First day of HSOW!

     Board at the entrance of Dalhousie Arts Centre     Hi! My name is Pedro Arroyo, and I am a lyric tenor from Morovis/Vega Baja, Puerto Rico. I am 27 years old and am about to finish my BM in Voice Performance at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, under the tutelage of lyric soprano Zoraida López. How did I get here? How did I get to know about HSOW? Easy: Google. For the past few years, I’ve been wanting to participate in a summer workshop for singers, yet haven’t had the courage to audition (or send in an audition recording). This year, as I entered my third year of study, and realized that I hadn’t done anything yet (and years go by fast…), I decided to look for a summer workshop that I thought would be a great opportunity for me to grow. So I saw many, MANY different websites, but the one that caught my attention the most was HSOW, mostly, because of the cost. J I read everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) about the summer camp, and consulted with my voice teacher. She said, “It’s about time, Pedro! Go for it!” So I did. And here I am. Freezing my butt of in front of Dalhousie Arts Centre waiting for my next rehearsal in a few minutes.  (It’s pretty cold outside today).I just went back to my room to look for a jacket, but got involved in other things, and came back… without my jacket. Why is it that most singers are so absent-minded? Well, that’s another topic we can discuss over coffee… or tea. What was I talking about? (See?!)

            I know it’s only the first day of the workshop, but I just had to sit down and write! As I entered the room for the first meeting, I was really nervous… like kindergarten nervous. First day of school, don’t know anyone. The first person that talks to me is Nina Scott-Stoddart, as she recognizes me and calls me by my name. (Great memory!) I sat down, and silently observed everyone: who came in, who sat down, who was talking to who, etc. This man starts talking to me, introduces himself, and we engage in a little, courteous conversation. A few minutes later, I find out he is Mr. Tony Radford, and I will be singing in his master class this Saturday. We all introduced ourselves, which was pretty fun. I’m the only one from Puerto Rico. Then we divided into our separate shows to discuss characters, costumes, etc. For about an hour, we all engaged in interesting conversations about our characters and the storyline. In the afternoon, we would all have our first musical rehearsal. As I may have or may not have mentioned (I just checked, and didn’t mention it… Don’t want to fix it… It’s more interesting this way!), I will be performing the roles of Olaf in Gisela in her bathtub and Zetes in The Harpies. My first rehearsal was for Gisela. We all sat down, both casts, and when our musical director Jennifer Szeto asked who would sing first… Silence. Timidly, I stood up, with Alexander Wilson and Meghan Jamieson. Everything began smoothly… Better than I expected, as it was my first time singing it full voice and with piano. A few things to work on here and there, but to be the first time, everything went pretty good. Then, at around the middle, we switched casts. After that first rehearsal ended, I quickly went back to my room to look for my jacket. And here I am, sitting in front of Dalhousie Arts Centre, without it. Well, gotta go. My next rehearsal is in 10 minutes. I’ll tell you how it went…

To be continued…

So my second rehearsal was for The Harpies. I thought I had this one down, but guess what… I didn’t! Many entrances were a little difficult, a few notes here and there notes… But with the help of our music director, we made it through. As I was walking out after rehearsal, I checked on my phone to see if I had any new messages, and fell on the stairs… Thanks to Phillip Rego for not laughing at me. And that’s the end of my first day. Pretty cool, huh?

My favorite color is purple. (Random, I know.)

Bye!

2 Replies to “First day of HSOW!”

  1. You are not just the only Puerto Rican with us this year, Pedro, you are the FIRST Puerto Rican we’ve had the pleasure of working with here at HSOW. Here’s hoping you won’t be the last. 🙂

  2. What a great post, Pedro 🙂 It’s really interesting for me to hear what it’s like on the other side of the workshop — I mean, we’re all in this together, but it’s good to know other people share the apprehension I feel each time I walk into a room full of new people! I’m so glad you’re here …

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