Monday, August 25, 2008

Gratitude - Day 150

Picking up where I left off, as promised:

Gratitude - Day 150

I'm grateful for fabulously real colleagues that bring flesh and blood humanity into the rehearsal room and onto the stage!

It is quite easy in this business to let the stage become your life. Now, perhaps this is a long, complex discussion, and most likely one which merits a separate entry (or 10!) all of its own; because in one way, I do "live" for the stage. However, I am all too aware that combining the passion that most artists possess with the dedication that this kind of career demands, it is all too easy to lose any sense of perspective of what constitutes a "real life". (Well, see? Right there - that's a highly debatable topic, for what one person considers important/real may have no bearing on another's perception!) BUT - I suppose I'm referring to that good ol' "Feet on the ground" concept.

I'm a big believer that to bring a character "to life" on the stage, we singers have to have a genuine grasp of what the emotional building blocks are of human beings in general, in order to inform the various characters we play. Understanding music is not enough, for ultimately, our characters aren't "singing" - WE are doing the physical singing - but THEY are living these emotions on such a grand scale, so that the only possible method capable of expressing them, is the human voice in (hopefully!) all it's glory. We are actors. Actors who sing, but I believe the singing is in place in order to convey the emotion.

See? Complex topic - but since my time is limited in these days, my ultimate point is that the more we understand of daily life, live real emotions, and remember that we are human beings first - yes, above being singers - the better shot we have at bringing to life fully 3-dimensional characters. And there is NO mistaking the fact that when you are performing with someone who embraces this philosophy, the chance for real-live sparks on the stage multiplies exponentially - therefore giving the audience its money's worth!

One of my current colleagues apparently has a penchant for rock climbing - or in this case, cross climbing on the set! It's the perfect example of someone who LIVES their life to the fullest and brings all of that energy and exuberance to the stage. The audience feels it, and his colleagues adore it! I don't need to point out how lucky I am that I Mr. Keenleyside is my first Giovanni, do I? Yeah ... I didn't think so!

(I wish the photo was better technically, but he caught me just a wee-bit off-guard!)


Operafan said...

Dear Yankeediva! What a great insightful post..From my little modest point of view, this is what makes opera singers as you so unique and unforgettable: the capacity to bring to life "fully 3-dimensional characters". And from what I know from you, I can tell that you are not the kind of person who forgets she is a human being!! Many people, beyond the opera world should be inspired by you. All best for Don Giovanni!

Mei said...

I agree with you, yankeediva, Simon Keenlyside is an extraordinary DG...

I don't mind to see him in two different productions in a row in this role...

Good for you to debut Donna Elvira with such Don Giovanni...

Anonymous said...

Love Keenlyside too! Although I'm not a big fan of Don Gio (guess it's an overdose effect in mu case) but would love to see/listen to Simon and Joyce. Who will be singing Donna Anna?

Best of luck Joyce and LOVED the photos from Greece. Makes you wish to jump there for a quick weekend.

Cheers guys!

Kenderina said...

Well, I love your Don Giovanni doing almost everything on stage, you don't need to point it out ;) And that's the most important thing for me when I go to the opera...I want to hear music and good singing, but I'm not able to separate it from good acting ! I think it is the good mix of it all what makes a performance outstanding and unforgettable.

Hope everything is going OK for you with Donna Elvira !!
A friend of mine who is moving to London this week, has bought tickets for your concert at Wigmore Hall and I'm looking forward for the Don Giovanni will be my first one too :)

Vianant said...

All the best for the premiere (though I am sure you don't need any good-luck-wishes). To be sure it'll be great to see DiDonato and Keenlyside together on the same stage!
Of course, to me, my favourite opera-singers are thouse who would also act, not only physicaly, but -at most- vocaly. That's what you both do and thats why I like you both so much.
All the best.