Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Opening Night!

One thing I love about this job, strangely enough, is that my life is cut into tiny compartments: a 2 month period in Chicago for Nozze, a 2-week recording session coming up in September (which I'm beyond excited about!), and for some time my debut as Elena in La Donna del Lago has been in the works. Finally it is here. I get to see the culmination of months of work and years of anticipation come to fruition tonight. (No pressure there!) Actually, there isn't any pressure, essentially, because it's pure joy for me to sing this piece and discover a completely different side to the composer I thought I knew so well!

Those "compartmental periods" keep me constantly appreciating the moment I am living. I have learned with a bit of experience that time flies without mercy or pity, and if I blink, I've slept through a world of riches. I know that 11 performances of Cherubino will be over before I know it, and so I had better soak up each moment. I know that I get ONE shot at making a solo recital recording, and I had better hit it out of the park giving my all in each phrase. I know that I get one chance to debut this beautiful role of Elena, and I don't want to sleep through it, or psyche myself out to where I am not free to take her journey.

I've said this now numerous times, that the stage teaches me so much - to be alive in the moment, to enjoy the lesson at hand, and to live it as fully and freely as possible. That is my intention for tonight, and I hope the audience will come along for the ride with all of us. I've enjoyed the rehearsal process tremendously with this outstanding cast and team (a conductor and director working side by side in tandem from day one? Stop the presses!!!), and know that we will give it our all tonight!!

It's not a "typical" interpretation of the opera, (you've been warned) but I do think it's quite a deep, beautiful look into the life of a young girl in an oppressive, overwhelming, war-torn, provincial town who seeks to find a way to reconcile her dreams and thirst for freedom and love under the constraints of her duty and obligations. She escapes quite wildly into her dreams, and yet that persistent reality keeps forcing her to look at the real world and find a way to enter into it. Malcom becomes sort of a "guardian angel" type figure who appears at her darkest moments, and becomes a guide to Elena, helping her find a way to be true to herself. As I said, perhaps not "typical", but it's done with a lot of heart, providing the perfect platform for "Tanti affetti" to be a truly emotional outpouring of joy and gratitude. At least, that's the idea...!

*Photos courtesy of the Grand Théâtre de Geneva


Chris said...

So when you record arias for a CD you get only "one shot" at it? I had thought that the final product was spliced together from as many "takes" as necessary to make a final "perfect" rendition. I am happy to hear that is not the case, since I always thought that splicing and re-doing was dishonest and artificial. Has this changed recently due to economic constraints?
Watching your London Barber I was again overwhelmed by how much you must remember in a performance. I can fathom how remembering an aria might not be too difficult, but to remember all the dialogue and music to the recitatives seems just impossible to me. Do you "improvise" at times if necessary?

Chris said...

Another question, if I may. [However I realize that this may be something an opera star would prefer not to weigh in on.] How much ability these days do stars (big ones like you) have to reject or change stagings that they find objectionable for some reason? Can they force alterations, or is it a "take it or leave it" choice?

La Rondine said...

Dear Joyce,

I wish I could be there tonight, it sound amazing! Are there going to be any radio broadcasts?

In Bocca al Lupo!


Georgios said...

It sounds wonderful! Will any of the performances be recorded for a future dvd release? Also can't wait to see more photographs from the production, the costumes look very crisp, a great foil for Rossini's florid lines. Hope the public reception was very warm!

Emma said...

Toi Toi Toi!

Eman said...

You were wonderful last night ! great great performance and thank God I read your blog before the show because it helped me understand what the director had in mind ;-) Anyway, you all sang (and acted) beautifully so...congratulations !!! Enjoy the rest of the run, I know all my friends who are coming at subsequent performances will !

Lexie said...

I attended opening night of Donna di Lago in Geneva and was totally enthralled, thrilled....blown away by your performance! Thank you thank you thank you! You have lit up Geneva in its rainy pall!

Irishrover said...

Gorgeous pictures! Again, this production looks amazing, I'm really looking forward to it!

Toï toï toï for the remaining of the performances, and enjoy the journey ;)

Take care!

PS. Nice French on Swiss TV! Looks like you were caught by surprise when the interview started ^^