new to blogging - please accept the video below as a welcome greeting. You'll notice shortly after clicking play that I am also new to making videos :-/. Thank you for supporting me, thank you for coming to the blog page. 

More updates to come in the mean time feel free to email me or message me with any questions or comments.

Yes the sound track is UGA Boheme from November 2011.

Joe Brent