"Green Finch and Linnet Bird"

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1 "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" Please fill out this checklist as a response to your preparation and performance. Please do NOT simply answer yes or no, but instead give specific reflections based on each questions asked. In some cases, I ve rephrased the question to make it easier to answer more completely. The extent that you do this is up to you, but I am looking for complete and thoughtful responses to each question. For instance, your response to the first question might be something like there are two fermatas in my song that at first I wasn t observing. I think the reason the composer put them there was... etc. Music Was it accurate in pitch, rhythm, tempo, and other indications from the composer such as fermatas, tenutos, caesuras, dynamics, etc.? Yes, I think I could have addressed more of the tempo markings. I felt like they were slow enough when in reality, I could have made them much slower and more sustained. I also never really mastered the trill at the end of the song and that was one challenge that I think I will be constantly working on with the future time I spend on this song. How does the music relate to the lyrics? The Music in this piece is directly related to the lyrics pretty much the whole time. All of the ritards on different lyrics are there for the purpose of what those words actually mean. For example on "beckoning, beckoning" there is a poco ritard and the notes in the accompaniment following the noise of a bird being beckoned or a bird chirping. Throughout the song you find the music specifically following the flight of the lyrics and the flight and nature of a bird. How does music help to tell the story? So much of the accompaniment sounds like birds singing with the different trills and soaring of notes which is more of a representation of Joanna's inner tempo. The melody line gets higher and higher as the piece goes on which symbolizes the gradual flight of Joanna at the the end of the song. Am I aware of what the orchestra1 is doing and the ways my melody interacts with the orchestra? Discuss a few of these places. I feel like I could have been a little more aware of the orchestra and how the melody has to follow the exact tempo markings in the music otherwise the orchestra would have been behind me. A couple of key places for this would have been in "How is it you sing anything?" with more of a ritard then what I actually did. Also I could have added more of a ritard on the all of the "Are you crowing? Are you screaming?" questions

2 Are there significant changes in the music2 and is my character motivating those changes? The significant changes in the music are mostly all of those different tempo markings with some higher notes in sections of the verse. I feel like I had good motivations for each of these different changes in tempo and in pitch and thought carefully about why each one was different. Lyrics Am I completely secure with the lyrics to the extent that I could start anywhere in the song without becoming confused? Yes. The lyrics were challenging to memorize because the style of the piece is older and almost operatic so memorizing thoughts with the word "whence" in them is not something that I am used to so I just had to drill the lyrics over and over again. Am I aware of and understand the poetic structure (rhyme, alliteration and onomatopoeia) and integrated that understanding into my performance? Yes and I think I used all of the rhymes to build off of each other and to that gradual building helped me with the gradual building of pitch and of character. Do I know the meaning of all the words in the song and can visualize the images? What are the important images? I didn't at first and I had to look up certain types of the different birds and how they are all each different from each other. The important image words include "Green Finch, Linnet Bird, Nightingale, Blackbird, Jubilate, Beckoning, Maddened by the stars, hallowing, crowing, screaming, fly, sing Am I phrasing on the lyrics? For this question, you might want to mention ways where the the musical phrasing and the lyrical phrasing might be different. I felt like because of all of the specific tempo markings I didn't do much of my own phrasing on the song and maybe there could have been more room for that. I think all of the lyric phrasing choices I made were supported by the musical phrasing and I didn't just choose them randomly. Vocal Am I singing in the appropriate style? What is the appropriate style? Helpful hint in answering this question: You will need more than a single word to adequately respond. I think I did. I was very nervous in doing this song because I am not a classically trained singer and this was more of a classical piece. I tried very hard to make sure all of my vowels were being placed in a classical form and not in my habitual nasal and southern form.

3 Are there a variety of vocal colors that respond to the situation, story and music? Can you describe those colors and how they help to tell the story? Yes there was a huge variety of vocal color required for this song and this situation. Because Joanna is somewhat singing to herself along with these birds. When any character is debating something with their lyrics, there should be a variety of vocal color that goes along with that. Most of the choices I made were dynamic choices and less about style variety. Am I singing with the proper articulation (legato, non legato, staccato, etc.)? I thought so though I could have been a little more legato at the beginning of the piece but I felt like I balanced the different moments of staccato with the intention of legato throughout the whole piece. Is my diction strong enough that every word is understandable? I think it was. I know diction is one of my stronger points and I tried really hard in this piece to make sure my diction was strong enough. Text analysis Whether the song is being sung in context of the show or in the context of a situation I am creating, have I fully completed and digested the actor's homework? You might also discuss how the actor s homework helped you. Yes I think I did. I researched this show a lot along with having already known and loved the show before I worked on this piece. I also used a lot of the research I had gotten out of "Finishing the Hat" for this song. I think as far as my actor's homework, I could have been a little more concerned with the pre-beat of the piece but I felt like my actions were strong and made sense with the lyrics. What is the sequence of actions and which lyrics do they come with? List your actions. Was I able to perform that sequence of actions? "Green Finch and Linnet Bird...How is it you sing?"- to invite "Green Finch and Linnet Bird Nightingale Blackbird...Are you screaming?"-to pull "Ring dove and robinet...teach me to be more adaptive"- to caress "Green Finch and Linnet bird...let me sing."- to uplift I think by simplifying the beats into greater chunks I was able to be more specific and commit more to each action. What is the super-objective? What other possibilities did you consider? Happiness. I also considered love but I think this moment is more about Joanna's freedom than her relationships with other people.

4 What is the conflict? Joanna is trapped in Judge Turpin's house as his ward and is not allowed to leave. Physicality How did my physicality help to tell the story? I tried really hard to make my physicality simple and strong like the youthful woman that Joanna is. Starting on my knees on the back of the chair helped me with the build and the arch of the piece that I wanted so badly to specify. What is the physicality of your character? Where you able to accomplish that physically? I think Joanna is very passionate but introverted. I tried to make sure that when I made any sort of arm or head gesture that it was coming from her desire and the lyric and not chosen randomly. Did I respond physically moment-to-moment rather than "setting" my actions? The first time I performed the song I will admit to having had rehearsed a lot and to feeling comfortable with my set in stone actions and motivations from beat to beat but the second time I felt more free to let the lyrics take care of themselves and feeling like I had to gesture less. Did I close my eyes? Yes or No is okay here. I did on the trill and I'm not sure why. It might have been because of my confidence level with the trill. Did I have tension anywhere in my body? You might discuss how you overcome tension. I discovered a little bit of tension in my hands and my knees. The locked knees were the reason I started in the chair singing to try and loosen up my legs. Also when I think about how to sing a song passionately, often times my hands start getting sweating and stiff. I can try to consciously relax them during warm-ups to try and get rid of that nervous tension. Performance Did my performance have appropriate dynamics, both in actual volume as well as dynamics in the physical life? I think it did and the dynamic changes in the song were probably my biggest focus throughout the whole process.

5 Did it have appropriate stakes? I think it did. The build of the stakes from beginning to end could have been stronger. Did I affect my partner? In what ways? Yes, my partners are the birds and so having them there in my imagination right in front of me helped the build of the song. Briefly describe the beginning, middle and end of your song and how they each differ? Beginning-Joanna sees these birds in cages and proposes the first question of how they can even sing anything let alone be happy about signing while they are behind these bars. Middle-Joanna questions what the birds are actually saying if they are really happy or if they are crying for help. End- Joanna begs the birds to teach her how to be happy with her situation. Did my performance have the proper scale7? I think for the room yes. Had I been in a bigger space, my breath would have had to have been stronger to fill the space. Did I make my performance more than an assignment8? Yes, I have wanted to sing this song for a while and hope to play the character one day so this was just a taste of what that would be like. What other things would you like to comment on? I loved everything about this song and I gained so much more confidence in myself as a soprano because I figured out how to solve all of the problems of the song on my own.

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