It's been a long time since I've had postpartum issues with big performances. Since I've made the switch from student musician to professional musician some years ago, I've been able put away the music of a concert and move on to the next project without too much of a thought of what I just did. However, after this past weekend's Verdi Requiem performance, I found it quite difficult to let it go.
It might have been that this was my first Verdi Requiem, but I think it was more about the fact that the performance was extremely powerful, and emotional. Many members of the orchestra commented that it was the best Verdi Requiem Edmonton has heard in the last fifteen years. For a new tenor in the choir beside me, it was his first concert ever with orchestra, so his enthusiasm only heightened my awareness of the significance of the performance for me, taking me back twenty years, when I sang the Brahms Ein Deutches Requiem with the University of Ottawa choirs and orchestra, my first large choir and orchestra experience. There was also the added emotional issue that the performance was dedicated to the memory of a chorister who suddenly lost his battle with cancer this past August, only a week before the first rehearsal (read more about this here from the conductor of Richard Eaton Singers, and of the Verdi Requiem performance).
In any event, it has taken me three days to recover from the performance. I found myself in the grocery store on Monday wandering the aisles at a complete loss as to why I was there, and why I would ever need food to sustain life when I felt I had given everything of myself only twelve hours earlier. I did two laps of the store and looked in the cart only to find a 4 litre jug of milk, a package of English muffins, peanut butter, pita bread and humus. It sounds funny now, and my wife and I laughed about the state of our fridge this morning, but at the time I swear I was on the verge of tears. And I felt this way for nearly two full days. Even today, although now emotionally stable again, and found my lost appetite, I still find myself singing the fugue subjects from the Libera Me, or hearing the echo of the bass drum in the Dies Irae. Perhaps a second performance would have lifted me out of this a little quicker, but in any event, in some ways it was a life-altering performance, and not one I'm soon to forget.
However, it is now on to the next project. Working on Bach BWV 140 and the Haydn Little Organ Mass for two performances on December 6th with Alberta Baroque should pull me out of this quickly - as I'm not sure that singing in the back-up "Whoville" chorus for Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" is going to do it for me this weekend.