Monday, December 1, 2008

Finding the Fury (Tour: Day 1)

Admittedly, I've missed the Thanksgiving Feast in the United States the past few years. Even so, I should have known better. Really - I DID know better: you never, EVER travel on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Ever. It's the busiest travel day in the universe. Everyone knows this. I knew this. I'm a good American. I grew up in the Midwest. I knew better.

And yet, somehow, in booking my ticket to Madrid to start the FURORE tour, Sunday the 30th seemed an innocuous date to me. Harmless. Perfect timing, really - I get an extra day at home with my husband and family. One more day of sleeping in my very own, actual bed! Another chance for a homecooked meal, cooked in my own home! I'll arrive in Madrid a full day early to catch my breath, set up shop and get ready to roll! Book it!

I was meant to fly out at 1:30 p.m. from Kansas City, arriving in Newark, NJ at 5:25 p.m. PLENTY of time to catch my 8:30 p.m. flight to Madrid. Olè! 11:00 a.m. I get a trip alert on my computer: flight delayed. We'd leave about an hour late, still leaving PLENTY of time to catch that 8:30 p.m. plane to Madrid. Olè. A half hour later ... they've moved it again back another hour ... etc. And so the games began.

I arrived like a good passenger, checking in on-time. No one had good news or answers, for the weather was not cooperating on the East Coast. (Did Mother Nature not get the memo that I needed to fly to Madrid to sing all my Handel???) The wait began, and it was not pretty. While I think Kansas City International Aiport is the best airport in the world for taking off and landing (you have to walk a total of about 30 feet for baggage claim and/or gates - it's a brilliant design!), it is, and I say this as a proud Kansas Citian, the WORST airport to twiddle your thumbs in. No shopping, no dining options, and no foot traffic, so even the great past time of people watching is kept to a minimum. Having lost my appetite early on, after 4 hours of waiting, I broke down and forced a stale bagel into my empty stomach. The Thanksgiving banquet of roasted turkey, mashed potatoes and apple pie seemed like eons past.

More delays, false starts and unanswered questions, we finally got on board and off the run-way at 8:30 p.m. Arrival in Newark was 12:15 a.m. Yes, 7 hours late. And yes, way past the takeoff of my Madrid flight. I was told I needed to go to Customer Service to obtain vouchers, etc, and taking one look at the line, which surely would have run over 2 hours in wait time, I abandoned everything, hopped in a cab and high-tailed it to the Upper West Side to meet my husband, who had departed KC 3 hours after me and arrived safely in NY 3 hours earlier. (Different airline/airport for him, lucky guy!) So that was the silver lining - a chance meeting in NYC with my husband, who I had said goodbye to 12 hours earlier!

What this means is that I start this crazy tour a whole day off, which may not sound like much, but it's everything for a singer - it means one less day to adjust to the jet lag, a missed press luncheon (organized with blood, sweat and tears by the magnificent Teatro Real staff!), a bit of extra stress which never helps, and I have to march off the plane and walk right into 6 hours of rehearsal, no chance to rest up and gather my forces - which would have happened had I actually had the precious, glorious, coveted 24 hours I was meant to have.

BUT there is no sense in crying over spilt milk, as we say! I will choose to see all the positives - it will surely give me an extra boost of adrenalin, and it will put me in the mood of heightened emotion and yes, with an extra dash of FURY thrown in for good measure!!!

My only worry is that I am still recovering from a stubborn cold that I picked up at the end of my time in Houston, and I know it would be better to have a full day's rest going into this exciting tour. But again, I'm loading up on my vitamins, eating bowls of steaming soup, and truth be told, I don't mind facing a big challenge every now and then. I'm thrilled to be getting back full-steam into this music, revisiting these characters that I found such a passion for, and bringing it to some of my very favorite cities in the world.

I'll do my best to chronicle my tour here - with hopes that at least the travel end of things will shape up a bit better, but most importantly that we'll present concerts that touch people, perhaps make them think or feel, and at the very least, give them the opportunity to revel in all those little black notes Handel scribbled down nearly 250 years ago. (You see, that NEVER ceases to astonish me: those notes have been "dead" on the paper ever since he blotted them out by candlelight, and yet each time a singer exhales through them, they come to life again for all those who listen! I LOVE being connected in that way - not only to Handel himself, but to all the singers who have sung these challenging phrases over the years - and certainly with all those that will continue to sing them!)

Seems as though my flight is actually ready to board - if it gets off the ground, then I'm officially on my way! See you on the road!

10 comments:

Mei said...

A chilly Madrid is waiting for you... Take care of yourself...

I'm ready for another dose of Furore... ;-)

edgar said...

Hi JoyDe!

Here at last... Welcome to Spain. I've been waiting for you to come back for half a year now... and finally here you are, starting Furore Tour in Madrid, and this time I'm gonna attend the Real, I swore I'd never miss you performing again.

And now... a true confession: this one is the second soloist performance I attend in my whole life... I don't like "highlights" perfomances, I enjoy musical works, opera too, as a whole, I never jump from one aria to another, such a kind of completism, I know, but that's the way I'm used to (the first one was Pavarotti in South-America fifteen years ago or so).

The last Real perfomance I attended was "Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno", so I guess I'm in the mood, looking forward to enjoy your wonderful voice and that strange and special (almost "unnatural", I may -and dare- say) that feeling you spread all around when you sing Händel.

Tomorrow is a special day for you, it's the day when your dreams come true, you're willing to shine like the star you already are, and also to step this first stage of your "furore" dream... you dreamt of it and you got it! ...be careful when dreaming, someone said (you may get it and catch the dream).

And... now is your turn, while missing your family, your own bed, your midwest roots, dealing with overbooked flights, boring airports, crowded venues... your turn to live your own dream, and to take us with you in a "Furore" new way of enjoying those Händel's black little secret hidden dead notes, a Händel's revival holding your hand, a new approach, a new experience... by your side.

I wish you the best of the best, I'd like to read from now on about your overwhelming success touring
"Furore", and please, whatever it may happen, never, never give up hope, this is your big time, and out there you may find many supporters like me, like us, wishing you well.

Please remember, I'll be watching (and listening to you) from the skies of the Real, almost behind the chandelier.


Cheers, and see you tomorrow night!




(BTW, I'm giving away a ticket for tomorrow performance, my girlfriend works till 20:30 and I'm going alone, this spare ticket is hers, she won't leave work earlier, ... her boss!).

edgar said...

Hi JoyDe!

Here at last... Welcome to Spain. I've been waiting for you to come back for half a year now... and finally here you are, starting Furore Tour in Madrid, and this time I'm gonna attend the Real, I swore I'd never miss you performing again.

And now... a true confession: this one is the second soloist performance I attend in my whole life... I don't like "highlights" perfomances, I enjoy musical works, opera too, as a whole, I never jump from one aria to another, such a kind of completism, I know, but that's the way I'm used to (the first one was Pavarotti in South-America fifteen years ago or so).

The last Real perfomance I attended was "Il trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno", so I guess I'm in the mood, looking forward to enjoy your wonderful voice and that strange and special (almost "unnatural", I may -and dare- say) that feeling you spread all around when you sing Händel.

Tomorrow is a special day for you, it's the day when your dreams come true, you're willing to shine like the star you already are, and also to step this first stage of your "furore" dream... you dreamt of it and you got it! ...be careful when dreaming, someone said (you may get it and catch the dream).

And... now is your turn, while missing your family, your own bed, your midwest roots, dealing with overbooked flights, boring airports, crowded venues... your turn to live your own dream, and to take us with you in a "Furore" new way of enjoying those Händel's black little secret hidden dead notes, a Händel's revival holding your hand, a new approach, a new experience... by your side.

I wish you the best of the best, I'd like to read from now on about your overwhelming success touring
"Furore", and please, whatever it may happen, never, never give up hope, this is your big time, and out there you may find many supporters like me, like us, wishing you well.

Please remember, I'll be watching (and listening to you) from the skies of the Real, almost behind the chandelier.


Cheers, and see you tomorrow night!




(BTW, I'm giving away a ticket for tomorrow performance, my girlfriend works till 20:30 and I'm going alone, this spare ticket is hers, she won't leave work earlier, ... her boss!).

Ann said...

I'd like to think you got all of your travel horrors done at the start! Should mean smooth sailing from here on out on the tour... right??? Here's to hopin'!

Scazza said...

Good luck Joyce! For that cold I wanted to post a tiny suggestion: neti pot. Have you gotten into that miracle? I thought of you the other day when I also got a cold in KC, about that time in Italy when you walked through a shop and all the dust went up your nose and into your throat when a neti pot would have really helped. I neti-ed 2-4x a day with plenty of salt to kill off that virus, (also taking oregano/carvacrol oil every hour) and in 2 days I am back to normal. I highly recommend the neti pot (especially with all the travelling you do) and oregano oil for emergencies. I think of my neti pot as necessary as a toothbrush, but for your nose!

Sibyl said...

So sorry about your travel nightmares! I am struck by your comments on taking a "dead" thing and making it live for people, being the conduit for immediate communication between the audience and Handel. I used to teach BritLit at university, and that very point was something I was always striving to make to my students: through your imagination Dickens or Keats or Donne are communicating directly with you. It really is a miracle, and how much more satisfying for a singer: to have your intellect and body be the medium for this time travel. I so love to read about your adventures and insights: thank you! (Oh, and I second Scazza: neti pot=wonderful.)

Dolcevita said...

Geez... Poor thing :(


But at least you know that on this end we all love you and looking forward to listening to your "Furore".

Blimey - only now I realize the Madrid concert is tomorrow!!!

But after that you have 3 days to regroup. Do take care! xoxoxo

Gi said...

We're all of us (I'm sure I can say this) keeping you warm in our hearts.
Have a great show!

Hariclea said...

What are holidays without the crazy airports, no fun at all ;-)) Hope your next flights are better and wrap up well, winter has come early in Europe this year :-) London is chilly but anxiously waiting for you :-)) Good luck and loooaddsss of fun!!!

ava said...

I love what you say about feeling connected to all the singers who have sung those phrases before you and will sing them after you. I feel the same way! And I love that none of us will sing the phrases (or likely ornament them) the same way. Gives me a geeky thrill!