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!