December 28, 2010

Writer's Mind

Wlearly, I've lost track. I will be taking an advanced writing class/workshop in January, and can't remember if it is the 7th or 8th one, which is a little disconcerting. Why the classes? The tale is simple. Over a decade ago, I was sitting in the auditorium of The New York City Opera having a conversation with Cori Ellison, NYCO's resident dramaturg. We were talking about Margaret Harshaw who had recently died, and with whom I had studied, and about the vocal technique of the Garcia and Lamperti Schools. Cori casually suggested that I write an article about Miss Harshaw's vocal lineage and technique for The Opera Quarterly. It seemed an excellent idea at the time. Little did I know that once I started research I would find myself in the deep end of the pool: hence the writing classes and the long period of gestation. The plan is to finish a document, that is, a book, by summer.







The research I have done has been life-changing, both in terms of my life as a singer and as a voice teacher. You never know what awaits you after a 'call slip' has been handed in, or the interview has been started. The material shapes your ideas as it comes forth, not unlike the characters which 'tell' the novelist what they are going to be doing, saying, or becoming. In that respect, books have a mind of their own: you think they are going to be about 'this' and they turn out to be about 'that'.  One ends up trusting the material rather than one's presuppositions about it. It's been one heck of a trip, I can tell you that.

The sound you hear is the tapping of keys on my laptop.  Wish me luck!

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