Saturday, March 14, 2009

Des petits mots....

I've been enjoying my time here in Paris IMMENSELY. For the first time, in probably a good, solid 3 years, I have not been pressed for time in preparing the "next thing", and boy, have I loved it. Don't get me wrong - I wouldn't have given up one new role or project from the past years, but the time had definitely come for me to have a bit of a mental rest. I've been singing the role of Idamante for the 3rd time in Luc Bondy's production, which means there is not much mental energy required on my part (lots of physical and vocal energy, yes - but it's a bit of a mental vacation since I already know "how it goes"). The performances have also been beautifully spaced, so I have been able to have ACTUAL, REAL-LIVE free days. Aaaaah. It's taken me a little while to remember what to do with a free day!!! But this is also one of the reasons I've been a bit absent from here - I've taken "Joyce time", and not only was the timing perfect, but I think I've made the best of it, and will leave Paris in a week feeling rejuvenated, rested, and invigorated. It's been a real gift.

One off-day was spent with the delightful Eve Ruggieri, taping her fascinating show, "Cinq etoiles" ("Five Stars") which should air sometime in the near future, and it was a BLAST because I shared the "heavens" with Rolando Villazon and Ludovic Tezier - both fellow recipients of a prize from Placido Domingo's Operalia competition. We couldn't help but take LARGE note of the fact that one of the many contributions Placido has made, has been to nurture the careers of so many young singers, not only with prize money, but with actual contracts and references and support. It was a beautiful tribute to have the 3 of us as living proof of his contribution. It was also a big personal accomplishment for me to be able to actually partake in a full evening of French conversation for television. It was EXHAUSTING, and I made a gazillion errors, but I loved the fact that I didn't actually drown in amongst all those nasal vowels - I stayed afloat, and that was a very cool "chose".

So, a few pictures to fill in the blanks, and as I emerge in the next few weeks from my mental vacation, I'll be a bit more in touch!

Señor Villazon, who kindly gifted me with a fabulous drawing of "Der Rosenkavalier", sketched during the playing of the Barbiere Overture - probably the only time those two distant worlds of mine will ever intersect!

Three of Domingo's lucky winners.

His path
"The longest part of the journey is said to be the passing of the gate." ~Marcus Terrentius Varro

Me and My Velib #1
"I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my bike. I want to ride my biCYcle, I want to ride it where I like!" ~Queen

Couple
"In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language." ~Mark Twain

Reaching
"The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection." ~Thomas Paine

Reflection
"There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it." ~Edith Wharton

17 comments:

Alixkovich said...

Ooooh! it's so great that you, Rolando Villazón and Ludovic Tézier will be in the next Musiques au Coeur *****
Do you want me to tell you if your french was good after I watch it? ;-P

ChristinaLuise said...

Wow, really great photos !! Especially the one with Ludovic Tezier and Rolando ; )
Many, many greetings,
Christina =)

Operafan said...

So glad you are enjoying your stay in Paris, I'm IMMENSELY enjoying your being back on the Parisian stages!! I know I keep telling that, but having you here is a TRUE GIFT. What a month it has been: Joyce DiDonato, Susan Graham, Rolando Villazon, Ludovic Tezier, Thomas Quasthoff... I wish you all best for your last week in Paris!!

Samantha said...

Absolutely beautiful, Joyce! :)

Rachel Budde said...

Your pictures make me want nothing but to be back in Paris rather than in crummy Chicago. I'm glad you've gotten some "you" time and that you've been able to enjoy your gig. The season announcement came out at the Lyric a couple of weeks ago, and we eagerly await your return!

Mei said...

Glad to read you're enjoying Joyce Time...

I thought you were putting in longer hour at the office... :-p

marcillac said...

Joyce Time does seem fun.


Love the Mark Twain quote. The senitment is one those of us with an extensive Franch vocabulary, complete command of the grammar and perfect diction can readily sympathize with.

marcillac said...

Yikes. That's "French" of course and I meant to write "pronunciation" rather than "diction". I could make the excuse that I'm busy at work but the truth is that even my fantastic English cannot match the excellence of my French.

Dolcevita said...

You were fantastic in Théâtre des Champs-Élysées this past Sunday!!!

You are simply unbeatable in whatever Rossini aria you sing these days - hands down!

Cosi aria in the end of the concert, with Felicity Lott, was simply perfect to me. Thank you!

Hope YOU had fun too :)

Come to think of it, Felicity Lott must be one of the classiest persons in the opera world. There is some kind of aura around her -- the way she speaks, the way she carries herself, the way she sings.

Chantdelumière said...

It seems to me You are a candle

Hariclea said...

Dearest Joyce,

I am so glad you got some time for yourself and hope you were able to enjoy the first buds of spring in Paris.

You lucky girl, not one, but two Werthers on your arms ;-)

And did you say Barbiere???? In just one week's time the legions of fans are getting ready to storm the ROH box office...

Enjoy the days in Paris and the best of luck for Wien! I know you'll knock them off their socks!
Hugsss!!!


Ps. do try a Maria Theresia coffee when you get there and "Platschinken mit Marillenmarmelade" ;-)

Elena Rakova said...

Oh, Joyce.... Your French was FINE! Even Très bien!!! Brava diva!!!
You are some "Idamantes" left before leaving Paris... Hope, you come back soon! I'll be keeping in memory our short conversation after Eve Ruggiéri's show about "classifying of mezzo voices"... And of course, I'll keep my feeling of surprise: I found you just human... No "star-like" attitudes!
A young Russian high mezzo from Paris who admires your subtle interpretation of Haendel especially....
Bisous et bienvenue à Paris!!!

Elena Rakova said...

Oh, Joyce.... Your French was FINE! Even Très bien!!! Brava diva!!!
You are some "Idamantes" left before leaving Paris... Hope, you come back soon! I'll be keeping in memory our short conversation after Eve Ruggiéri's show about "classifying of mezzo voices"... And of course, I'll keep my feeling of surprise: I found you just human... No "star-like" attitudes!
A young Russian high mezzo from Paris who admires your subtle interpretation of Haendel especially....
Bisous et bienvenue à Paris!!!

Mei said...

Impressive Ah! mio cor! schernito sei!

You can proudly sing son regins

Carol said...

Dear Joyce,
I love to read your insightful commentaries on your life in the opera world, but I also want to say how much I also adore your photography, especially your landscapes; they bring back memories of my own travels (I think we have the same photo of the Louvre pyramid). Of course you are very busy already, but have you ever thought of publishing your work? Just a thought from a fan, keep up the wonderful work in all your art!
Best,
CP

Dolcevita said...

Me too listened to "Ah! mio cor" and it's just fantastic. I didn't think a mezzo can sing it as beautifully as a soprano but Joyce proves us wrong nce again ;) Thanks


Is it me or this entire "Alcina" CD is 1 tone downsized?

Ann said...

STUNNING pictures!