Friday, November 21, 2008

Quiet time and my "gratitude year"

I've been enjoying some down time - it's been heavenly, truth be told - but I know that the engine is revving back up, so I've been sure to treasure the quiet time, hoping it will serve me well as my schedule takes off again. So much to catch up on, and since my time is a bit limited, it will be easier, perhaps through (a lot of) photos!!!

I had a ball during Beatrice and Benedict in Houston. Is it my favorite role ever? Well, no - but it was fun and fresh and a joy to play with a really wonderful cast.

Norman Reinhardt was a dashing and charming "Benedict", awfully fun to spar with on stage, and actually went along with dressing up for Halloween with me!

Ailish Tynan was a beautiful "Hero", and in addition to her stunning voice kept me laughing nearly the whole time!

I caught up with good friends, met some new ones, enjoyed feeling so "at home", and ate some fabulous meals. It's always hard to say goodbye to a wonderful experience, but knowing I'll be back is always comforting.

I'm currently in Madison, WI, for my husband's official American Debut, as he conducts "Madame Butterfly". It has been a total joy to watch the final week of rehearsals and to just be a wife! The production is STUNNING, and I predict will be a huge success. I was allowed to photograph some of the rehearsals which was a blast (and incredibly informative!), and if you like, you can see the photos here. If you're anywhere near the neighborhood, check it out - it will be a very special show.

Butterfly and Sorrow

Finally, it dawned on me that as of November 11, I have finished my unofficial "Year of Gratitude". My goal was to take a photograph every day of something I was grateful for. I managed, in truth, only 169 days, but considering my schedule, etc, I'll take it! It was a wonderful exercise, and even on the days I couldn't grab a photo, my awareness of the beauty around me grew by leaps and bounds. It was a kind of training in what I choose to see and focus on, and I anticipate that experience to stay with me every day.

So before the next round starts up (the FURORE tour, the NY concerts, etc, etc) I will finish up my Gratitude Journal with one of the first items I chronicled: my husband. I'm just grateful beyond words for him.




jennmac said...

Lovely ... thanks!

Susan said...

Congratulations on your 1 year blogging anniversary! Thank you for taking us on this journey with you.
I look forward to year 2!

Gi said...

Glad to have you back online...

Congratulations on your Gratitude project: I bet it has caused ripples in ways you never imagined.

Congratulations also on the stunning photographs: the Madama Butterfly pics ought to be bought by the theatre for publicity use :-P

I hope you keep blogging and sharing some of your experiences with us. You are a beautiful person and make the world a better place. Hugs.

Sarah said...

Hi Joyce, I am grateful for YOU!! I became an opera fan about the time I saw you in the broadcast of "Barber" at the Met, and you had me at "Rosina". Soon after I bought a laptop and I love the way that these new technologies are letting me learn about a timeless art form in so many ways. Your blog and Website are priceless.

Madison is my hometown and I try to visit often. So sorry I couldn't be there this weekend. I hope your husband will be back to Madison Opera soon, and perhaps the Minnesota Opera? Then you can visit as well! I hope you are enjoying your stay in Madtown.

O said...

Congratulations on your success, Joyce! I flew to Houston in 2007 to hear you and Lawrence in LA CENERENTOLA. It was amazing. Unfortunately, I was only able to chat with Lawrence backstage, but I will try to say hello when next I hear you.

I have your AMORE E GELOSIA (w/ Ciofi), RADAMISTO, and FURORE recordings. They're all lovely, but FURORE is a treasure--I get to enjoy you singing Handel arias for over an hour! FURORE is a gift to Handel lovers worldwide. I love every track, but I must say--your rendition of 'Crude furie' is fearfully brilliant.

I reside in Southern California and find that I must travel to hear works by the composers I love (e.g., Handel, Bach, Mozart, Rossini, etc.). Will you be in Southern California any time soon?

Please come!

Mei said...

Glad to read you again...!

Happy Thanksgiving...

Looking forward to a great concert night at Madrid...

jennmac said...

A 7-year old's interpretation of the Beatrice and Benedict scene:

"Looks like he's praying for something and Beatrice is saying 'Oh, Pu-leese'"


John Kenneth Adams said...

Hi Joyce,
Keep posting... as your Blog is always interesting and so helpful to so many young (and maturing!) musicians. Thanks, as always, for the photos!! I enjoyed especially "in a moment..." When I arrived at 6 a.m. to vote, the line was already trailing into the distance. I knew then that change was in the air. Hope to hear you soon again.

Operafan said...

Wonderful way to catch up, Dear "Mezzo-grapher"! All best for the coming schedules, which we are definitely grateful for, as we will have you back in Europe!! Take care!

Maury D'annato said...

Not to be flippant after such a sincere post, but my day of gratitude involves a couple of tickets being released for the Zankel show, which I thought I was going to have to miss because it sold out in about a minute.

Dolcevita said...

Oh gioia estrema! Joyce is coming back to Europe. YAY

I'm still loving "Furore" with equal intensity, my fave being, errr..., the scenes from Teseo.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Papagena said...

Thank you for everything Joyce! :-)

(Your husband is GORGEOUS!!!The last picture is lovely. I hope he gets a great success with his Butterfly)

See you next Wednesday :-D

Hariclea said...

Joyce thanks for taking us with you on this gratitude journey! And good luck to your husband in this wonderful project, fotos of the rehearsals are gorgeous!! And it looks very emotional :-)