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Getting back into the swing of things

It’s HARD to finish a soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating vacation! I want one more day to swim in the pool as the mountain waterfall plays in the background. I wouldn’t mind one more back massage. And certainly I will miss the abundant breakfast buffet (although another day of that might put me over the edge!) It’s been perfectly perfect and just what the doctor ordered.

Tomorrow I head off to my “first day at school”, as we opera singers often refer to the first day of rehearsals. It’s a good analogy, because a real sense of anticipation fills your head the night before making sleep a bit hard to come by, and you put a little more thought into what you will wear to that first rehearsal, as you hope that you’re prepared enough, and that your voice decides to show up! (Even now I still silently think to myself, “Boy, I hope they don’t fire me!”)

But in preparing mentally to get back to work, calling upon the great singers of the past somehow can provide that extra “push” needed to snap out of the hot-oil-massage-induced-bliss, and my friends, there truly is none greater than the First Lady of Song.

I had not seen this tape before, and I can’t stop playing it and marveling at the sheer genius that pours out of her. Nearly 3 minutes of acappella singing and she lands SMACK IN THE MIDDLE of the final chord, PERFECTLY in tune. PERFECTLY. Every note perfectly in place. A billion different colors and textures and rhythms and emotions. She astonishes me and in seeing this I think how FORTUNATE we are to live in an age where this kind of unbelievably rare performance is caught on tape to be enjoyed and admired by those of us who couldn’t hear her live!

Enjoy, and see you in Salzburg! (I’m EXCITED!!!)

P.S. This video was located during a youtube marathon that was instigated by the great Larry Brownlee who had shared a favorite video of his by the inspired Mel Torme, (which led us on a late-night tour of Nat King Cole and Danny Kaye and Frank…aaah!) But I had forgotten how brilliant the “Velvet Fog” was, and how SMOOTH his voice was – not to mention how much control over shading and dynamics he employed. Here is the video he posted – perhaps he’s a bit past his “vocal prime” – lord knows we’ll all get there one day! – but that only means more richness of interpretation and smoothness. It’s heavenly!

This makes me curious – who are your favorite singers outside of the “operatic” field?

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