This is what Elyse had to share.
After six months of hard work, we the Education Ensemble have finished our final performances and are about to disseminate and embark upon life after San Diego. It's hard not to sound cheesy when looking back on my experience at San Diego Opera because I performed for literally thousands of people, made the most amazing friends and colleagues, and had the time of my life. But I will attempt to shed a little light onto the second half of our tour and what the future holds for us.
When we returned in January, we had one brush up rehearsal and then immediately went back to our usual performance schedule -- up to two shows a day, up to six days a week. But with the SDO season starting up, we also had the opportunity to sing in the mainstage chorus in addition to our outreach duties. For me, singing in the chorus of Don Quichotte was a highlight of my experience at San Diego Opera. It contained a lot of firsts for me -- my first time to hear the beautiful opera itself, my first time singing in a house this size, and definitely my first time sharing a stage with Ferruccio Furlanetto. Seriously, you've got to try it sometime.
Even with all this performing, however, I would venture to say that I learned even more from being able to sit in on mainstage rehearsals and watch the artists in process. The first time I observed a Tosca rehearsal, I remember excitedly calling a friend during the break and saying, "I can't even tell you yet what I learned today. I'm just soaking everything up and I'll figure it out later." I think that pretty much summarizes my experience in the Ensemble. Even though I already notice great progress in my voice, artistry and confidence over the past six months, I've learned so much that I will be still digesting it all for many years to come.
It is definitely bittersweet to leave San Diego Opera, but it is also a very normal part of the life of a young musician. All six singers and our music director will be moving on to our next gigs, homes, cities and stages in our careers. And perhaps even more important than our next jobs is finally having a little more time to spend with our wonderful families, friends, significant others and non-musical communities, without whose love and support we absolutely could not live the nomadic lives that we do. I am truly humbled and honored to have been a part of the San Diego Opera Education Ensemble and all the joy that we spread by exposing the young and young at heart to opera. Thank you.
We wish all of our Ensemble members the best of luck and a speedy return to our Company.