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One of those weeks

One of those delicious, indescribable, unforgetable, “please can’t they all be like this” weeks has just come to a close, and while I’m very happy to be settling into my hotel room with a rented movie on itunes waiting for me and room service on its way, I did want to put a few thoughts down about why a week like this blows my mind.

I promise you, it just doesn’t get old ~ at least not yet, it doesn’t ~ and certainly not when the level of music making rises to such beautiful heights and everyone involved finds pure JOY in the sometimes arduous, but ultimately uplifting and invigorating process. I’ve completed 5 of 9 recording sessions for my new disc, as well as giving a concert of a handful of highlighted arias in Paris, and I don’t want it to end. I’m very fortunate to have an orchestra that, under the baton of Maestro Kazushi Ono, is extremely well prepared, proficient and eager, so all that is left to do is to play, to make choices, to find new levels of expression and new layers within the music.

If I were recording a full-length opera, as I’ve done in the past, I would blog about the process of recording each individual aria, but I don’t want, yet, to give TOO much away. I will say, however, that it is a project I’m IMMENSELY excited about. My first two solo discs for Virgin Classics were very specifically themed explorations of a single composer around a single “idea” (Furore for Handel, and Arias for Isabella Colbran for Rossini). This time I wanted to spread my wings a bit more.

I’ve had a tremendously varied repertoire ever since my early days in Houston, even if it seems that I’ve dedicated most of my time to the worlds of Handel and Rossini, and so I wished to find a way to present “the rest of me” that was cohesive and interesting, with composers that reflect my musical appetite and roles that I have spent some time around.

The cumulative result will be (provided the coming 4 sessions go off without a hitch!) a real peek into the world of a mezzo-soprano (more or less), who usually spends half of her time in pants, and the other half in skirts, with composers to include Gluck, Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Berlioz, Massenet, Offenbach, Gounod and Strauss. Ah … it’s just bliss, really. It’s a HUGE undertaking, but truly, it is unblemished bliss.

This morning I started my day with a harp, 6 cellos and a few woodwinds attempting to create an ethereal, transparent, intimate mood about the poetry and ecstasy of love, followed by beating Satan at his own game, and finishing up with a lone clarinet, avowing to kill for love. Are you kidding me with all of this?

I had the afternoon off today (that’s rare!) and because it was raining here in GORGEOUS Lyon (what a delightful city this is ~ such a discovery for me!), which meant no Lyonaisse Photo Safari for me, I had some fun answering more questions for my video blog over on my Youtube channel. Feel free to explore and offer your comments!

In the meantime, the launch of my new website is crawling towards the big launch ~ so stay tuned! What a fun period this is!

CHEERS!

17 mins ago

Dashing my way to the airport ... so in a flash, the pardon rules and I can forever soak in the wonderful joy of th… https://t.co/nm39nhSAtX

19 mins ago

It TRULY is my honor and pleasure! https://t.co/4ct3eHift6

21 mins ago

Thanks, Amanda. So glad you could be there. https://t.co/vG3hVmMPST

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Live! Today! #Clemenza! @metopera #Broadcast! @vanhorncvh This one’s for you. #PublioRocks #WigWars #FreeSesto #fashion #werq #notreadytosaygoodbye

An extraordinary #openingnight on #Broadway last night as Orfeus’s song was sung anew in an astonishing show: #Hadestown. Immense respect for the incredible cast, crew, creative team, and for the eternal song that continues to need to be sung!!! A GREAT night of theater!! (And a huge shout out for NO routine key changes and assaulting amplification!) #fresh #whydowebuildthewall #pleasedontturnaround #doubt #destructivedoubt #raisingmycuprightback PS: @douglasladnier - thanks for the decades of friendship, my friend! You’re a treasure!

Our penultimate performance tonight of #LaClemenzaDiTito at the @metopera. This one will be difficult to say goodbye to! @polenzanitenor @elzasoprano @vanhorncvh @yingletsings #EmilyDAngelo @metoperachorus @metorchestra @metoperasupers #SestoForever

A most heartfelt thank you to these wonderful, brave artists. What a rich journey you all took us on during these 3 days. I couldn’t be prouder of each if you, and I thank you for giving so much of yourselves. I hope you felt how rich the reward was as you dared to walk through the fear!!! Bravi @key.sings, @alexandra_sings, @mayaamir91, and @aaroncmusic. Once again, @carnegiehall and @medici.tv are superstars for making these classes available across the globe. I hope you got a lot out of them! Many thanks for tuning in and see you next year!! #bravesingers #artislife #lifeisart #whereyouwalk #trustthepianissimo #openyourheart #nyanyanya #artheals #thatwasintense #keepyourpilotlightlit

I am thrilled to return to @CarnegieHall for three master classes this week! Tune in at 4 PM (EDT) today, tomorrow and on Sunday to watch the live stream on @medici.tv. 👉 link in bio. #masterclass #livestream

👉 Head over to @metopera! I am taking over the Met’s instagram account for our fourth performance of La Clemenza di Tito tonight. Stay tuned! #joyceforthemet #instagramtakeover Photo: Richard Termine / Met Opera

#NYstateofmind #noeffects #naturaltaxifilter #letthelightin #capturethemomentnow #naturenaturallyblowsmymind #prismsrock

Once upon a time there was a magical presence in the world who made us all believe in fairy tales again!! It was a tremendous honor to present Laurent Pelly with his well deserved @opera.news Award last night at the @theplazahotel in NYC. OF course so much of the Opera Family Royalty was on hand, including the [email protected]_domingo and fellow honoree, the radiant @ailynperezsoprano. Friends joining from KC made it even more special! Congratulations to all the honorees!!! #celebratingopera Photos from the fab @darioshoots and Lisa Pacino. @kevindeenart @palluccab

What a joy to join my @carnegiehall family, under the visionary leadership of the Chairman, Robert Smith, and the Executive Director, Clive Gillinson. I’m certain this legendary institution will lead many other arts organizations into a vibrant, transformative, inspired future where Art is for all. Of course, to commemorate such a shining occasion, how could we not celebrate the beauty of @cartier?? A million thanks for the exquisite jewels. And finally, there simply aren’t enough words to sing the praises of pianist @bryanwagorn highly enough. I suppose that’s why we felt the need for a mock prom pic. #howdoigettocarnegiehall #nolie #practicepracticepractice #andonceyougetthere #shineshineahine #thefutureisSObright #ifweallriseup. Thank you @julieskarratt for the lovely souvenir photos!

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

~ Joyce DiDonato