Thursday, September 18, 2008

Legends and Reality

Tonight, I took my final bow as Donna Elvira in the Royal Opera's Don Giovanni season opener. The relief I felt in closing this particular chapter was palpable as was my enjoyment of this 5th performance: the recits start to crackle a bit more, I could play with the pacing a bit more, and I started to feel her even a bit more "in my bones" - but I've also survived nearly 3 weeks of perhaps the most intensive professional period of my career: new role, recital, cinema broadcast, interviews galore, master class and continual preparation of yet more new music! I do love it, but I also feel that it has been a hell of a period.

But as I took that bow tonight, none of this was really on my mind. What was swirling through the mental cacophony, mixing with that lovely British applause, was the realization that I was participating in a legendary performance. It is entirely possible that tonight was Sir Charles Mackerras's final performance of Don Giovanni. It's not a given, but it's a likelihood, for at 83, he may have other fish to fry, rather than another Giovanni for the Royal Opera. After leading a dynamic, detail-filled performance, he shuffled quietly onto the stage, and I was immediately aware that I was in the presence of a true legend - of someone truly deserving of accolades, applause and genuine respect. I feel so privileged and honored to have discovered this lady with his help, and to have been under the influence of his baton-less gestures and those effusive, joy-filled eyes. It was legendary, and a true gift for me.


Dinner was a must, after toasting all the cast and crew in the dressing rooms, and most of us made our way to a local establishment to toast each other, and relish the wonderful experience of sharing the stage together. Although our Donna Anna was missing, with Simon, Miah, Robert and Kyle, I was in the best of hands both in the opera and around the dinner table.


There is obviously much more to relate of these past chaotic, rewarding weeks, and I'll try my best to get more up and posted, but I have been rather busy, to say the least, during this time in London. A few days rest, and then a new exploration of Chausson in Kansas City are calling me.

In the meantime, reality sets in, time moves forward, and the next project eagerly awaits: thanks to my good friend Renato (grazie, caro!) I just received the following link in my mailbox...I guess this means it's really happening! I couldn't wait to share it, so please enjoy the sneak peak of "Furore", courtesy of emiclassics...



(FYI, the planned release dates are planned as follows: October for the UK, November for most of Europe, and January for the US....stay tuned for more details!)

18 comments:

Rachel Budde said...

Joyce, thank you so much for sharing this with us; you sound fantastic, and I'm eager to hear and see more. I'm working on a Handel set for a recital I'm giving in February (my first one!), and I was very surprised to discover how much I really LOVE the music, and how much substance there is to it. And, not to sound like a total doofus, but good God, it's HARDDDDD!

This blog is such a gift to me, as a young singer, and I am so appreciative of your generosity in that regard. Thank you. :)

Hariclea said...

Wow, thanks for the preview! That is so exciting!
And guess what?? Just read this in the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/19/arts/music/19arts-DONGIOVANNIF_BRF.html?ref=music

Isn't that amazing??? Thanks to the ROH and all of you for making this possible! Thanks for sharing your throughts and feelings about last night with all of us, the pictures brought so much emotion with them :-)

Hope you get some time to rest and prepare for the wonderful things to come :-))

Derek said...

Thanks so much for this, Joyce. You sound and look beautiful. It is so interesting to get a glimpse into your life in this way. Thanks for sharing!

(BTW, this is Nicole, posting with Derek's google account!)

Papagena said...

Month and a half to have you back in Madrid!!! This Furore concert is going to be amazing!!! I can't wait.

I love your picture with Sir Mackerras. It's so sweet :-)

Gi said...

Wow! I can't wait :-)

Dr.B said...

I haven't been reading you, and I'm starting to wonder why. I liked reading about Mackerras, a truly great man. I saw him do Bartered Bride when I was in London. He does a mean Rosenkavalier, too. Nice picture.

And you link to the Huffington Post. How cool. Maybe I will, too.

Chicago Usher said...

This is so marvelous! How grateful I am for all your 36-hour days. They are inspiring and educating -

If (a big "if" right now) I am asked to give a class for advanced choral students, I would like to refer them to the podcasts on your other site (especially J. Copley & La Dona), to form the basis of discussion. I hope you will approve! These young adults are the opera audiences of the future, and I can't think of any better way to interest and encourage them. And you've put everything on the Web, which makes it even easier for them to get hooked!

Besos y un abrazo muy fuerte!

mjw4849 said...

Glad it all went well - 5 performances doesn't seem enough really - especially as I saw an enormous queue for the resale tickets yesterday. Good luck for the next few months, looking forward to seeing you for Barber :)
Best wishes :)

Gerald said...

Dear Joyce,
To my great sadness I missed your Elvira due to the stupid fire in the Eurostar-tunnel, but I am sure you will meet her very soon again, as I am deeply convinced she is made for you (and apparently everybody is just of the same opinion!). How wonderful to see the images of this two unforgettable concerts again and to see you walking in my city - where there really is no Staarbucks!!! - and working in our wonderful theatre. I hope you will visit us soon again! I can't wait for Furore to be released and for everybody to get a chance to hear you performing this amazing programm. For the time beeing, have a more than well-deserved good rest, all the best for the weeks to come and see you very soon again in good old Europe!
Cheers,
Gerald

Brian said...

YEA! You made it through and still managed to shine according to all the reviews! Brava to you and thanks for the sneak peak!!!

Drammy said...

Brava! Eagerly awaiting Furore in January.

Mei said...

Lucky us for being witnesses of these legendary performances...

PS: I hope now you have enough time to post your photos again...

Operafan said...

Back from London, I am walking on air !! Double JOY to listen to and see Joyce, « In Conversation With », a brilliant live interview where she talked about her love for music, texts, acting, working, discovering new notes… Add tons of humility, generosity, passion, energy, curiosity, a great sense of humor, a “pre-listening” of her soon coming “Furore Album” and “wow”, you remain speechless but you’ve learnt so much about opera and life in 1 hour and a half…
Then comes her final performance of Donna Elvira and at the end of the opera you go for another “wow”!! She gave a whole new vision of the role, “her singing/acting, acting/singing” is just tremendous, it goes straight to your heart, she enlightens the already superb cast… Whenever I listen to her, it’s like I am going to the opera for the first time, it’s always renewed and different emotions and thoughts pop up into my mind and guts…
Eventually, you highly recommend your fellow fans to buy and listen immediately to “Lamenti”, you know, the “mysterious recording” Joyce was referring to on her blog while being in Paris for Romeo… You go to Monteverdi’s “Addio Roma” from ”L’incoronazione di Poppea” and…☺! This magnificent recording is conducted by Emmanuelle Haïm, who happened to play the harpsichord in William Christie’s recording of “Alcina” at the Palais Garnier in 1999, with Renée Fleming, Susan Graham and Natalie Dessay… Just to remember that we are now waiting for Joyce’s “Alcina” next spring, not bad, eh??
Thank you Joyce, for being THE sunshine of our operatic world, all my best for your season!

Kenderina said...

I felt the same as you seeing Sir Charles conducting, so I can imagine how exciting has to be to have worked with him :)
I love the second photo, great memories !!!
Hope you have some relaxing days at home in Kansas after "the big rush" because the Furore tour is waiting and , seeing the preview, is going to be a BIG thing ;)

marcillac said...

Thanks for the sneak preview. Am anticipating your Carnegie recital with even greater enthusiasm.

As I wrote before the Don premiere, I expected you Elvira to be terrific but I am thrilled that it was quite so complete a triumph Its notable that the rave reviews were from the early performances when you were still getting your sedan chair legs, as it were (is there still that chair - there was when I saw the production a few years ago). As you describe and as expected you seem to have improved through the run.

Given that you are hardly an unknown quantity at the Met, your smashing success at Covent Garden, and the fact that the Met has revivals of the Don every couple of years with multiple casts (3 Elviras this year) I would be shocked and disgusted if your Elvira doesn't make the journey to Gotham City sometime very soon. In any case I hope to see her several times over the years to see how your interpretation evolves.

Again, warmest congratulations!!!


P.S. I hadn't noticed it before, but it appears you'll be singing Octavian in Berlin in February. As it happens I might be in the neighborhood at right about that time and will certainly make the detour to catch him if I am fortunate enough to be so situated.

Dolcevita said...

Congrats Joyce! That was all HUGE and I'm very glad you've been `disciplined' because it was also a tad too much (hope you don't mind me saying that -- we want our Yankeediva to last LOOONG).


The promoting video for Furore looks fantastic. I guess/hope iTune will have it available first, in about 1 month. Can't wait!


Operafan thanks for the heads up! WOW :)

pepita said...

oh dear ... watching your 'sneak peak Dejanira Furore' already haunts me, as it did in Bruxelles.
I don't know how i will survive to the Furore recital !
Greeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeat !!!!

Inah said...

wonderful blog, Joyce.
I discovered it due the detalis given by the owners of simonkeenlyside.info.
wonderful voice. wonderful presence.
all the best from Bucharest, Romania.