Even in quiet times of economic uncertainty, it’s always heartening that the phone can ring out of the blue with a possible last minute engagement.  This is precisely what happened the other day, as I was enjoying the last of the heatwave on a lazy Friday afternoon.  I was called by an agent in Germany, who I hadn’t spoken to in several years, asking my availability to possibly sing a very suitable role in a festival in Northern Germany.  This production was already rehearsing and due to open in three weeks and triple cast, but there were doubts over one of the singers (vocal health issues?).

These kinds of enquiries tend to catch me out and are surprisingly difficult to handle.  In the first instance, it’s a situation born out of a number of hypothetical scenarios, rather than an opening as such – a singer hasn’t as yet pulled-out, nor is there an uncast role.  Clearly there are some concerns and the festival is testing the water for ‘insurance policies’.  So on the one hand, the cynic in me suspects that this is merely an enquiry and shan’t amount to anything (especially as it would result in extra expense for the festival in question), yet there’s always the chance that something might come-off – and a good role in a good place, at that.

Media Hafen Dusseldorf photo

In many repects taking-on such a job could be more trouble than it’s worth.  I’d have to try and re-arrange and find some cover for some of my teaching and would worry about letting down a couple of students with forthcoming exams.  I’d have to put holiday plans in July on hold and somehow try and keep on top of other personal responsibilities while way-laid in a not overly convenient part of Germany.  Add to that the stress and pressure of jumping-in at short notice.  Yet as a young singer trying to gain exposure and work hard at a time when there’s not a huge amount of work around, I felt it vital that I threw my hat in the ring. Were anything to come-off, it would be a stressful but worthwhile few weeks.  If not, at least I’ve shown willing and hopefully that will be remembered in the future.

So, the waiting begins.  A week on and there’s been no final word.  The longer this goes-on, the less likely it is, I suspect, that anything will materialise.  But I don’t know for sure.  In the meantime, I just get-on with life as usual.  And still wait to hear…