I was thinking it was time to write a new blog post, and was considering all the things I could write about when I had a funny life situation happen that took precedence.
Today during the stage rehearsal, I was standing offstage waiting for my entrance chatting with the baritone (as I have been known to do) and he was telling me about how he had to leave tomorrow because he was jumping in for Figaro in Barber of Seville in a town in Germany that I didn't know. This practice, called einspringen, is common here in Germany, where they don't generally have covers or understudies. But there is so much opera going on, and so many singers, that when someone becomes ill, the company makes calls to find a replacement, flies them in, shows them the staging in one day, and then BAM they're on! I wrote one blog post when I was in Berlin last time about how the Figaro was ill and they found another one who performed with only a day's notice, and I was very impressed with how well he seemed to know what he was doing. As soon as the baritone today told me about his jumping in, I said "Oh, I am dying to get a call to jump in! I just think it would be really exciting and a big challenge, but I would feel such a big sense of accomplishment after!" The other reason is that with all the stress of learning the blocking in 5 minutes, I think it would be hard to worry too much about my voice, which is always an appealing prospect.
The baritone and I finished our conversation, made our entrances, and then very soon after that, the rehearsal ended. I went to my dressing room, collected my things, and made my way to the tram for the trek home. While I was waiting for the strassenbahn to arrive, I pulled out my iphone to see if I had any new emails, and I was happy to find the little red 1 peeking back at me. When I opened the email, I discovered that it was from Xxxxx Oper (I shouldn't say the name since it's not public info yet), asking me if I was free to jump in for Rosina this very Sunday (like the day after tomorrow). I was so shocked and delighted. I almost wanted to look up at the sky and say, "HA! I am obviously the master and creator of my own destiny because all I have to say is I WANT, and the thing ARRIVES!!"
I immediately called the opera company, who had emailed me directly because my agents in the U.S. weren't even awake yet, to tell them YES I can jump in on Sunday! It's my day off!! Unfortunately, it turned out they also had a performance on Tuesday, and they needed someone who could sing both, and had already called the Staatsoper and been informed that I had a sitzprobe here on Tuesday that I couldn't miss, and had found someone else.
But it all happened so quickly!! During the time it took me to have a conversation about einspringen, an opera company was actually trying to find me to get me to jump in, but discovering that I wasn't available and finding someone else. All while I was casually standing backstage chatting with a colleague! If only I didn't have that sitzprobe on Tuesday, I could have been on a train tomorrow morning, on my way to a new city, to learn yet another staging of Barber of Seville! Oh well, hopefully I'll still have my chance one of these days to seriously stress myself out in new and different ways.