Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Celebrating Rossini!!!

It is with great pleasure, great astonishment, and great excitement that I introduce to you my next disc:

Rossini Arias: Colbran, the Muse...

I'm enjoying what is being billed as my "Rossini Year", having started with Rosina in London this summer, bringing her back for the opening this Saturday back at the MET with a brilliant cast, this disc launches on Tuesday here in the States (soon elsewhere, as well!), and finishing the season with my first Elena's in Donna del Lago. There are lots of little black notes in my immediate future, and hopefully yours as well, as I would LOVE for you to take a listen to the disc, enjoy the genius that is Rossini - inspired by his admiration and love for Isabella - and help me celebrate this most special of composers!!!

And, in a short health update - for the record, I just finished the final dress rehearsal of Barbiere here at the MET, and I finished standing on both legs. That felt GREAT!!!!

Hoping everyone's opera-going season is off to as great a start as mine!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Oh those strings!

My only day of rehearsal with the LSO and Maestro Gergiev for my debut as Marguerite in Berlioz's masterpiece "Damnation de Faust" just came to an end. I wish the clock had not marched forward (even if my jet lag was begging differently!). Gergiev's complete mastery of this piece, in sublime combination with the orchestra's innate and uncanny way with Berlioz's near demented, yet utterly enthralling music was nearly too much for me. How those strings can find SUCH a clear unison, such a sizzling warmth in the most miniscule of piano's, I'll never know, but I most certainly did not want it to end!!! This is the sign of a brilliant orchestra to me: when the whole is absolutely integrated and seamless, and yet the moment a solo passage steps up, you know you're listening to the best in the world take the lead for that brief moment.

This past year alone I have worked with some of the greatest Maestri in the world, and Gergiev's intense, yet subtle influence confirms for me my strong desire for a great Maestro: someone who INSPIRES.

Thank you Maestro, thank you wonderful LSO, and thank you wonderful colleagues - what a JOY and a privilege to make music together!

PS - most sadly, I don't believe any radio broadcast is planned; this is one for the ticket holders - my apologies to those of you outside of the hall...

Thursday, September 17, 2009


It would appear to be official:

October 6th sees the arrival of MY NEXT DISC, which I'm IMMENSELY excited about, to say the very least.

Welcome to the world of Isabella Colbran and Gioachino Rossini, prima donna and celebrated composer: lovers, spouses, perhaps even revolutionaries. I delved into their world for a wonderful week in Rome and spent time with the wicked, the wonderful, the noble and the sorrowful ladies which he created for his muse: a prima donna of the highest rank who brought her immense range and fierce temperament to the stage.

The task was daunting, to put it mildly, but the joy of singing these roles with the amazing playing of the Academia di Santa Cecilia orchestra was off the charts for me. Oh, how I adore these ladies: Elena (Donna del Lago), Anna (Maometto II), Elisabetta, Semiramide, Desdemona (Otello), and ARMIDA!

I do hope that it will say something about Rossini which is often overlooked - his penchant for melody and capacity to highlight the profound strength and vulnerability of women. (And in case anyone is wondering where Rosina or Cenerentola are, "Una voce poco fa" will be available as an exclusive download for i-tunes! "Non più mesta" may just appear on the next one!!!)

Speaking of Cenerentola, as well, thanks to Chris for the notice about this:

Finally!! The Cenerentola Juan Diego and I recorded live in Barcelona in January of 2007 is coming out on DVD, it would appear, at the end of October! See? There! Your Christmas shopping list is filling up, already!

The excitement builds!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Anything is possible!!!

I seem to remember, vaguely, taking a vacation recently! Ah, yes - I was in Alaska on the high seas watching ASTONISHING feats and sights such as this that thrilled me to my core; and now that the season is back in full swing, and I have roughly a ga-zillion things on my plate, I needed to sit back and remember what I was doing 2 weeks ago, to find that beautiful stress-free place!

Thank you for indulging me!!! I feel much better!

It's great to be back at work, on both feet (!), settling into The Big Apple, learning a new role, plotting for the big CD launch (more soon, I promise - but if you live in the States, October 6 is THE DAY!!!), seeing old friends and colleagues and enjoying the hectic life in which I find myself. So hectic, my blogging has suffered, but I'll get back in the groove soon!

Off to London this weekend, then back here to NY/Seville!

(And yes, I really did see that whale catapult herself out of the water. Still stunned by it, in fact!)

Friday, September 11, 2009


It's difficult to be in New York City today. 8 years ago our world changed in the most catastrophic way possible. Time stood still. Shock set in. Horror engulfed us all. I don't know of anyone whose lives were not deeply, eternally affected by the morbid decision of a few men.

And then there was the shift. Once the breath slowly returned to us all, hands started to be held. Heads leaned on shoulders. Tears were wiped away, only to return too quickly. And then, out of the vast and indescribable stillness: voices were raised. Music seemed to be the one balm which could offer a modicum of comfort. That breath, which was stolen from us so violently, found its path again through singing. Unity happened.

It's not only the memory of the terror that saddens (and still shocks) me - but instead, there seems to be a deeper sadness hovering over today: the inconceivable, unforgivable loss of that unity. The sadness seems to mix with shame and anger as I watch the division deepen in this country and around the world. How did we dare to allow that to happen?

As I was in Alaska - beautiful, astonishing, miraculous Alaska - it dawned on me how very, very small we are. And yet, we are also immense as well when we unite. Funny, that.

I must be naive, because in my mind it is crystal clear and so utterly simple. Isn't it?

My thoughts are with the world today, especially those who lost their precious loved ones to the hands of hatred and ignorance. (And that includes all those lives lost in the continued , seemingly endless aftermath of 9/11...)