Day One in the Opera World!

Dear World Wide Web!

Wow, I haven’t had a blog since the days of LiveJournal… remember those days? So here we go, brace yourself for post numero uno! My name is Melody Thomas and I’m happy to be here in Nova Scotia for the first time to participate in the Halifax Opera Workshop. I am from Peterborough, Ontario, and just graduated from studying voice at the University of Toronto. In the fall, I will be pursuing an Opera Diploma at Wilfrid Laurier University.  In the meantime, I am here singing my first opera role, Nora in Riders to the Sea by Vaughan Williams!

I flew out of the Toronto City Centre airport on Saturday afternoon. I’d never flown out of the island airport before, but I would strongly recommend it! There is a ferry from the mainland to the airport, which is convenient but hilarious, as the distance between is about two boat lengths long. The airport is very small, so it’s easy to navigate and much less crowded than other airports I’ve been in. I took a teeny tiny turbulent plane (yay alliteration!) to Montreal, where I was to connect to Halifax. My connecting flight was delayed by an hour, but I’ve heard much worse horror stories, and my luggage was at least safely delivered to me when I landed in Halifax.

I was lucky enough to get picked up at the airport by a friend of a friend (thanks Debra and Pam!) and delivered to the apartment I am subletting a room in. The place is… less than desirable… and I won’t say more than that. My housemates are very friendly, but I left a message at St. Mary’s this morning about the possibility of moving into one of the residences with many of the other singers.

Saturday night, I received an email from another one of the singers, Milena, who was asking for company to the Point Pleasant beach Sunday morning. The park was about a half hour walk from my apartment, and I wandered around in it while I waited for Milena. She arrived with another singer, Scott, and we went down to the beach. I hadn’t bothered to bring my bathing suit, but I didn’t need it – the water was quite cold, not to mention filled with seaweed, rocks… and many critters! While Milena keenly documented our scavenging, Scott and I found many clams, mussels, snails, and a few crabs. The first few crabs were smaller than a loonie, but we ended up finding one that was easily the size of my outstretched hand. I boldly (or perhaps stupidly?) insisted on picking him up so Milena could get a picture before he pinched me! When we tired of creature-hunting, we met up with Allison, who had a car to drive. After a great adventure trying to find a parking spot, the four of us had delicious organic lunch at the Wooden Monkey. On returning back to my apartment last night, I found out I am already fitting right in here in Nova Scotia – I look like a lobster 🙁

I was hoping to find someone to go for a run with me this morning, as I’m usually pretty active, but I’m trying to avoid spending my time in this beautiful new city inside a gym. Having only met a few people as of early this morning, I didn’t have any luck finding a running buddy for today, but I did go for a long power walk through Point Pleasant Park.

11:00 this morning was the moment we’d all been waiting for – the beginning of the workshop! We went around the room and did names – all 80 of them – drew names for who would be singing in which masterclass, and then split up so the team for each show could meet. I met with all the other One Act opera folks, and we discussed concepts, characters, and costumes (more alliteration, ha). I don’t have most of the stuff I need for my costume, so I’ll have to figure that out… hmm… and now, here I am in the practice room, taking a break to write this blog. At 4:00, I’m called for a music rehearsal, where the Riders cast will do a read though. And then… more places to go and people to see!


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