Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Part 3 AUDITION GUIDE "Preparing for Auditions"

It’s that time of year again!  Can you hear the Christmas bells ringing, and smell the cinnamon, spices, and evergreens?  Do you feel the sure excitement about visiting with family, seeing all the lights, eating turkey and stuffing and drinking hot cocoa and warm cider? Oh, but wait. Surely those thoughts of the holidays are wonderful, but there’s also the unforgettable rush of cars and the pressure of remembering words and notes, the freezing cold blowing against your face, and sirens and people everywhere, crammed into small hallways all pushing towards the same goal! Ah, yes, it is the season.  Auditions in New York; how we’ve missed you for the last 10 months.

The first time I landed in New York City for auditions was the first time I had ever landed in New York City! I was on my own. All I had with me was one carry-on with an audition outfit, a few necessities, and a mission to complete my first opera young artist program audition.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Falling for Fall- Baked Apples with Maple Oat Crumble

Sexi fans, we’ve got another one for you! We love fall so much, we’re loading you up with ideas to keep your fall season Sexi!  This week’s focus: the quintessential fall pastry dish, the one that brings you right back to Grandma’s house every time. We’re talking, of course, about apple pie.

There is obviously nothing you can’t love about a good apple pie. The buttery, flaky crust encompasses a warm, gooey,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Part 2: AUDITION GUIDE "Budgeting and Money Saving Tips for Audition Season"

 It’s that time of year again- Audition Season! The anticipated two months of auditions that every singer spends all year preparing for. It is the time of year where your skills as a performer are tested against the stresses of travel, money management, and endurance. Every year singers spend thousands of dollars on application fees, food and travel expenses, audition attire, headshots, accompanist fees…the list goes on and on.  How can singers save up for this time of year? Create a budget. Putting away a little bit of money from your paycheck each month can help you save up for this time of year. Taking time to plan your audition trip and make a list of expenses can also help reduce costs.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Falling for Fall- Butternut Squash

Ahhh, Fall! How we welcome your cool breezes, your festive ambiance, your ability to gather loved ones from far and near, those inevitable 10 holiday pounds…well, ok, maybe not so much that last one. Fall is notorious for the delicious bounty it brings. It inspires warm flavors, feel-good comfort foods, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t love baking a nice pumpkin bread while humming a tune with the windows open and the smell of autumn wafting in from outside?

While richness abounds during this fabulous season with pies, breads, and gravy-laden everything, there are many healthy alternatives that will leave you feeling equally as warm and fuzzy inside as their indulgent counterparts.

One popular fall side dish is the infamous sweet potato casserole. Loaded with added sugar, butter, and marshmallows, those once-nutritionally sound sweet potatoes have been given a calorically nightmarish (although, admittedly tasty) makeover. So how do you get your sweet side fix?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Part 1: AUDITION GUIDE "How to survive your first NYC audition trip"

                  If you pursue classical singing for any length of time, chances are eventually you’ll need to go to New York City for an audition. Companies and training programs from all over the country (and world) audition singers there and often nowhere else. Here are some tips to help make your first trip to NYC an enjoyable and fruitful one!

Where to stay. After you’ve been in the game awhile, it’s very likely that you’ll have friends in New York with whom you can crash. Often though, for that first trip you don’t know anyone who lives there yet, and are on your own when it comes to housing. I’m sure it comes as no surprise that hotels in New York are very, very expensive. A middle-of-the-road chain, such as Best Western or La Quinta, will cost $250 a night in Manhattan. If you have a trust fund, or exceptionally generous parents, by all means go for it. For the rest, you’ll need to be a little creative.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Recipes for Special Diets (and everyone else, too!)

Living in today’s foodie society, it seems one would be able to find something for every culinary palette and dietary need.  Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  It can be difficult to find a satisfying variety of foods and recipes for special diets, and even harder to find one that doesn’t break your budget. Never fear, Sexi! This one’s for you!

There are countless types of protein and energy bar products on today’s market, but the laundry list of ingredients on the label is not only concerning, it also makes it difficult to determine if it’s safe for your special diet. Not only will these yummy bars give you a healthy energy boost, they contain easy-to-find and affordable ingredients, they are super simple to make, and they fit perfectly into special diets. The best part?  Think of these as an amped up version of your favorite childhood Rice Krispy Treats, minus the subsequent sugar crash. All-natural peanut butter and honey hold together scrumptious ingredients such as dried fruit and gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free chocolate chips, creating a flavor combination that will delight your inner child while keeping all the perks of a grown-up energy snack. Power up, Sexi, these are delish!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Grocery Shopping: Plan ahead to be healthier and save $$$

Step 1: PLAN
 Sit down and plan out your weekly meals.  Google Recipes or check out Sexi Soprano Cooks:) Make sure you know the quantities that you need for the week (or two or three depending how far in advance you are planning)
*If the thought of making three meals a day seems daunting, then plan a double portion of each meal, and use the leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.

Make a list of ingredients needed at the store and organize them into sections based on where they are in your store (or if you are like us at Sexi Soprano and shop at several store to save money,  organize by store).

Step 3: SAVE money by shopping at different places.  
-For Produce:Your local farmers market-.  Shop weekly for ONLY WHAT YOU NEED for the week.  
-For grains (quinoa, rice, couscous ect) Shop at costco or Sams Club.  Buying in bulk can save lots of money and you are set with your grains for weeks or months.
-For Spinach (for those who drink green smoothies): again Costco or Sams.  You can get a 5 pound bag for around $5.  Freeze the spinach so it will last longer and then throw it in your smoothie when ready
-For meat, cheese, canned goods: Try your Walmart or Target Superstore


Step 5: Immediately PREP your groceries
-Divide meats into individual portions and freeze
-Cook your grains in advance and store in tupperware.  This saves time when cooking meals later.
-For veggies you will use in the next few days, prep them by cutting them to the size you need and storing.

-Hang up your list of planned meals so that you can stay on track throughout the week.  


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

"Learning Operatic roles is ongoing, and I find that I can learn on the train or the subway, during a manicure, getting my hair done, and even while driving if I only look at my score during the red lights."

-Renee Fleming
"leaLearning operatic roles is ongoing, and I find that I can learn on the train or subway, during a manicure, getting my hair done, and even while driving if I only look at the score at red lights.

A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom Away!

Hello little sexy sopranos! So we’ve established it’s Fall — there’s pumpkin and apple scents everywhere and the amount of clothes we put on each day is multiplying. Pretty soon it will be snowing and then it’s adios outside world, hello couch kingdom. However, instead of becoming a couch potato watching reruns of Boy Meets World, wouldn’t you like to engage that pretty little brain of yours while being entertained!? Here are some books that you’ll love to curl up with, perfectly paired with hot cocoa and a blankey on a crisp Saturday afternoon!

The Diva Looking for Fiction, Fiction, Fiction:

 Bel Canto by Ann Patchet
Summary: Set in South America, opera singer Roxanne Cross mesmerizes the audience with her voice at a lavish dinner party. But what happens when a group of terrorists crash the party and hostages are taken? In this twist of a tale with ups and downs Ann Patchet keeps us on our toes!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Relationships on the Road

It’s a great feeling—after a grueling audition season and an endless stream of rejections, you get the call you’ve been waiting for: a contract!! After the initial jubilation has worn off and the good news spread to all and sundry, reality starts to sink in. A contract, yes, but one that takes you away from your significant other for days, weeks, months. Takes some of the shine off, doesn’t it?
Unfortunately, time spent away from loved ones is an aspect of this business that isn’t going away. It’s crappy, it’s sucky, and you can complain about it all you want, but it is simply a fact of the operatic life. If your relationship is a priority in your life, you’re going to have to work to keep it strong during long periods of separation. My fiancĂ© and I spent two years of our relationship an ocean apart, and even though we now technically live in the same place, we spend practically as much time apart as together. Here are some things we’ve learned along the way: