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.)