April 26, 2005

Welcome to the official opening of my web site — my debut on the internet! I hope that you will find the site easy to navigate, and that it will be full of information that you find helpful and, above all, most interesting! My intention is that it will be a real glimpse into my work, showing all the different aspects of a life that is very unconventional, always demanding, and often incredibly rewarding. It may take a little while to work out the kinks and to have it fully functioning, however my goal is that it will be constantly changing, growing, and expanding.

So, “a Voice, a Vision, an Adventure”? What is this? Over a wonderful lunch in a quaint Paris café, Chez Paul I believe, my dear friend (and sometime dresser), Larissa, gave me a lecture on the importance of having a logo. Me? A LOGO? “Yes”, she insisted — and while I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the concept of something so commercial, it did set my mind to spinning a bit: For a little while now I’ve been contemplating the importance of marketing and promotion in today’s climate of classical music and opera. Is it a necessary evil? Is it the only way to bring our ‘product’ to the public for whom it was written? Or is it a way to help people to know me a little better? I do not view myself as a product or as a puppet to someone else’s marketing scheme. I simply want people to be able to identify with who I am and fully enjoy what I can bring them. I recognize that the world functions on many different levels now, and so why not put to use some of the extraordinary tools at my disposal? Which is why I woke up at 4:30 am one morning with this phrase in my head: “a Voice, a Vision, an Adventure”. It’s exactly the declaration I was looking for!

Maybe “a voice” could appear to be a bit obvious, but I’m not referring only to my vocal chords vibrating! I want to incorporate my voice as a person into this site: What do I want to convey to an audience as a performer, as a woman, as a human being? Why do I believe singing is a vital part of our lives, of our existence? What of value do I hope to accomplish in this career? This is the voice I want to explore!

It’s funny, because I’m currently preparing Rossini’s amazing cantata “Giovanna d’Arco” for concerts with Patrick Summers and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in May, and the concept of ‘a vision’ is taking on a completely different meaning. Happily I can report that I’m not suffering from any disturbing visions, however I do love the idea of seeing a clear picture of what I want to achieve with this web site, with my career, and, if you go along with me for a minute, for the arts in general. I’m a big idealist, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. As a result, I’m of the frame of mind that music and art and literature can absolutely change lives. I’ve seen it personally. I’ve lived it on many occasions. I challenge anyone to argue this with me! This is the vision I want to explore.

And precisely because I want to explore these ideas, this is why I call it ‘an adventure’! Every single time I open the score for a new opera, I feel like I’m setting out into unchartered territory and can’t wait to delve into this new world of unknowns! When I repeat a role I’ve done perhaps a dozen times, I continue to discover a freshness and a spontaneity in the story and I always seem to be taking a completely different journey, even if the itinerary is the same! Each time I walk from my dressing room into the wings, waiting for my first entrance onto the stage, the audience is a completely different mix of people, and I feel like I’m setting out for the greatest adventure possible — never knowing exactly what may happen over the next 3 hours! I am infinitely blessed to participate in a world where things are constantly in motion, continually changing, and persistently on the edge — if that isn’t a great adventure, I don’t know what is!

So, with my ‘logo’ in hand, my nerves a bit shaky about this new adventure onto the web, but however, my eyes set straight on the road ahead, I hope you’ll stay with me and enjoy the ride!

A final note is to thank my dear friend, (and full time cheerleader), Alexandra for all the incredible work she did to help get this crazy vision up and running! Her insight, expertise and unbridled enthusiasm is infectious and oh so inspiring — I can’t thank her enough.