Biting the Hand that Feeds You

I tootle along in the local music world, trying to be professional, trying to be kind. My singers will tell you they have rarely seen me upset in rehearsal, even working with some difficult people. I may have a hissy fit later or in the privacy of my own home but not in front of my singers during rehearsals, not in front of other musicians, not in public. And my working relationships with other arts organizations or other working musicians is cordial if not warm and fuzzy!

Imagine my surprise and shock to be snubbed in public by someone whom I thought was my friend, if not a real “bosom buddy,” and someone I have a fairly nice working relationship with. She’s a fine accompanist and quite a good musician but she is a soprano, and every once in a while, she lets her “inner diva” fly. I didn’t do anything to her I am aware of….but she’s the type to play the “soprano card” quite often….I might not even be aware of whatever slight she thinks I made. I recommend her, I talk her up and have even used her as a coach but something or somebody had her panties in a twist and I was the one in the firing line. We were at a local arts event and not only did other people see her behavior to me, they remarked about it. I was as embarrassed as could be and left early because I was afraid she would do something else to embarrass me. She has complained to me, back when we seemed to be friends, she doesn’t always get the jobs she wants–maybe her behavior in this instance is why and it’s a pattern.

It really wasn’t fair but I will guarantee you, the next time I see her, it will be as if nothing has happened. And that has me in a quandary. My instinct is to ignore it and behave normally the next time I see her………but……..should she be allowed to behave that way to me? To anybody? My mother used to say two wrongs don’t make a right but if I behave as if nothing happened, will she feel she can do whatever she wants to me again in public? This is not grade school or ever music school–sometimes, I don’t think there is a difference–this is real life. And a petulant soprano who has been allowed to get away with this behavior in grade school or music school will certainly think they can get away with this when they are out of school.

The only way I can think to handle this to behave normally in public, but not recommend her when someone asks me for the name of an accompanist or a coach any more. She is a wonderful musician but…..I can only wonder what she thought she was doing.

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