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Opening Night!


One thing I love about this job, strangely enough, is that my life is cut into tiny compartments: a 2 month period in Chicago for Nozze, a 2-week recording session coming up in September (which I’m beyond excited about!), and for some time my debut as Elena in La Donna del Lago has been in the works. Finally it is here. I get to see the culmination of months of work and years of anticipation come to fruition tonight. (No pressure there!) Actually, there isn’t any pressure, essentially, because it’s pure joy for me to sing this piece and discover a completely different side to the composer I thought I knew so well!

Those “compartmental periods” keep me constantly appreciating the moment I am living. I have learned with a bit of experience that time flies without mercy or pity, and if I blink, I’ve slept through a world of riches. I know that 11 performances of Cherubino will be over before I know it, and so I had better soak up each moment. I know that I get ONE shot at making a solo recital recording, and I had better hit it out of the park giving my all in each phrase. I know that I get one chance to debut this beautiful role of Elena, and I don’t want to sleep through it, or psyche myself out to where I am not free to take her journey.

I’ve said this now numerous times, that the stage teaches me so much – to be alive in the moment, to enjoy the lesson at hand, and to live it as fully and freely as possible. That is my intention for tonight, and I hope the audience will come along for the ride with all of us. I’ve enjoyed the rehearsal process tremendously with this outstanding cast and team (a conductor and director working side by side in tandem from day one? Stop the presses!!!), and know that we will give it our all tonight!!

It’s not a “typical” interpretation of the opera, (you’ve been warned) but I do think it’s quite a deep, beautiful look into the life of a young girl in an oppressive, overwhelming, war-torn, provincial town who seeks to find a way to reconcile her dreams and thirst for freedom and love under the constraints of her duty and obligations. She escapes quite wildly into her dreams, and yet that persistent reality keeps forcing her to look at the real world and find a way to enter into it. Malcom becomes sort of a “guardian angel” type figure who appears at her darkest moments, and becomes a guide to Elena, helping her find a way to be true to herself. As I said, perhaps not “typical”, but it’s done with a lot of heart, providing the perfect platform for “Tanti affetti” to be a truly emotional outpouring of joy and gratitude. At least, that’s the idea…!

*Photos courtesy of the Grand Théâtre de Geneva

11 Jun

Who needs espresso? Or to understand the wonder of life? Apparently I only need this....! https://t.co/F56DafpiH7

11 Jun

Indeed. https://t.co/p8G1st1OSG

9 Jun

Cry. You can reapply the concealer .... tears are cleansing and sometimes called for ... 😔 https://t.co/fd9hDX0OgS

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#SummerLovin #LovinLavender #LavenderLovin

I arrive (nearly) to the end of this very full season, and it’s good moment to remind each of you reading this that YOU are the reason I travel the world, away from home for months at a time, working towards an unattainable perfection, exposed in ways very few people can imagine, singing the stories of characters searching for enlightenment/redemption/hope/relief/joy, and why I dedicate a large part of my life to this century’s old art form. I do it to entertain you at a minimum, but mostly to offer you comfort, to help us all join in a communal “event” that connects us across time and space despite our perceived differences, and I do it because I truly believe it makes the world a better place. I know you feel this most of the time as well. It’s likely what keeps bringing you back! I hope that after this season, perhaps you feel a bit more inspired to take what you receive as an audience member and activate that sensation in your own life, to bring hope and joy to the world around you. Don’t ever underestimate your power to do that - one doesn’t need the spotlight to bring transformation. #Songplay #Winterreise #Agrippina #Didon ✨

If this girl can do it, you can too!!!!!!! #belikeanant #heavyload #yourenevergivenanythingyoucanthandle #antsruletheworld #summerlovin

Grazie Mille @accademiadisantacecilia and the @baciopanino boys. What a JOY it was to perform with you all. Until the next time!

Celebrating #WorldOceansDay ... hoping every single one of you has the chance to swim in the vast blue ocean one day. Growing up in Kansas, I didn’t have the chance until I was in my 30’s, but when I finally did, an entire new universe opened right underneath me and I was changed. I’m so grateful for all that the planet’s oceans give to us. I want to be sure I’m doing all I can as a citizen of the world to take care of them and their vast, life-giving properties. Let’s get more informed and more active in protecting them and helping them thrive.

I was not prepared. The inspiration is through the roof to bring to life the towering cantata of #JoanOfArc tonight in the very cathedral de St. Denis, where she prayed for strength centuries and centuries ago. The same stones that received her pleas tonight will hear them again filtered through the mind of Rossini and the vibrations of those of us on stage. This, perhaps, is the thing I love most about the world of music - it connects us directly through time and space, and it shows us demonstrably how we are one. Ask me how much I love my “job”! @festivalsaintdenis @accademiadisantacecilia

#HowToFlower . . . What’s beautiful around you right now?

Grazie Mille, Roma. What a gift to be here for the briefest of moments - how much life we can find in the now!!!! #LightShower #Pantheon #Mystical #Luz #Luz #Luz #NoFilter #LookAround #Stopqndbreathe #batheinthelight #recoup #regenerate #batheingratitude #boydidtheromansknowhowtobuildabuilding #agrippinawashere #perfection #ladolcevita

And behind the scenes with Maestro Pappano and his @accademiadisantacecilia: a glimpse into the PROCESS which I love so much as we create our journey to prepare for the magic of the audience’s arrival. Thank you all for making our hard work so worthwhile!

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There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato