Not too late

On this day 9 years ago, I moved back to the East Coast from Milwaukee.

I moved because I wasn’t performing anywhere, and I wanted to sing somewhere before it was too late.

Because I felt as though a singer’s shelf life varies from person to person (depending on fach, health, and other circumstances) and I wanted to make the most of the shelf life I have left.

Richard Miller told me in 1999 that I would never sound old, which I’ve kept close to my heart. But I have found that, particularly in the last couple of years, it’s not as easy as it used to be.

I think it has a lot to do with the multiple cases of bronchitis that I had in the late 90s/early 00s. I think they sapped my stamina, and I’ve never fully recovered it. I used to be able to sing all day and then go to rehearsal and sing all evening and not show any signs of fatigue, but that is no longer. I really have to manage my singing carefully and know what I have ahead of me for the day.

  • If I’m going to sing something that’s really low (church alto parts), I need to make sure that I don’t sing too high during the day
  • If I’m singing something that sits higher, I can sing higher, but I have to make sure I balance it out
  • If I am preparing for an audition or a recording session (the former of which is this week, the latter next week), I need to put myself on a regular practice schedule (gone are the days where I could just leave the house with a lip trill and walk onto stage, ready to go)

(Ignore the woefully incorrect solfege.)

But even though things have changed somewhat over the last 20 years, I don’t feel that it’s too late for me or for anyone. There may be some things that I can’t do anymore, and not just singing-wise. There may be some things that I don’t want to do anymore, and not just singing-wise.

I saw this post on a friend’s Facebook page this morning and commented, “stealing.”

I still want to perform.

I still want to teach.

I still want to direct.

I might want to do some more choral directing.

I still want to travel, and dance, and go to shows, and be in shows, and enjoy my life.

And these things seem to be more attainable to me than they were before I moved back.

So happy anniversary to me, and a reminder to myself and to you that

It’s not too late.

It’s not too late to learn to sing either! If you’re interested in trying out a package of voice lessons this summer, find out how to work with me and we can see if we can set something up.

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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