Tracy Cox, a former Lister and fabulous soprano now traveling far and wide with her talents, soloed last night at Wolf Trap for Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, and shared some salient thoughts on Facebook about that work and ultimately, about why we sing. With her permission, we share them here, in the hope that it will give a few sopranos an “it’s-not-just-me” boost, and inspire us all a bit. Thanks, Tracy!
Sappy status alert. The Beethoven 9 is technically challenging for me. It’s short, but it sits so high it makes me feel like my larynx is in my eyeballs and vomit is imminent and mostly all I can think about is WHY GOD DID I AGREE TO SING THIS I HATE THIS BLARGH EVIL GERMAN SCREAMING ABOVE THE STAFF every time I sing it. It makes me feel like a crazy singer, when *most* of the time, I consider myself to be one of the *less* crazy singers. But tonight I was sitting on stage in my spot right next to the associate concert master of the Philadelphia Orchestra, Juliette Kang, leading the violin section. And the third movement rolled around with those amazingly beautiful themes, and a breeze drifted through the huge amphitheater, skimming over the heads of the thousands in the crowd. I was getting paid to sit in the middle of one of the best orchestras in the world, playing music that is the cornerstone of western civilization. And I didn’t sing it perfectly; I didn’t even walk on the stage without tripping on my stupid dress. But sitting there, I was like OH. This is it. This is the life I want. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Just getting invited to the party, and being brave enough to share your talent and work generously, is enough. And like Jeremy Frank says, “There is no THERE there.” It’s a process. A wonderful, horrible, beautiful, sometimes painful process that I absolutely could not live in this mean world without. Thank you Wolf Trap. Love, Tracy