Performing opera scenes are a wonderful way to hone in and refine the skills necessary for learning and performing an entire role. It gives an artist the time and focus to master a scene or two, while testing out how the role feels in artist's voice, body, and mind. Additionally, performing opera scenes within a classroom environment, opera workshop, provides artists with the opportunity to receive important acting and musical coaching from professors, directors, and coaches.
Last week I performed in two scenes in The Boston Conservatory's Opera Workshop class. (Only one was photographed.) I performed as Erika in Act 1 Scene 2 of Samuel Barber's Vanessa and I performed as Suzy in Act 1 Scene 1 of Giacomo Pucci's La Rondine, both directed by Nathan Troup. Working closely with my colleagues and instructors was incredibly enlightening. There is so much focus, attention to detail, and collaboration with one's peers required for bringing a character to life, especially in one single scene.
Entering an entirely different person's world is extremely thrilling and vulnerable. It is amazing how much one can learn about one's self by projecting an entirely different story and personality. The possibilities for interpretation of these characters are limitless. Each person who performs a role will do it differently than the person before, and the same person performing the same role multiple times will never execute it the same way. This craft is ever-changing and constantly evolving, which makes it one of the most riveting art forms of all time for both the audience and the artist.