So it’s not exactly the 7th day, but the boss decried it a day of rest anyway! Actually, it was more the luck of the draw, as most of my recits have been recorded already, and they needed to play catch up with the others, and since we’re saving my last 2 arias for the final 2 days of recording, my day was FREE! It’s good timing, as we have the first of our 3 concerts in Viterbo tomorrow evening, and so it gives me a chance to stay quiet for a few hours, which I happily did.

Today was a day to catch up on a load of email (courtesy of our VERY slow internet connection here at the hotel – remember, we’re in Italy!), to read a bit more of Sidney Poitier’s gripping autobiography, “The Measure of a Man” (stunning and inspiring!), and to plunge forward into the land of Ariodante which starts immediately after the Paris concert. How strange to have the world of the feminine Sorceress, Alcina, clash mightily with that of the masculine hero, Ariodante – both by Handel, and yet a universe apart. (Or ARE they?)

I’m having a hard time putting my mind into the character of Ariodante for the moment, because at this point it’s much more about the dry, technical preparation of drilling notes, speaking the text, etc. To be walking side by side with both of these roles simultaneously highlights for me the different stages of role preparation: I’m completely engrossed in the psychology of Alcina at this point, having already done the ‘dry’ preparation, and it’s so satisfying to feel as if I’m really in her shoes! Then I open the Ariodante score, and I’m frustrated with how much groundwork must be laid to arrive at the ‘fun’ part of character exploration. I almost always feel this way (impatient!) with a role when I’m REALLY eager to plunge full-steam ahead and create a real, 3-dimensional character – but the reality sets in as I plunder my way through some quick passage work and it’s a 7-car pile-up-mess-of-a-wreck, that I must be a ‘good singer’, and go back and work the fundamentals. (I suppose this is the discipline my college teacher always talked about!)

Slow and steady definitely wins the race on these things!

Someone must have heard my prayers, because the menu this evening was “Spaghetti alla chitarra con TARTUFFO”. Mamma mia, CHE BUONO! Il secondo was “Bresaola con rucola” which is always a treat, garnished with just a spritz of lemon juice and olive oil. What ever more could you ask for?