The biggest risk I ever took in an audition

The last show I did was A Cudahy Carolers Christmas with In Tandem Theater in the winters of 2003, 2004 (onstage) and 2005 (run-outs, private parties). That was my first and only musical theater experience, other than the cabaret work that Ryan and I have been doing. Since my auditions for classical music have always been rather staid and presentational, I decided that I would do something a little different for the initial audition for this gig.

I had to prepare a Christmas carol. I knew that they knew that I could sing it beautifully, but I didn’t know if they knew what else I could do. So I decided to pick a carol that lent itself to a different interpretation. And in fact, I almost didn’t get to sing it, because Jane and Chris both knew that I could sing beautifully, and didn’t need to hear it. But I said, “Oh, please… this is going to be something a little different than what you might have expected.”

I sang “Silver Bells,” a song that I never found particularly comforting or joyous, but more of an expression of the frantic nature of the season. Especially since I do not have children and do not find masses of them screaming “Santa!” even remotely endearing. Nor incessant bell-ringing. Nor jostling for position in department stores.

So… I sang it as a mad scene.

“Christmas makes you feel EMOTIONAL!

It may bring parties or thoughts devotional –

Whateverhappensorwhatmaybe ….

Here is what Christmas time means to me….”

Hard to convey in writing but I got the role.

Merry Christmas! (And put down that bell.)

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.

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