How Progetto Voce, Yoga, and Verdi Helped Me Conquer My Fears
PashbyMaul Adventures is slowly using up our bandwidth that we need to last until next Friday, so the video of my singing may need to wait to be uploaded until we’re back in the States.
This afternoon marked my final performance with Progetto Voce, at least for the foreseeable future. Yes, it is not without a teary eye that I recount the final concert we all performed together. We sang for another blue-haired crowd at a nursing home in downtown Verona, and of course, they knew the words and sang along in some cases. Singing in nursing homes has been one of my favorite types of venues this year, because we’ve given something back to the community and that is priceless.
For this performance, I sang Verdi’s Caro Nome from Rigoletto. This is one piece in soprano repertoire that could make up a section of the “soprano holy grail.” Please rewind with me to one year ago, when Caro Nome and I were first introduced. Chiara Angella, my dear teacher, decided that Caro Nome would be a great vocalise for me, meaning basically an exercise. I looked at her, looked at the pitches that Verdi wrote, and tried not to laugh (or crawl under something to hide)! I accepted the fact that yes, this would be a good vocalise for me to try, but I never really thought that I would stand in front of anyone to sing the whole thing.
So, for several months, I worked with Chiara on a few other pieces of repertoire, coming back to Caro Nome for a few exercises and then calling it a day. Then, somehow, between O Mio Babino Caro and Je Veux Vivre, Chiara seemed to think that Caro Nome could actually be attainable. In its’ entirety. I most certainly had my doubts.
About one month ago, Verdi and I made a breakthrough, but it took some yoga attitude to make that happen. As some of you know, I enjoy doing yoga and am participating in YogaFit teacher trainings when at all possible. Part of the latest YogaFit training that I participated in included the idea of transformational language and how powerful it can be throughout life, not just on the yoga mat. I suddenly thought to myself, Chiara thinks I can sing this. If she believes in me, shouldn’t I believe in myself too? I turned my transformational language into a transformational mindset. Instead of saying, “unbelievable” after every successful cadenza, I simply started believing in myself. I let go of judgement and expectation, and slowly began to realize that I could actually pull this thing off.
The realization of Caro Nome ended up being a combination of slow and steady wins the race, believing in myself, letting go of judgement, and the old Nike slogan of Just Do It! After today’s performance, I can give Verdi the gratitude that he deserves. Grazie to Progetto Voce… What a great way to “postpone” my study with you (since I’m sure I’ll be back)!