With 1 week until our big production of Suor Angelica, I have been focusing a lot on how to really be my character and allow what I am doing on stage to be organic and natural - gripping and compelling. The last thing I want is to just stand there and sing! This story, if you are unfamiliar with it, is so powerful and dramatic and real! *Verismo! Angelica came from noble birth, however after her parents died and she and her younger sister were taken in by her aunt, she found herself unmarried and pregnant. She was forced to give up the boy for adoption and live the rest of her days in a convent. For sever years she has lived in the convent without any word from home. She has grieved and obsessed with her son and longed for someone to come and see her. Then - it happens. She can hardly believe it - a visitor. It is her aunt! However, she enters the room without as much as a glance toward Angelica. She is cold and neutral and unemotional. She has come only to have Angelica sign away her remaining inheritance to her younger sister, who is to be married. Angelica looses it. WHAT ABOUT MY SON!!!!! I have not had a word in 7 years - please tell me something! In a very callous and cold manner, her aunt informs her that 2 years prior, her son fell ill and died. Upon hearing this most devastating news, Angelica crumbles to the floor. She sings her aria "Senza Mamma" where she mourns the loss of her baby. She then envisions taking her life so that she can be with her son in paradise. She creates a poison to drink and drinks it without hesitation - and then.... Then she realizes she has just committed a mortal sin and will be lost forever. She cries out to God to save her and a miracle occurs - she is saved.
Emotional huh? YES! My goal is to not make all of this too "mello-dramatic" but to just be Angelica and be authentic. That is the goal. So, now that I have learned all the notes and rhythms and words, I am meditating on how to be Angelica allow what Puccini wrote to be received into the hearts of those in the audience. It has been an emotional journey for me - one that I welcome and love. I am being stretched and I am growing.
More to come....