Yes, it is I, back from my sabbatical to annoy you further. I had a week of intense study with my Yoda while I was away, and we discovered that not all was as it seemed fach-wise. I thought I was – a coin I termed myself – a loloratura; a sorta crappy not-quite-lyric-but-not-quite-coloratura who cracks bad jokes. Turns out to my and Yoda’s surprise I’m actually a lyric with a high extension, a coloratura function, and a very metallic edge; or a whapping big chrome sea urchin, as I am calling it. I just sounded bad because I was trying very very hard to force it into a little box made of society’s expectations of what a lass of my age ‘should’ sound like, and ended up with an over-manufactured, tension-filled, back-heavy sound. Sort of like if you try and cook sea urchins and actively turn them into something, you end up with what looks like unexciting turds on a plate. So we cut the baggage and worked from the natural sound. Sea urchins are naturally beautiful. Technique renovated.
Sea urchins are pretty and fun to image search. This one’s from ocean.nationalgeographic.com, and it is what my sound looks like.
This one’s my high register. via
This one’s my low register via
This one’s just cool. via
And this is a cooked sea urchin. Not as pretty as an alive sea urchin. via
That was a whole twenty minutes of tangential distraction right there.
So now I’m trying out a stack of new rep that I never expected I’d sing, not even in 20 years, and not just that but it’s comfy and easy and enjoyable. I’m aware that it’s not normal, but I don’t want people to try and shoot me or my Yoda down over it. It’s my voice, I am the judge of what’s comfortable, and if the Lied der Lulu is way more comfortable than Vedrai Carino, I have to run with that. I trust my Yoda and I know he wouldn’t lead me astray.
Anyway, one of the things I’ve been told to do is cut myself some slack. So I went to the Fabric Store as soon as I got back (seeing as they were having a sale) and got a mountain of fabric. Then I started working too hard and wearing myself down again, so I’m now looking at the Met Costume Institute website for some 18th Century inspiration to coax my stays across the finish line, and I have deliberately shut my book of Mozart arias while I do so.
Now, I’m not making a Française. I know my limits. But boy oh boy this one’s fun to drool over. So the silhouette is dishy, 1778-85 they say on the caption (ohhh the narrow back pleats….), but the stripe matching and placement are what really does it. Not only are the stripes matched from the bodice onto the shoulder straps, but they’re centred on the back pleats. LIKE RACECAR STRIPES!!! It’s like an old-fashioned racecar and a robe à la Française got together and had an improbable yet sexy lovechild. I want to call it a robe a la transformers.
From the front this one’s a lot closer to my inspiration, and her fichu is a dead ringer for the weight of the silk georgette I have set aside. The only difference is I want to make a robe à l’Anglaise. This one’s a proper full-on Polonaise as opposed to just an Anglaise with the skirt hoiked up.
Then there’s the awesome thought of interchangeable bodices and jackets. I’m just thinking it might be a good idea to make a jacket before I make a dress, in much the same way that one has single-celled organisms before one has vertebrates. And then, much like single-celled organisms, if the jacket works then it can still be useful, and I can progress with confidence/trepidation/terror onto the complexities of a dress. If it doesn’t work, then I haven’t wasted loads of fabric. This one’s so kooky it’s almost modern, like something you’d find in Kinki Gerlinki. Then you turn it around and it’s like WHAM POW FANCY COLLAR! Like a subtle take on the well known mullet adage: business at the front, party at the back…
I am having waaaay too much fun here…