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The kitchen is open!

Thursday night there was quite an event here in Salzburg: the charity launch of a new cookbook (Christmas present alert!) by Evelyn Rillé and Johannes Ifkovits, entitled “Die Oper Kocht”. It is a who’s who of opera folk sharing their best recipes with brilliant, playful photos, all by Johannes himself, as well as handwritten recipes in each of the singer’s native language.

It’s a great idea, and I have to say they have executed it perfectly! Nearly every opera star you could hope for is featured, and recipes vary from Wasabi Risotto (Ferruccio Furlanetto) to Borschtsch (Anna Netrebko) to Fajitas (Kurt Streit) to “Zimtschnecken” of your’s truly. Translation = Cinnamon Rolls!!

I had a BLAST preparing these for Johannes and Evelyn for the photo shoot, but my history with this family recipe goes back decades now. It was always a full-on ceremony to prepare them on Saturday afternoon for a big Sunday Brunch with the Flaherty Family, and usually it was the job of my older sister, Amy, to get to work kneading the dough and slathering it with butter and cinnamon. I remember that my eyes barely fit over the counter-top so I would pull up a stool and marvel as she turned and twisted the dough, sifted the flour over it, and wielded that rolling pin with grand expertise!


As the years went on, the dough-duty filtered down through my sisters to me, and to this day preparing a batch brings me back to such wonderful memories: the 9 Flaherty Family members all patiently waiting for them to be reheated, doused in icing, and devoured ceremoniously until we could eat no more. (They really are amazing.)

You’ll have to purchase the book for the recipe, and an English version is set to be released in time for Christmas! I’ll be sure and alert you when it’s available. I think a Japanese version is also on its way!

In the meantime, I share some of the fun photos from the session we had. And this has inspired me – we should do a “Yankeediva Reader Recipe Share!” Feel free to leave your favorite recipes in the comments section. (I’ll have to come up with another recipe that isn’t published to share here!!)

Punching down the dough (my favorite step!) after the first rising:


More cinnamon, please:


With Cinnamon Rolls, really, you can never have enough butter, so I spread just a TOUCH more on the top:


My work here is finished:


At the event on Thursday night, my dish was paired with an Apple Tart from Piotr Beczala and Plum cake of Alexandra Kurzak, as well as a delicious sweet wine:

CHEERS!

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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 ✨

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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

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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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