Friday, November 13, 2009
The Tour Begins
The Young Artists’ fall tour is off to an exciting start. The singers played to a sold-out house on Wednesday night at Walla Walla Community College—and closed to a standing ovation. “It was a fantastic show,” said Maya Lahyani, the mezzo who sings Dorabella in Così fan tutte. “Our energy was really high, and it was so rewarding to have a full audience and see how well they responded to us.”
Maya loves performing in both casts. “It’s fascinating to have a different sister and a different pair of lovers each time,” she said. Plus performing with alternating groups of singers helps keep her performance fresh, which she admits can be difficult. “It’s easy to go on autopilot, but you have to listen to the other singers like it’s the first time you’re hearing their characters say things, and react as if it’s the first time you’ve heard that,” she said. “The show is new for each audience, and they deserve to see the most fresh and honest version of it.”
Maya is about to wrap up her time with the Young Artists—she leaves the Program once the Così tour ends to head to San Francisco, where she will be a 2010 Adler Fellow. If you don’t get a chance to see Maya in Così, you can catch her back in Seattle in February competing at the regional level of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions.
On another note, everyone knows you don’t wish a performer “good luck” (which, any superstitious star will tell you is actually bad luck); instead you tell actors to “break a leg,” and, Maya tells me, you tell an opera singer “toi, toi, toi,” which comes from an old German phrase intended to ward off evil spirits.
So “toi, toi, toi,” to our singers at Western Washington University in Bellingham tonight and Sunday at Kirkland Performance Center. Will we see you there?
Photos: 1) Maya Lahyani, Erik Anstine, Alex Mansoori, Michael Krzankowski, Vira Slywotzky, and Sarah Heltzel. © Alan Alabastro photo; 2) Maya Lahyani and Vira Slywotzky. © Alan Alabastro photo; 3) Eric Neuville and Maya Lahyani. © Bill Mohn photo.