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Grammy Bliss

I have been completely negligent on keeping up with my blog postings of late – I’m afraid the massive volume of music I’ve been facing has taken priority! But I was asked to write a guest blog for the Grammy Website, reflecting on my win for Best Classical Vocal Solo, and was more than happy to jot down a few thoughts on the magical experience, which I gleefully share with you here, as well:

“Non più mesta”

Although great and emotional moments abounded during my first-ever trip to the GRAMMYs, making it a weekend I will never forget, there was one moment that towered above all the others.

The invitation to perform at the Pre-Telecast Ceremony came as a complete shock because “opera” often seems to be viewed as a somewhat dirty word outside of our world of corsets and cadenzas, and our performances are not often granted the coveted spotlight in mainstream events. (Perhaps because they’re afraid we’ll be sporting our Viking helmets?) Through rocking nerves (and without a helmet) I proudly took to the stage with my pianist and performed “Non Più Mesta” from Gioachino Rossini’s La Cenerentola. The spontaneous standing ovation that greeted us after the final high note took me completely by surprise, taking away any breath I had left from the performance, and yet this wasn’t the moment.

As they announced the winner for Best Classical Vocal Solo, time seemed to stand still, yet it simultaneously seemed to burst into slow motion as I took the stage to accept my first GRAMMY. I remember forgetting to mention my amazing husband (may I please have a do-over?), but I did manage to articulate a few words about a passion of mine: arts education and the immense challenge facing music and arts teachers across the country.

Best Classical Vocal Solo

Feeling the powerful connection in the Los Angeles Convention Center rally around that sentiment was one of the most encouraging things I have ever witnessed, and something I hope we can all continue to address. But strangely enough, this wasn’t the moment, either.

Walking the red carpet, interviews, memories of Whitney Houston, rousing performances by the top of the pop world were all remarkable moments as well, but none of them were “it.”

My moment towered at about 5 feet 3 inches in the form of a young girl, no more than 15 years old, who ran up to me, shaking with excitement. My first thought was, “Does she think I’m Adele?!?” But no, she sought me out to say the following:

“Excuse me, I just have to say you were amazing. I don’t know what kind of music it was that you did, but where can I find more of it?”

She got it, and I hope she gets it for a lifetime.

That was my moment, and it is a golden and beautiful as my new shiny GRAMMY!

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