Friday night, we kinda' crapped up the Poulenc. There's no denying it. It didn't turn up in the review, thank goodness, but we knew. We sopranos were flat, flat, flat. The cardinal rule of "only sing as soft as you can sing WELL" had been forgotten.
So Daniel reminded us. A lot. But in a helpfully "You can totally do this" kind of way.
So on Saturday night, we totally did. We nailed it. Daniel told us how much he loved us, when we were leaving the stage for intermission. It was creepy and beautiful and I adored it.
On Friday night, the Beethoven was excellent--even the 16 measures of forte high A's after several measures of more A's and G's, even the fast bits with the frickin' high B's. You could hear AND UNDERSTAND our German. We were great. The bass soloist loved on us to Daniel, as did the occasionally adversarial brass section.
But on Saturday night, we blew the doors off the place. When we burst in on our first big "Freude schöner götterfunken," my mother up in the balcony said we drowned out the orchestra.
This is the same symphony orchestra they usually have to mike us over, so that we're not drowned out by the brass alone. But this time, instead of 80 of us, there were 180 of us.
Blew the doors off.
I kept talking to people about how exciting it was to get to do this, how much I was looking forward to it, to this opportunity--how many times do you get to be in a group of 180 wailing on "Ode to Joy"? How often do you get to be part of something so big? And Friday night, I'd been enthusiastic, but measured. I almost felt like I was missing something in the experience, like I wasn't letting myself commit to the point of breaking.
Saturday, I put everything into that huge burst, and was gasping by the time we had a break in singing. My voice started to go towards the end, but I managed to keep it alive through the many more measures of (guess!) high A's. I felt possessed. I felt filled past my seams with it. We were enormous and beautiful. And after the last götterfunkens with the huge orchestra attack, it was all I could do to keep from bawling. On Friday night, people got up for an ovation. On Saturday night, they shot up as one.
I cried all the way out to the car. I was so happy, so ecstatic, and all the stress of it broke open to let go and I cried and cried. Strangers stopped passing chorus members to tell us how wonderful we were. The soloists stopped in the hall to shake our hands--and the soloists were amaaaaazing. The orchestra was amaaaaaazing. Everything was brilliant. The narcissist in me went, despite the love, fairly unsated (I was going to meet Chris/Mom/Zach in the lobby, but they came out and caught me outside, and carried me off). I realized when we were gone that I was mad at them for taking me away from the basking. I wanted to linger and be surrounded by people who were full of that music, who loved us for it. I wanted to find the other people I knew who I'd heard would be there, and let them tell me how good we were. I wanted to make Chris turn the car around.
I'm suffering post-partum. I don't get to have this back, again. But it's something I get to always have, too.
But actually holding that in my arms, living in that throng... I feel so disconnected to be out of it. That part of it I don't get to have, anymore.
Until next time.
(Please, please, please. Again, and again, and once more...)