This week no gimmicks. No bells and whistles. No humour. No glossy photos ……
photocredit: Anne Morgenstern from Max Joseph, the magasine of the Bavarian State Opera
Anyone who works in the performance “industry” has a dread of being unfit. An athlete sustains an injury and cannot compete in the final after winning through all those heats. A rock star has a car smash and cannot continue with the US tour. A member of the Riverdance corp twists an ankle and has to sit out for a fortnight. All common scenarios, unfortunately, and all part of the life of a performer. But how do they feel?
To a major extent each performance is spontaneous, unique and unrepeatable and therein lies the magic, but the sheer hard slog that goes beforehand can be the element that some observers may overlook. How many weeks did the athlete train? not just this season but every day leading up to this moment. The care she took with diet and the pounding hours just to keep ahead of the game. Similarly the singer trains for years to master her technique and stagecraft. She works tirelessly, hoping for that lucky break which may short-circuit the process, and she maximises opportunities as they occur. During all this time the instrument she has been given needs careful nurturing against illness and fatigue. Wisdom and caution must always triumph over ” I need to do this” in the constant conflict of mind and body. As soon as a symptom is noted the alarm bells clang. Integrity and fairness to management deem that something is said immediately so that ‘alternative arrangements’ can be made. Doesn’t that sound so clinical? The amount of time, effort and emotion invested so far must be put aside to say nothing of the strong bonds made with others and the sheer joy of anticipation which raises adrenalin levels to stratospheric.
No, it’s not just another performance – it never is.
The other aspect that a singer must face is how to deal with the success, or otherwise, of the performances that are missed. Rave reviews for the artist who ultimately takes on the responsibility are wonderful but how is that likely to effect the rest of the run? Comparisons will inevitably be made. If a singer is approaching a time in her career when certain roles are becoming less suitable and other avenues are opening up, regrets are almost certain to surface and we all know how that can feel.
Most people bounce back from difficulties but a certain reduction of confidence, verve and eyes sparkle is a distinct possibility after serious illness. Putting aside the feelings of anxiety concerning medical matters and the recovery time span, how is Frau Kasarova likely to be dealing with the huge variety of emotions surrounding her recent illness? It is not up to any of us to ascertain another’s beliefs but if this and this are anything to go by then religious faith could well be a huge comfort at the moment, as well as the warm support of family, friends and fans.
All Frau Kasarova’s admirers sincerely hope that Fortune smiles on this most deserving of performers and that the spirit and strength she has shown throughout her career, both on stage and off, help her to be wherever she wishes to be ….. in every way.
In her own words ( above ) …
“Us singers, we need to be rebellious and feisty” HEAR, HEAR … WE LOVE REBELLIOUS AND FEISTY!