Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Blop #4 - Rachel Rodriguez

Blop #4
by Rachel Rodriguez, Soprano

Hello all! I am Rachel Rodriguez, a Music Education major, soprano, and now a senior! There are so many words to describe my experience in opera thus far. Incredible. Life-changing. Challenging. Humbling. Those are only a few; I could fill this entire blog with words to describe how much opera rocks. I’ve been in every production since I have been here at Sam Houston, and it has been a blessing (as well has very hard and rewarding work.) I’ve been cast in so many wonderful and enriching parts, from 2nd Spirit in The Magic Flute, to Amahl in Amahl and the Night Visitors, to Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. No matter what I role I’m cast in, I always have fun and learn so much. We are so lucky to have Professor Grimes as our opera director; she pushes us in the right direction, challenges us, and just wants to see us succeed.

Now, why is opera incredible? Not only is it enriching to perform, but also it’s enriching to perform with your colleagues. I have learned so much from my colleagues about performing just from observation and working with them. Our opera family is awesome, and it’s nice to have a group of friends who are also just as interested in putting on great productions of shows and scenes programs.

Opera is challenging. Period. But, that’s also part of the fun. I would not be the musician I am today if I hadn’t been in opera. Opera teaches you how to be self-dependent; you learn the music before your first music rehearsal. It seems scary, but once you learn how, it becomes second nature. I have learned so many tricks and techniques on how to learn my music efficiently that whenever I pick up a piece it’s not as daunting to head to a practice room to learn.

I have been humbled by opera in more ways I can count. Around every corner there is a learning opportunity, and a way to better yourself as an actor and a singer. Being able to hear feed back from your colleagues during a master class is so helpful. You find places that need improvement in places you didn’t even know existed. How to walk into an audition, stage presence, the way you stand, how you express yourself within in a piece; everything you could ever imagine.

I am sad to say that as a senior, after this semester I will only have one more semester with this program until I student teach in Spring 2014. This program has changed me as not only a singer, but as a person. It’s been my place to come to when I’m happy, sad, etc. I have been blessed with opportunities that I am quite certain other undergrads at other schools don’t get to experience until after they graduate. The amount of performing you will do is invaluable. I love being a part of this program, whether I’m doing my props mistress duties, or participating in filming for certain productions, I am always enjoying myself.

The future holds so many exciting things, and I truly believe that being a part of this program has set me up for success. But for now, I am glad to be where I am. Learning, growing, and as always, singing. 

The author as Susanna in SHSU Opera's Opera Incognito

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