Joyce DiDonato shares a week in her life as she prepared for the opening of La Donna del Lago at New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Grammy Awards in LA earlier this month.
Monday: I wake up in my own bed in my very own hometown of Kansas. Yesterday I performed at the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – a jewel of a concert hall – for the Harriman-Jewell Series 50th Anniversary Gala. It was the first time Juan Diego Flórez and I have appeared in concert together and the anticipation was immense. In rehearsals we went through a flurry of improvisations, saying things like ‘I’ll enter here’ and ‘Let’s take the high note for eight beats this time’, and the adrenalin was pumping. The concert was a smash, and afterwards I escaped to a private dinner with close friends and family, mercifully escaping the Super Bowl frenzy that has captured the rest of the US. We had the restaurant entirely to ourselves. Heavenly.
This morning is not so perfect: my flight to New York has been cancelled, which means I’m missing an orchestra sitzprobe of La Donna del Lago for the Metropolitan Opera, so I’ll also miss my one chance to introduce my phrasing, tempi and timbre to the orchestra. But this is the Met, so I’m not in the least bit worried. My flight is rescheduled for tomorrow, and I profit from a free day by hitting my favourite vegan restaurant and hibernating away from the howling winter winds.