There aren’t many girls in this show–maybe four? Maybe ten guys? So when we had our first readthrough, the music director asked which of us were high sopranos. I raised my hand, and two of the three other girls shot their hands up like their lives depending on it. With pride. Not the, “I worked hard and I can be proud of myself!” way, but in the, “Psh, you think you’re cool? I can hit a high C, so take a seat” kind of pride. I told them that I was super flexible, though, and they should put me where they need me. I’m not picky. So, naturally I end up in the alto section–the only alto–no big deal, though.
We get to music rehearsal yesterday, and we’re working on this piece, and it’s been arranged rather oddly. There are some unusually high soprano notes, because the arranger was a bari and didn’t quite get that those notes aren’t comfortable or appropriate for the style of music he’s doing. No big deal, though, we’ll make it work. So he asks, “Which of you wants to pop up to that high note?” Of course, I’m a lowly alto (really, they’re treating me like I’m a second class citizen because I’m singing the alto part) so I’m not in this conversation, and the girls look at each other, and I can see the competition in their eyes. WHO GETS TO SING THE HIGH NOTE?! One of them finally says, “I’ll do it,” and they decide on her. Fine, great. Then she promptly makes this face and says, “I mean, I’m always the one doing the high note, so whatever.”
Okay, chickadee, let’s take a breath here. You guys were ready to duel to the death for this high note, and now you’re going to “complain” about how it’s such a buuuuurden to sing that note? No, I’m sorry. I can see the joy in your eyes, I can see the triumph. This high note is your victory, you’re now better than anybody else in the room.
Now, we go on to the rest of rehearsal, hopping along, and we get to this belt section where this girl pretty much leads the song. We start singing it, and she’s knocking it up an octave, so she’s belting like…High As. The director stops her and says, “Oh, you know, you don’t need to knock those up an octave,” and she says, “Oh, I know, I want to,” and he says, “…Well it’s not written like that…” She says, “But I can! I can hit those notes!” and I’m thinking, girl. I get that you can hit them. We can all hit them. The music isn’t written up the octave. It’s not in the style, it’s not appropriate. Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. She compromised by saying, “I’m going to work on it, you’ll like it, I promise.” (She then proceeded to tell me that we were taking the song under tempo for my sake, so that I could learn the harmonies and feel comfortable, because she was ready to take it up to tempo even though I was not. Girl. I have been sight reading these pieces all rehearsal, and I’m rockin’ it. Please, let’s go up to tempo, be my guest. GAH!)
Finally, we get to this one song that’s more choral-y, and this song I’m actually designated on the top line. I really don’t care either way, I’ve just been sight reading the harmonies the whole time. But one of the other girls gets this concerned look on her face and says, “Oh, I though I was the soprano on this part…” and the music director says, “No, actually Christine is the top on this song, you’re going to be alto.” And she gets super flustered and says, “I mean, I just don’t know that part, I’m not sure if I can do it….” Meanwhile, we’re all learning the songs right now. This isn’t the fifth rehearsal where we’re switching everything up and she’s now super inconvenienced. Part of me thought of saying that I would just do the alto part, but then I decided not to. I was assigned that part, you were assigned that part, why is it a big deal? So the director asks, “I mean, is it a problem you’re on the alto line,” and she gets this disappointed look and shrugs and says, “I mean, it’s just not as fun I guess.”
Ladies, hear me when I say this. Do NOT be this girl. This is the reason why we sopranos get a bad name. Because we won’t be flexible, because we get pouty when we don’t get the highest note, because we beg for the top harmony and then pretend to complain because it’s so hard. If it’s so hard, don’t take it! And honestly, it’s okay to find those notes fun! They are fun, they’re a blast to sing! But don’t go pretending it’s some inconvenience to you, we can all see through that act. That’s the stereotype that sopranos have, that’s the reputation. Don’t be that. Be pleasant, flexible, go with the flow, take the notes assigned to you, and for heaven’s sake, stop treating others like they’re lesser singers because they aren’t on the top harmonies.
This has been a public service announcement.
Your friendly neighborhood soprano (who is horrified by some of her fellow singers),
“Your soul is a beautiful thing, my child,” replied the deep voice, “and I am grateful. No emperor ever received so great a gift. The angels wept tonight.”
-Gaston Leroux, The Phantom of the Opera.
I realized that I am a dishonorable phan, for I had never, until now, attempted an original novel-based fanart! So, here is my version of a Leroux-esque Christine and Erik! This was a work-in-progress I had in my sketchbook for several weeks, after suffering from art block initially… hope you guys like it, and that I’ve redeemed myself D:
DISCLAIMER: I CANT DRAW HANDS. And also those are random music notes :) To indicate singing. Bc I cant music.
IMDB BLURB: Having relocated to a vivacious amusement resort in Coney Island, The Phantom of the Paris Opera House uses a pseudonym to invite renowned soprano Christine Daaé to perform. She and her husband Raoul have no idea what lies in store.
WARNINGS: Mutha fuckin’ SPACE EELS. Ben Lewis is an anaconda. There is a murder in the film but there is literally no blood. Attempted suicide. Love angles abound.
RATING: My anaconda don’t want none unless you got a son, hon.
OBLIGATORY DISCLAIMER: All reviews are done solely for humor and should not be taken seriously ever. If you cannot handle cursing, crude humor and probably some offensive things, pls do not read this.