Hmm, I think this may have to go down as a bit of a low point. Bursting into tears before we've even had the Konzeptionsgespräch is probably not a good omen. Tonight's musical run-through was in the basement rehearsal stage where said Gespräch will take place tomorrow morning, and it was impossible to miss the concept photos and costume sketches which were already taped to the wall. I am hoping against hope that all will become crystal clear when these are explained, and that the design for my dress is so gorgeous that it has been left out on purpose... however I am not holding my breath. Although it was not obvious which one would be mine, all the women's costumes would look absolutely dreadful on me - at best, I would look like a cleaning lady, at worst a cleaning lady doing "mutton dressed as lamb". I am happy (OK not happy, but certainly willing in the name of art) to sublimate my vanity to the necessities of character, but in this case I completely fail to see how I can play Lady Macbeth in such dress. I'm very grateful that I got a sneak preview - my horrified and tearful reaction would not have been dignified in public, and this way at least I have a chance to compose a calm and diplomatic request for changes.
With such fiendishly difficult music, one hopes for a modicum of help from the set and costumes. Instead, I am presented with a virtually empty, visually negative stage, an audience in the round (thus making it impossible to maintain regular contact with the conductor), and "normal" clothes which will make me look and feel old, fat and ugly. Fate is evidently laughing at me; all the challenge dials are set to maximum all at once. I must of course rally at some point and laugh back at fate. Not bloody yet, though.
It wouldn't be so bad if I had work for next year to look forward to, but the opera scene is tremendously and obviously depressed due to the financial crisis, and I haven't even had any auditions for theatres. All the agents I have sung for have been enthusiastic about me, but when I ring them, they gloomily intone "Nothing around, and particularly nothing around for your voice type". Super. I was hoping to invite people to this last show, having worked so hard on interpreting the music, but on present showing I am very reluctant to do so.
This could of course all be the result of a particularly bad mood, the sort where you have a vicious desire to kick ducks or something, and when that passes, all will be sweetness and light, but somehow I think it's going to be the sort of fire that either tempers steel or destroys it. Well, bring on the damascening, say I. I'm not ready to give in or give up, and will throw every single bit of energy I have into overcoming these hurdles.
And of course it's not all bad. On the way back from the theatre, the sun started to set, and it was spectacular. The photo above shows one of the newly-barbered plane trees by the Rhine, on my route back home (I really don't mind paying my taxes when I can see my Euros at work in the superb gardening). Faced with such splendour, one can only breathe deeply and appreciatively and go forward with courage.