Friday, August 21, 2009

I'm bad - I know: no updates about Aix (Magical, and "more cheese, please"!!!), or Salzburg ("Hey Mozart, I finally made it!!!), or "the leg" (I'm WALKING!) - but I'll get caught up at some point.

But I'm also good: I've had 2 whole entire weeks at home, with my husband. AT THE SAME TIME!!! That means both he and I, in our home, AT ONCE! That almost never happens. I think the current term is "taking a staycation", and I'll tell you - it's the only place I want to be during my free time! It was heavenly: I baked, I rejuvenated, I put weight on my right foot, I eased back into yoga, I gazed out my windows, I rehabbed, I saw my family, laughed with my nieces and nephews, I breathed. It was so very, very good. It made getting back on the plane all too difficult, mostly because it happened all too soon. Happily, there is Haydn and Handel waiting for me - with the most wonderful of musicians: The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightment.

But there is also other work to be done. I've been pouring over the edits for MY NEXT DISC!!!! I may have written about this before, that editing truly is a grueling, exasperating process: upon first listen, all I can hear is all the terrible things that I hate and don't do well. Not one single note sounds good to me. Then I have to take a deep breath, talk myself down off the ledge and remind myself that no one is perfect. Then I have to detach myself from the incredible emotion I feel for this music and be extremely business like and give my comments about balance, selections, etc. You see, in the beginning of my recording life, I was learning simply how to stand in front of a microphone and not croak - that's a daunting challenge in itself. But as I've learned over the years to relax a bit, I find more ways to give choices of color and mood - so that in the end we can take "the ice cold one" vs. the "mildly angry one", etc. For me, this luxury doesn't happen on stage, where you get only one shot to express. In the studio, you can experiment and take different kinds of risks - while some pay off, and others don't - it is a luxury. So the editing process for me is now about choosing the colors and tone that I want to set for each character or aria, and knowing that the choices will be permanent, it's a bit stressful, to say the least.

However, the great news is that I feel that this is the disc I wanted to make: it says the things I wanted to say about this single composer; it stretched me in the most incredibly rewarding ways; it taught me a great deal about singing, as well as about emoting; and above all, every single note (and there were a lot of them!) was an unabashed thrill to sing. I think there are a few unexpected things to discover on this disc - and while it may raise a few eyebrows, I've never really been one to back away from taking a risk. We'll see how it turns out!

(Dealing with crutches and wheel chairs didn't leave me much room for my camera and various lenses, so I'm a bit short on the photo department. However, I did get very lucky with this shot of a crazy lightening storm last week in NY, and this last photo was one of my favorite from my time in Rome.)


Ann said...

Great shots and of course, glad to hear that you're recouping happily. I'm so glad you got you and your husband time and family time and are getting back up on your feet.


I have no fear that you'll pick the right choices in the disc.

nyorker218 said...

I can't wait for your new CD and I'm glad your leg is getting better! All the best! :)

Glòria said...

First of all, I am glad to hear that the recovery is already in the final!.

About your new CD, I think that you're a perfectionist person who demands much of yourself. For this reason, upon first listen, you thought that nothing was fine. For sure, you were wrong!. When you have chosen what include on the CD, it will be wonderful!.

Perhaps there will be DVD too?.

Spectacular photo of the storm in NY !.

Mei said...

Glad to know you had great time as staycationer... :-P

I'll have the radio tuned to BBC Radio 3 for tomorrow concert...

What about your next role debut on September...?

Sibyl said...

A post full of such joy for us (a new cd, YAY!) and joy for you (husband and baking and walking, oh my!) is definitely worth the wait. Huge best wishes to you.

Raisa said...

Dear Joyce:
It's so nice to hear that you are feeling better and that you had a good rest at home.
Love both pictures.
The one with the lock is a real photographer's treasure.
Looking forward to your new CD!

Irina said...

Thanks for a great night at the Proms. Couldn't make it to London, but I listened to you live on BBC3.

Klassikfan said...

I was listening to your performance at the Proms last night via internet and I know from an "eye and ear witness" who was there that the fantastic applause was well deserved. Congratulations!
Then I read about your concert in Edinburgh which happened to be interrupted by a power failure! But the reviewer wrote: "The hiatus hadn't dented her lacerating emotional force and scintillating virtuosity". Congratulations again!!

Anonymous said...

What about La Damnation? Getting ready? I guess Marguerite is like a perfect role for you right now. Isn't it so?

Do drop a word or two, you Yankeesuperduperdiva you! :)


Irishrover said...

I just saw your Haydn's performance on the BBC, for the concert was broadcast, and you were AMAZING! I don't remember seeing you in such a fantastic energy, really, you truly blew me away! Voice's great, of course, but your acting... can't believe it yet.

Btw, eventhough you cannot tell us what your next disc will be, do you know when it's supposed to be released?

Looking forward to September 22 :)

Klassikfan said...

Irishrover, you don't have recorded that programme, have you?.......;-))

Irishrover said...

It's already on YouTube :) The Scena di Berenice is there, along with some Handel and Purcell's pieces performed by the orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Klassikfan said...

Thank you so much Irishrover!! You have made my day/night! ;-)