Friday, April 20, 2012

Bombalina is in charge.

Michelle Trainor as Bombalina. Photo by Julius Ahn.
By soprano Michelle Trainor, a BLO Emerging Artist who sings the role of Bombalina in John Musto's The Inspector April 20 - 29 at the Shubert Theater.

Wednesday night we had our final dress rehearsal for The Inspector, and I just love playing my role - Bombalina, Director of Education in Santa Schifezza. It was so thrilling to finally have an invited audience and to hear their laughter and feel their energy. Having an audience makes all the difference. Everything felt very natural and any small bumps we may have had will work themselves out. I can’t wait until opening night!

I love what my costume, wig, and makeup have done to my character. It is all exactly how I pictured Bombalina to be as I was working through the music. I am having so much fun with my colleagues that I forget this is “work.”  I know I’m going to feel separation anxiety after this show because we are such a tight-knit family. When you spend so much time with the same people for such a long period of time, it’s inevitable that you build bonds and grow quite fond of everyone.  

We are all really feeling our roles develop and are having fun with them now. Once the music and the staging are ingrained we can take the time to let go and everything becomes more natural. It's thrilling to sing with the orchestra and is one of my favorite things about opera. People often ask me if I get scared singing with so many instruments.  It doesn’t feel that way at all.  In fact, I find that it is easier to sing with orchestra.  It’s like going for a ride, you just relax and sail over it all.

One of the inevitable challenges I will be facing is what happens when the show ends and I am unemployed again. One of the most difficult things for a singer is securing a job in between gigs - I still have bills to pay! Will I be fortunate enough to find a business opportunity that will carry me for a few months and give me the flexibility I need in order to fit in coachings, lessons, and trips to New York to audition? My previous employer was flexible until one day when I was given the choice to stay on and give up my next role, or lose the job. This was an unbelievably difficult decision to make. Not because I didn’t know the answer to the question, but because I was being forced to make it. My story is not unique. I know many singers who have been faced with this type of situation. It’s the difference between a steady paycheck and an inconsistent one. During these times it’s so important to have a spouse who is emotionally supportive and I am so blessed to have one. I’m not sure what I will be doing in the following months to help support my little family, but I do know this… I don’t regret my choice! For the next two weeks Bombalina is in charge of education in the little town of Santa Schifezza… and she is earning her paycheck!

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