Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Big Step

It is a big week for mezzo-soprano Crystal Jarrell. A former Ensemble member, she just packed up her costume after months of touring and is now making her debut as a San Diego Opera mainstage artist as Countess Ceprano in Rigoletto. Faced with a hectic week of 'goodbyes' as well as "hellos' she somehow found the time to sit down and write a few thoughts about this period of transition in the life of a professional opera singer.

Here's what she had to say:

This is an exciting week for me as it represents something big. This week I am making the transition. Our San Diego Opera Ensemble touring productions have just come to a close, and rehearsals for my first main stage production as a principal artist with SDO have begun. This is a critical point in my career and one that I am savoring every moment of.

Last week I was Febreezing my Cosi costume wishing it weren't such a beautiful antique that it could have been dry cleaned at some point during the 6 month tour. I was answering the eager questions of 5th graders as to how we became awesome (seriously!), and enjoying every second of the thrilling Mozart ensembles with my fantastic colleagues and friends. I was a part of an incredible outreach program- one of the best in the country- impacting many many young lives with an experience they will not soon forget.

Well this week I am still enjoying thrilling ensembles, but from a slightly different vantage point. I am watching in amazement from the sidelines of Rigoletto rehearsals as some of the most incredible voices I have ever heard live are barely five feet from where I sit. Now I am the one asking eager questions of the other principal artists in the Rigoletto cast- yes, about how they became awesome! And for two brief scenes I am taking the stage with them. What an honor.

This week represents a great stepping stone. I have learned a great deal already through my experiences with San Diego Opera, but I am also aware that I have so much to learn still. It represents the end of my outreach career and the beginning of the next chapter. Thank you Dr. Nick for taking a chance on me and for investing in me. Thank you Cynthia for inspiring me and believing in me. And thank you Ian for trusting me with more. I can't wait to see what lies ahead!

***

Neither can we. One thing is for certain, we're going to have one awesome Countess Ceprano when Rigoletto opens next week.
-- Edward

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