I’m grateful for an unexpected, yet perfect “oomph” of inspiration. Tonight before my last show here in lovely Madrid, I’ll admit it – being the last show and so close to vacation, it was challenging, shall we say, to keep focused on the task at hand, and for Mozart, you pretty much have to stay focused on every little semi-quaver, or else…

Well, in addition to all the amazing people I meet backstage, the theater here also boasts the most wonderful Press Department, and tonight I met the daughter of one of the beautiful ladies who deals with all things “pressing”. (Ha – can you tell it’s 3:00 am???) Well, she walked in the door, and just like her Mom, she lit up the entire dressing room. I went on to learn that she comes to most of the shows – most recently Makropolis Case, which she in fact, loved! I warned her she was in for a lot of Mozart’s notes, but assured me she was really looking forward to it. (Come to find out, at the end, while she was definitely ready for her bed, she loved every note of it!) She also plays both the cello and piano. When I asked her, most presumptuously, if she would play me something, in great Spanish Style, she hesitated not, and went on to play a really beautiful piece for me – oozing musicality.

Come to find out, she also recently lost her father, and immediately I felt a pinch of kinship with her, separated by a few decades obviously, but I felt her pain. I assured her, as best I could, that I was pretty sure her Dad could hear the music she makes, and while that made her smile, I got the feeling I wasn’t telling her anything she didn’t already know. Her shining eyes and eager thirst for new adventures was the perfect “oomph” of inspiration for me in this last show of the season.

On a side note, I got a big chuckle out of walking past this sign each day while carrying my bag of apples and yogurt from the Corte Inglese supermarket – (if you click on it, you can see it larger, and you just might be able to make out the list of names on the right…you know, you have your “Domingo”, your “Villazon”, your “Heppner” and “Stimme”. Well, you also have a little “DiDonato”. And no – I never get used to seeing my name on lists like that blown up over a huge square in a huge city! But it reminded me that I’ll soon be back to kick off my FURORE concert on December 3rd. It is the first of a big tour, and I simply cannot wait. I’ve put so much work into this project, I’ve heard the final edit of THE DISC, I’ve seen the final cover art for THE DISC – and it’s ACTUALLY REALLY HAPPENING! Wow.

So for now, it is “Adios” to Madrid, this wonderful town, “Adios” to Idamante for the time being, “Adios” to a wonderful theater and a lovely cast, and I’ll be back with (furious!) bells on before long.

Now I’m off to Florence for (another!) exciting (I promise – you won’t believe it!) recording project. Three days of lots of notes and recits (I swear – you’ll want this one on your shelf as well!!) and THEN … VACATION! (Am I there, yet???)