Tonight’s performance: Messiah

December 1, 2007

As as musician, the Christmas season holds both tremendous excitement and anxiety; the thrill of performance, and the reality of… reality. For example, tonight’s performance of Handel’s Messiah; I was the featured bass soloist. Months ago, I accepted the ‘gig’, and you can hardly ever accurately anticipate the multitude of events that will impact the performance.

It all went well, though! The other soloists were fun to work with and the choir, orchestra and director were a joy. All in all, a fun evening.

The alto soloist was smart – she hid a bottle of water underneath her seat before the performance began. I often do the same, but neglected that detail at my own peril this time. It would have been welcome in between my sets of recitatives and arias.

No, I really don’t get nervous. Excited, yes, but nothing negative. I actually enjoy this and look forward to it.

People from the audience were so complimentary, but there was one unusual and profound compliment. One of the basses in the chorus said that he had been watching me during the performance, and that I looked interested, pleasant, and supportive. He liked my singing too, but having someone notice my expression was a plus.

This is actually important to me; as a soloist and music “leader”, I do want other musicians to be encouraged. I wish I knew this person’s name; I could likely learn a lot from him.