Some of my colleagues can scarcely believe that I put the oboe in the case for the entire summer. Many of them fill the months that the Metropolitan Opera is on vacation with playing and teaching at summer festivals, performing chamber music, and playing symphonic music.
More power to ’em.
The way I look at is that we are SUPER lucky to have the opportunity to have the time away to recharge our batteries…in whatever way we choose.
Some, like I’ve mentioned, like the chance to play their instruments in different ensembles than the pit orchestra we regularly perform in and with the colleagues we perform with on a daily basis. Others, like me, enjoy the breather from playing entirely.
I’ve just found that, playing opera–with the long hours and late nights–and the intensity of our work in particular, I really need the time away in order to return refreshed and inspired to take on a new season with a positive attitude.
I gotta tell you: especially after a great Mets season like we’ve had this summer, I truly do return inspired!
But lest my colleagues think that I did absolutely no practicing between the end of last opera season and this September, I just wanted to submit proof that–with the help of Mister….er, Maestro Met, I have at least been keeping my vocal chords in shape with regular vocalizing at Shea Stadium, joining him on "Meet the Mets". I was even put on the spot with my daughter (no slouch, she, possessing perfect pitch and having recently been promoted to the Advanced Class of the Children’s Chorus at the MET!) having been featured on Diamond Vision, singing a chorus of the "Meet the Mets" song for all of Shea Stadium to see!
So there, you guys! I may not have soaked up any reeds this summer, but I was singing my heart out and working those diaphragm muscles all the same!