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Striking

Cracking up

She is, isn’t she? And I find the more time I spend with her, the more striking I find her features. The shading, the subtlety, the refinement – the simplicity of her composition and demeanor. I discovered she’s actually wearing a veil – something I never noticed about her before, until I used a telephoto lens to study her. It’s there – it’s amazing.

Unknown hands

She really does take your breath away.

Speaking of striking, I should be warming up right about now for my “prima” here in Milan. As you most likely know, a “sciopera” has gripped the Teatro alla Scala for the evening and our performance has been canceled. (Note: You can have a refund of your tickets until July 17!!!) I think I understand to a large extent how disappointing it must be for the people who held tickets for tonight’s show. My heart truly goes out to you. It’s also extremely disappointing to myself – an artist – who gives up a lot of her life to perform for you – the public – to have a performance taken away. I don’t profess to understand either side of the argument. It seems to me, as is almost always the case, both sides have valid points, and both sides could make some concessions – I just personally hate to see the public dragged into the fight, where art seems to be the main casualty. I suppose those involved feel it is their most powerful weapon, so I understand their desire to use it, but history seems to show that it seldom brings results, which makes me question the productivity of it all. But I’m not Italian, this isn’t my country, nor my theater – I have no say in the matter, which feels quite strange – but I respect that this is the way things work. I only hope that both sides can find a way to work productively together, for art deserves so much more, and God only knows how desperately we need art in our lives these days!

Regardless, please know that I will do my best to give the fullest performance I can, should we ever be given the chance to perform! (On a side note, there have been a few changes here at the theater, one including a few additional performances for me: I’ll now be singing on the 10th and 13th, as well as my regular scheduled shows…)


I have to say that it’s funny working on this Ponnelle production! The production is older than I am, and all the greatest Rossini singers of the past 4 decades have participated in the epic staging, so I feel a real sense of entering an historic masterpiece, rich in legacy and tradition.

It’s challenging, however, because opera has changed quite a lot in the past 40 years, and having participated in the creation of a number of new productions, often with a very modern twist to them, it is fascinating to return to a time where things were much simpler. It is quite hard for me to sing the Lesson Scene in a cut version (as I’m a fierce proponent for what a brilliant dramatic scene it creates in its entirety), and the idea of not singing the recitative with Bartolo where she swears revenge on “Lindoro” and asks Bartolo to marry her is near sacrilege to me! But this is the original Ponnelle version (except they’ve included the now mandatory tenor aria), and there is something beautiful about stepping into the simple clockwork and choreography he created so many years ago. This Rosina is a classic, and I’m glad I will have the chance (strikes permitting!) to add this kind of approach to my repertoire of “Vipera’s”!!!

One benefit to the strike is that I had a free day today, which is the first grouping of 2 days in a row that have been free for me in MONTHS! I am not complaining about that in the least, and have relished sleeping in late, getting back to some yoga, catching up on the backload of emails, and simply catching my breath! Ah, I do believe I needed it!

Hope to be in great form tomorrow night – it’s not every night one gets to debut an iconic role at an iconic theater. I better stop talking about it and thinking about it – that’ll make me nervous!

Hope you all are finding a way to stay cool wherever you are!

CHEERS!!

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