Some mixed feelings

I wanted to start out the new year with a really positive post. I had laser surgery on my eyes and was looking forward to writing about my clear vision, and my excitement over my students’ upcoming college auditions. Then several things happened.

1.  My recovery from the operation was much more complicated than I expected. I had discomfort and blurry vision for a full week and a half, and just became functional as I began my teaching this week. So I got very little done in preparation for the new year. I have a syllabus to write for a class beginning the 19th (if it’s not cancelled – only 3 people have registered) and a recital to organize for the MacDowell Club.

2. My father died on Thursday of this week. He was 86, he had a leg amputated 2 years ago, he had the beginnings of dementia, he was on dialysis 3x a week and he had a necrotic foot. His little toe literally fell off the day before my eye surgery. But still, he and I were closer than my mother and I ever were and losing him is hard to fathom. Especially the part about “I’m an orphan now.”

3. My best student, who I was preparing for auditions, decided NOT to go into music. She wept about it but she decided that as much as she loves music and wants to perform, she doesn’t want to be a music major. I accepted it well – I kind of expected it based on a FB status she’d posted recently – but I’m so disappointed, not in her, but because I really, really believe she could have a major career. But she still intends to study, she still intends to sing, and all the colleges to which she’s applying have music departments in which she can participate, and who knows? She may change her mind. Then she can audition NEXT year.

On the positive side, my eyes feel MUCH better – I’d say today is the first day that I think my vision is at about 20/25 (I wake up with 20/20). And I got 4 new students this week and next, one of whom is cramming for auditions because she was working with someone who focused on technique to the exclusion of repertoire (something I can understand but NOT when someone is preparing for college auditions!).

So hopefully the next time I write, it will be from a position of clarity, visually, emotionally and personally. I will try to refrain from a title of “I can see clearly now,” but I may not be able to resist.

Published by Mezzoid Voice Studio

Christine Thomas-O'Meally, a mezzo soprano and voice teacher currently based in the Baltimore-DC area, has performed everything from the motets of J.S. Bach to the melodies of Irving Berlin to the minimalism of Philip Glass. As an opera singer and actress, she has appeared with companies such as Charm City Players, Spotlighters Theatre, Chicago Opera Theater, Opera Theater of Northern Virginia, Opera North, the Washington Savoyards, In Tandem Theatre, Windfall Theater, The Young Victorian Theater of Baltimore, and Skylight Opera Theatre. She created the role of The Woman in Red in Dominick Argento’s Dream of Valentino in its world premiere with the Washington Opera and Mary Pickersgill in O'er the Ramparts at its world premiere during the Bicentennial of Battle of Baltimore at the Community College of Baltimore County. Other roles include Mrs. Paroo in Music Man, Mother Abbess in Sound of Music, Dorabella in Cosi Fan Tutte, Marcellina in Le Nozze di Figaro, both Hansel and the Witch in Hansel & Gretel, and many roles in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. Her performance as the Housekeeper in Man of La Mancha was honored with a WATCH award nomination. Ms. Thomas-O'Meally received an M.M. in vocal performance from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore. She regularly attends master classes and workshops in both performance and vocal pedagogy, and is certified in all three Levels of Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method. Her students have performed on national and international tours of Broadway productions, at prestigious conservatories, and in regional theater throughout the country.

2 thoughts on “Some mixed feelings

  1. Christine, This sounds perfectly clear to me. You're dealing with so much all at once. Having all that going on can make it difficult to separate your feelings and make them clear.I'm sorry to hear about your father. And having vision problems can make you feel foggy in other ways, too.Not so long ago (11 yrs.), I had a detached retina, and had laser surgery on both retinas. The eye with the detachment took 3 yrs. to settle down!Speaking for myself, I'm finally coming out of a really crummy year which I'm extremely anxious to leave behind.Hang in there. Better days are coming. Thinking of you.

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