So, after a fantastic and fun week in Melbourne and Sydney with the Broadway to Australia: An Evening with Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty show, I got to visit the Sydney Conservatorium of Music for the first time, meet a couple of the vocal staff members and figure out my plans for next year. After seeing that the Sydney Con is actually a castle, my heart became set on studying there. And it is next to (practically in) the Royal Botanical Gardens. HELLOOOOO! Sounds like a no-brainer. Had a chat to the lovely ladies who would be in charge of me, and found out that everybody thinks I should do the undergraduate advanced diploma of opera. Then I found out that my current singing teacher thought that I should do that course all along. Have since worked out that I'm an eejit who somehow missed the part about the opera diploma being a three-year undergraduate degree. I hadn't really envisioned myself doing ANOTHER undergraduate music degree, but I've gotten used to the idea remarkably quickly. I wouldn't have to do all the theory and history again (probably would be good for me to do it all again but thankfully it's not in the course outline; I don't know how much more of history I could take anyway -- it stabs me in the throat -- MUCH prefer music theory -- and that is weird, I thought I'd LOVE history -- but turns out I think it's boring!), as the entire degree is dance classes, acting classes, singing lessons, vocal coachings, and four opera productions per year. Again - a no-brainer! I've done all the yard-work and gotten myself up to scratch, musically. I'm at a point where I'm intelligent enough (I think) to be molded into a good performer (I hope). And this course, being FULL of stage work and pesky things like dancing and acting that I don't have much experience in, will surely do the trick!
The only problem is money. Money, money, money. Why is it ALWAYS about the money? Sydney is widely renowned across Australia as being the most expensive city to live in, and that's because it is. Absolutely. Rents in Sydney are sky-high and everything costs more. I was astonished at the parking fees my lovely friend B was paying while she was driving me around everywhere! Flat rates of $20 and up! $20! In Hobart, your first hour in a car-park is FREE, then it's 60c for the second hour, $1.50 for the next... SCANDALOUS. Anyway, so the money angle is going to be my big hurdle. I'm going to have to tighten my belt and get rid of all of my possessions on eBay (something which I'm looking forward to).
I can just imagine the conversation that I'm going to have with my Mother (a.k.a. The Voice of my Conscience). Disclaimer: I have not HAD this conversation with my Mother. My Mother is actually a very nice and very reasonable lady.
ME: "Sooooo, I'd like to move to Sydney next year, Mam!"
MUM: "What for?"
ME: "Undergraduate Advanced Diploma of Opera."
MUM: "Undergraduate? Don't you already have a degree? What have you been doing for the past seven years in Hobart?"
ME: "Yes, I did a Diploma of Music, Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Music with Honours. Now I would like to do an Advanced Diploma of Opera."
MUM: "Why? Isn't the Bachelor of Music good enough to get into Opera?"
ME: "Frankly... no."
MUM: "Why did you do it, then?"
ME: "Because I wasn't very good and needed all the musical experience and knowledge. Now I am ready to move on to something bigger and better. And that just happens to be the opera degree in Sydney."
MUM: "Is that covered by HECS?"
ME: "Don't know. Have already used lots of HECS."
MUM: "Why Sydney? Can't you do it in Launceston?"
ME: "... No. It has to be Sydney."
MUM: "How are you going to afford to live in Sydney? You don't have any savings."
ME: "I know. Shit, ay. Ummm... prostitute myself on the streets?"
MUM: "Har har har."
ME: "Get a part-time job and wing it?"
MUM: "What about Centrelink?"
ME: "They hate me."
MUM: "Whose fault is that?"
MUM: "How will you afford rent?"
ME: "Don't know."
MUM: "How will you afford to run your car?"
ME: "Don't know."
MUM: "How will you afford to eat?"
ME: "Don't know."
MUM: "And you really want to go?"
I will have to figure something out. Because this course is what I want to do!