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Music! Music! Music!

Yesterday was our sitzprobe of “La Donna del Lago” here in Geneva. It’s my favorite of rehearsals – after all the weeks of focusing on the staging and the costumes and the lighting, we get to go back, with our scores in hand, and simply SING the music, now knowing the physical and internal journey the character will be taking on the stage. It’s heaven for me. I sing along with my score, double checking that I’m singing the accents, flavoring the lines with the correct articulation, feeling my breath moving through the phrases without any other physical demands, and, especially in the case of a new role, singing it with orchestra for the very first time.

It’s as if the lights are finally turned on. It’s true for every piece that I’ve ever taken on – it becomes infinitely easier to sing with orchestra than it ever does with piano. There is something about having the vibrational support of the strings, the cushion of the breath from the woodwinds, and that wonderful, solid foundation of the celli and double basses underneath you – somehow you feel as if you are allowed to take flight.

I’m fascinated by the character of Elena (especially in this production!) and found that her path to the grand finale makes the aria come to life for me in a very special way. I’m mesmerized by the music and think we have assembled a really wonderful cast – this is a true team effort, with everyone shining in their very own ways. Chorus is actively involved and the initial sounds from the orchestra sound very promising.

However, it is a long week. Yesterday afternoon we sang the entire opera, then a 2 hour break, and we had another 3 hour rehearsal in the evening on stage working through the first act. Now arrives the time to stay healthy and rested, because it really is a marathon of a week!

The excitement is definitely building!

6 Comments

  1. William V. Madison said…

    Strength lies in numbers! And yet I'm fascinated to learn of the strength that you draw from the other musicians, the sense of support and, consequently, freedom. Rossini would be pleased, I think, though he probably wants you to sing The Sins of My Old Age one of these days, just the same.

  2. Georgios said…

    What a brilliant description, Joyce. If only I could have been a fly on the wall and listen to all the beautiful sounds you all made!

  3. Chris said…

    Am I correct in thinking you'll be doing this same opera, only with Florez, in Paris in June?

  4. Raisa said…

    Dear Joyce:
    "Il Barbiere" finally arrived – it is incredible! It so happened that I have seen quite a few "Barbiere's", and your Rosina in this particular production is the best ever: the most youthful and yet mature, the most entrapped and yet independent.
    Your "Una voce poco fa" is magic – you truly own the part!
    Besides, you were moving so confidently in that wheelchair, backing up and spinning in perfect sync with the music!
    Brava and thank you for the best Rosina in the world!
    All the best wishes for the upcoming performances of "La donna del lago".

  5. Luca said…

    I have the same question of Chris :)

    I am not really warm towards Rossini's Lago, but for DiDonato-Florez-Barcellona I could give it a chance… ^^

    Dear Mme DiDonato, keep your good work, you're doing amazing things out there!

  6. Chris said…

    Just received my DVD of the London Barber and I must say this is one for the ages. There surely will never be another like this. Normally I would regard the Barber as Almaviva's opera, especially with Florez and his exceptional comedic gifts camping it up in various disguises, but here Rosina in her wheelchair tops him. Congratulations, Joyce, you have created something completely unique.

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The world needs you. Now, the world may not exactly realize it, but wow, does it need you. It is yearning, starving, dying for you and your healing offer of service through your Art.

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