|The author as Susanna in SHSU Opera's Le Nozze di Figaro|
Friday, January 18, 2013
Blop #2 - Courtney Stancil
Courtney Stancil – Blopera 8/29/12
Four years ago when I first came to SHSU, I had no idea what it took to be a music major. I thought it would be just going to choir every day and learning a few things about music theory. When you sit through your first class, or have your first voice lesson, it's quite intimidating...You aren’t sure what you’re getting yourself into. So much information that you’ve never heard before is being thrown at you and it can be a little overwhelming. What I quickly learned is how helpful the faculty and staff is. Each semester got easier after that.
I also didn't know being a classically trained singer meant not singing anything in the musical theatre genre. Opera was the last thing on my radar. However, when I was cast as Belinda in Dido and Aeneas my sophomore year, I knew immediately I was in the right place. The first time I stepped out onto the stage, I can’t describe how nervous I was. My hands were clammy, my stomach was turning, my mouth was dry; my whole body was shaking. I had performed in Les Miserables in high school as Eponine, but opera was a different animal. The setting for opera at SHSU is more intimate because we are limited on big performance spaces. Dido and Aeneas was in the old recital hall on campus, not the new Performing Arts Center. There were people two feet away from me. I was afraid of singing too loud or not being able to act under pressure considering the fact that I wasn't the best actress or singer; I was only a sophomore. But I had been given an amazing opportunity and I didn’t want to waste it. That performance was the most exhilarating experience I had ever had up to that point. After that show, I had more motivation to be successful as a performer. Since Professor Grimes has been here, she has given me so many opportunities to perform numerous roles in scenes and in large productions. She has also given me the opportunity to explore the role of an opera director which has shortly become another passion of mine.
As I come back for another year after graduating, I can look back at my time as an Undergrad and know how far I've come. Being a singer at SHSU has shaped me into the performer and singer I am now and I'm so grateful I came to such a wonderful place for my Bachelor’s degree. If I had any advice to give to young singers, it is this: take advantage of the knowledge and the time you are given with these amazing people at this University. It goes by so fast; don’t take it for granted. –Courtney Stancil