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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!

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