Column: Fran Van Lysebettens
Tilburg, February 5, 2018 l This column in Dutch, deze column in het Nederlands
'What are your plans after graduation?'
“What are your plans after graduation?” It was my favourite question during the past holiday season. Most of the time I caught them by surprise with this question, as I crammed my face with the first load of appetizers, cookie monster style; or while, inconspicuously, doddering in the direction of the sparkling wine. Fortunately, without delay, I can unfold my ten-year plan ranging from becoming the first Belgian laureate at the Queen Elisabeth Singing Competition, to my farewell concert at the Milan Scala in the presence of honorary guest the president of the United States who bursts into tears at the final chord of Richard Wagner’s Traüme.
However, after the Christmas explosion of overall conviviality has been extinguished, and we allow ourselves once more to wallow in the bleak, depressing, hang-over month of January, the question inevitably will pop-up again. Most of the time in the midst of intensive repertoire studies when the dead winter tree in the Muze Garden catches my eye, and the train of doom conveying existential thoughts is entering my head.
For what am I going to do after graduation? Ambitions and dreams galore, but where to start? Besides: many are called but few are chosen. What if I sensed the bat-signal of music that was actually addressed to my neighbour? Had it not been better if I had chosen a job that does not fall under the category: ‘there is no one looking for you; hand in hand to unemployment land’?
However, when the panic buttons in my brain start to surf to job ads at the local Albert Heyn supermarket, that twelve-year old oaf I once was re-appears, ecstatically singing her heart out during a school musical; an overwhelming feeling singing gave me, a feeling that has not left me since.
So, for the next family celebration, my dear aunt, nuncle and cousins, I would like to point out: “At the moment, I haven’t the faintest idea of how to go about, once my Bachelor of Music is in the bag. Perhaps all my dreams and ambitions will turn out to be completely unrealistic. But I am mildly nuts and naïve enough to believe that, in the end, everything will turn out just fine. If not so, this choice would not make me feel so good."
And now I can continue my quest towards the sparkling wine.
Fran Van Lysebettens
Student Classical Music solo singing
at Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts