I’ve been thinking a lot about the terms “staying woke” and “awakening.”
The Urban Dictionary definition of “stay woke” is “to keep informed of the shitstorm going on around you in times of turmoil and conflict.” It is often associated with movements such as Black Lives Matter, but is also being used with the resistance to the current administration.
Right before I left Milwaukee, I sang at the Unity Church in Elm Grove, and I’ve been back a couple of times since I moved away. (I get to make $100 and, between that and having a couple of lessons with Connie Haas, I can write off the trip as a business expense!) That church begins their service with a piece called “The Awakening.” The first words are:
WELCOME – WELCOME –
WELCOME TO YOUR AWAKENING
CHORUS: ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER WAY
I HAVE COME FOR MY AWAKENING
ANOTHER START FOR MY HEART
I HAVE COME FOR MY AWAKENING
Yeah. Corny. But it means something to the congregation, and that’s my job, to help them with that journey.
I’m trying to be more present, more mindful, and more aware in my life. Whether that is as a performer, as a teacher, as a director, or just as a puppy mama/person walking this planet.
It seems self-consciously hip (and smacks a bit of cultural appropriation) for me to say “stay woke.” But I’m going to try to open my heart, my mind, my eyes, and my ears so that I can stay aware and awake and receive what possibilities still lie ahead for me.
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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