Opening Night at the Opera

October 17, 2014
I didn't want today to pass without writing.  It's opening night for Opera Omaha's season-opening production of Rigoletto - very exciting! 

I have the great pleasure of singing the role of "Giovanna" in this production and it has been sheer joy to be a part of it. As the houskeeper / caretaker of young "Gilda", I have a small scene with the incredible soprano Rachele Gilmore and also baritone Fabian Veloz as "Rigoletto", who is making his North American debut with this production.  Someone please pinch me - it's a thrill to share the stage with these extraordinary artists.

As a crossover singer who has had a fairly busy year, I often find myself going in multiple directions with music in any given week.  Classical, standards, jazz - and even Disney - sometimes intertwine.  Prior to our rehearsal cycle of Rigoletto, I'd been living in the American songbook and cabaret realms much of the time, also concentrating on music for my album, Let's Fly.  The intimacy of cabaret, concert and recording settings, along with singing into a microphone, is far, far different from opera - performing in a grand 2,500 seat hall, projecting without amplification, and approaching singing in a much different way technically.  It requires a big shift, yet at the heart of it much remains the same - we have a story being told through music.   

It's been wonderful to have centered myself in opera during this time period, which is where my vocal training began and where my core technique lies. And I'm so grateful to my coach, J. Gawf, who helps me navigate vocally and has prepared me well.  Delving into this interesting character of "Giovanna" has been great fun.  She makes a brief appearance but she's a multi-dimensional person just the same.  The approach to a character, large or small, is no different. It's been interesting getting to know her.

Being a singer with a broad stylistic range, there have been times when I haven't been quite sure of exactly where I fit. But over the past year I've come to realize the gift of being a singing chameleon of sorts.  Where I fit is where I am at the time - sinking into each project fully and completely.  I'm fortunate to be able to transition between so many different genres of music, all of which I dearly love. Tonight I'm at home with Opera Omaha at the Orpheum Theater singing Verdi.  And I love it.  I always have.  And I can't wait. 

All the best,
Mary
 

Preparing for Takeoff

May 1, 2014

If ever I could buy time, it would be right about now. At this writing, we are 12 days out from releasing "Let's Fly" and let me tell you, the hours are flying by. One would think the toughest and most challenging work is behind me. Not at all. The deadlines still loom and there is a different sort of pressure, not to deliver the music but to do justice to what we've created. 

All 15 months of work comes down to less than a couple of weeks remaining to pitch to the press, secure intervie...


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It's done! Now what?

March 16, 2014

I've been texting with my producer, J., a good amount of the day today.  We're finalizing my "One Sheet", one of the many promotional elements that needs to be in place before we release the album - basically a one-page description that will be sent to press and media.  He's edited and proofed the copy.  I'm a writer yet it's really tough to write about oneself.  It's good to have another eye.

I've been working on my website and other PR related things today as well.  Now th...


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Time.

January 13, 2014

One of the greatest challenges I'm having as of late is time. I always want more and wish I had more.  I need more.  I suppose we all do. This is one of the reasons, while I had posted I'd write regularly about the process of recording this album, there simply hasn't been time. I had the best of intentions but time has become so hard to come by over the past few months.  So, hello again.

Many friends and colleagues have asked me why I wanted to record an album, so I thought this would be a g...


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So You Want to Be A Recording Artist

November 20, 2013

It's been an adventurous, emotional, and exhilarating couple of weeks.  After months and months of preparation, I got my first taste of what it is to be a recording artist - in the studio, totally exposed, taking risks, making mistakes, and finding my way.  

The process of producing an album, my debut album "Let's Fly", has been one of the most intense and rewarding experiences of my life.  It's something I've been wanting to do for some time and finally, it's here.  We're not close to being f...


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Chicago Bound

February 17, 2012

In music, one never stops learning.  There’s always a technique to hone, a song to better interpret, and more repertoire to wrap our arms around. 

It’s impossible to significantly grow as a singer – or really, in whatever we do - without taking risks.  Admittedly, I haven’t always been the riskiest risk taker.  I suppose for me I’ve become more so with life experience.  And as a great friend reminded me not too long ago, looking back will drive you crazy, so best focus on what...


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10 Minutes

December 7, 2011

I’m counting down the days until December 27th and the annual Kennedy Center Honors broadcast.  While I look forward to it every year, I’m especially excited because the legendary Barbara Cook will finally get the recognition that's long overdue.

For those who follow cabaret, classic musical theatre, and Sondheim, Barbara Cook is the big time, among the crème de la crème.  Her career spans 60+ years.  She was the original Marian in “The Music Man”, has a host of musical theatre rol...


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In the beginning...

November 29, 2011
I am just starting my blog adventure, so bear with me.  My first thought is "where to begin"?  Well, I suppose where I am now is in the midst of learning a pile of wonderful new music for some engagements I have coming up with my cabaret partner, Todd Brooks.  But, I will find the time to write.  Back to the piano for now. 

- Mary
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About Me


All my life I've wanted to sing. I can't remember a time when there wasn't a song in my heart or a story waiting to be told. I grew up in the rural Midwest and am now living in the urban Midwest. I have many passions in my life - my family, my friends, and of course, music. I believe a singer gets better with age and the very best singers are the very best interpreters. It's taken me years to learn this.