Lest you think I spend all my days moping about rewrites and procreation, here's an entry about my most beloved activity in the Big Apple: singing with the Russian Chamber Chorus of New York.
You can read all about RCCNY on the website, so I won't go into it here. But suffice it to say that I've been in choirs for almost 30 years (yikes!?), and I've never, ever experienced singing as I have with our maestro Nikolai Kachanov. He's a philosopher, a teacher, a father-figure, and above all, of course, an incredible incredible musician. (And that description really does not do him justice...) The group is an eclectic little family. Every rehearsal is not only a mini vocal lesson but also a spiritual exploration, a salve to the all-consuming exhaustion of modern-day existence. My music sheets are filled with notes and quotes that apply to both how to sing and how to live.
I've lately started to think more and more about the power of the universe that draws us to the people and events that change our lives; certainly, finding RCCNY -- out of the billions of choirs in New York City -- was no coincidence. I firmly believe that. It's been an incredible 5 years of performances in Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, and some of the most beautiful churches in the city -- at times with some of the best orchestras, soloists and conductors in the world. But every rehearsal is just as intriguing and mysterious an adventure, and I couldn't imagine life in NYC without RCCNY.
There will be future musings about RCCNY and the life lessons therein; the actual point of this blog entry is to say that our next mysterious musical journey brings us to Carnegie Hall, on Monday June 4th, for a concert performance of Pietro Mascagni's Zanetto -- an opera that hasn't been performed in New York since 1902. It's perhaps the funniest little cameo we've ever made (at least in my 5-year tenure in the group): 4 minutes, off-stage, in a piece with no words. It's like the polar opposite of our all-night vigil performance of John Tavener's The Veil of the Temple, which involved much choreography and ran for 11 hours straight (no joke).
That's it. Just a little announcement, preceded by an effort to describe the inexplicable wonder that is RCCNY. Stay tuned.