Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Too beautiful

Just a quick post (reassuring you that I have not sold my soul to Twitter at the expense of my blog postings!), but I had to just say how unbelievably BEAUTIFUL I find the music of Bellini. It's pure, it's simple, it's achingly beautiful, as in the case of the final shattering scene of Norma.

We were in a rehearsal room today for our orchestral rehearsal, not the theater, and so while some acoustical advantages are lost, a different kind of intimacy is achieved: we are much closer to each other, and the orchestra and choir are crowded in, without too much room to spare. As a result, we feel much more closely the singer next to us inhaling, and as they sway with their vocal lines, we are drawn in even closer to their emotion and their vocal hurdles, so a sensation arises of truly being a team of individual athletes (for singing bel canto is ABSOLUTELY an athletic task!) searching for a way to tread the most delicate bel canto line of perfection and purity, alongside unbridled emotion and raw power.

I loved watching the orchestra players react to Edita's singing of the final scene: eyebrows raised in astonishment, smiles breaking out in spite of themselves, jaws gaping open ever so slightly as she pulls out a diminuendo on her high b-natural. I loved the titters of astonishment from other cast members as one of us dared to sing even more softly, or hold out the messa-di-voce just a *little bit more*.

It was a magical rehearsal, and highlighted all the reasons I love to sing: I get to test myself, and push myself in a million different ways which constantly invites me to grow and learn and excel, but all the while I'm contributing and participating in something that is much bigger than myself - the piccolo player and I and the 4th-bass-from-the-left in the choir are all there to tell the same story, and we all need each other to pull it off! The sense of accomplishment as an individual, but also as a team, is extraordinary.

I am also finding it to be highly inspirational to be in this lovely city where music seems to be the sole life-force. (OK, after some fabulous shopping!) We have lucked out with an AMAZING apartment here, glass windows all around, providing a breathtaking panorama of Salzburg, and church bells seem to be going off from all directions nearly every 15 minutes during the day. I've fallen in love with it, and smile thinking, "I wonder if these were the same bells Mozart heard on his way to the theater?" It is a city that inspires wonderment and creativity and excellence, and I hope all of those traits will be with me going into these concerts next week.

(Sadly, as I understand it, there is no plan to broadcast the concerts, so I apologize to those of you who had been searching for a way to listen!)

I need to get my camera out, but for the moment, all my energy is on Bellini....



Klassikfan said...

ORF radio broadcasts quite a number of concerts from Salzburg, and it is more than sad that "Norma" is not on the schedule, although both concerts are completely sold out.

enecabe said...

Joyce, please don't forget to tell us about the Zimtschnecken.

Squillo said...

Sorry we won't get to hear this Norma, but glad you're enjoying your first Adalgisa.

I think "Mira, O Norma" is possibly the most beautiful duet in all of opera. Since I won't get to hear you & Ms. Gruberova, I'll have to console myself with the Horne/Sutherland version.

Liana said...

Joyce, you are simply amazing! Your excitement and wish to grow as a singer and person inspire us all! Reading your posts brings so much joy... your kind, gentle, questioning, intelligent, passionate, and beautiful spirit soars through your words and singing! Thank you for being you!!!!!!!! And thank you for writing about all that you do -- it is a complete thrill to read.... I can't even express what an inspiration you are to me, as a singer and as a human being. I can only hope to be that singer standing next to you someday, in awe of your breathtaking talent...... :) Have a fabulous time in Salzburg and singing Bellini !!!!!

opwork said...

Hello Joyce. I work in opera - no more info than that to protect the innocent - and have been reading and enjoying your blog for some time now. I so appreciate that you are always so positive and supportive of fellow artists, singers, musicians and technical staff. It's so good to hear that and to feel the passion you put into your work and the obvious joy you get back!

Mr. Classical Guy said...

She is the Nightengale! EG will explain.

belcanto said...

just great to read and feel the enthusiasm for belini and the singers and ......
looking forward for tomorrows main rehearsal which I will attend (as it was impossible to get tickets for the concert)
Keep my fingers crossed especialy for those wonderful duetts i.g. Deh! con te, con te li prendi . . . Mira o Norma (on of the most beutiful i ever got to hear) Wish you all the best! reinhard

Gi said...

I hope you have great fun with Norma, and hope to see/hear you in Adalgisa some day.

On the subject of blogs, I've heard some comments from people I know who visit here that reading white on red is a little hard on the eyes. Did anyone else complain? Do any of your other visitors agree? Do you think it's worth thinking about? Your website is black text on white on red and is perhaps easier to read.
Just a thought in case you contemplate changing the visuals again :-)

Sophie said...

Il y a peu de temps que je connais et lis votre blog. C'est merveilleux de faire partager vos sentiments et vos émotions à travers vos voyages et vos concerts. Comme vous, je garde un souvenir magique de Salzbourg où il y a vraiment une atmosphère très spéciale. Je vous souhaite mille succès pour Norma. a très bientôt à Paris

Violetta said...

Dear Joyce,

SO MANY THANKS for sharing your impressions with all of us! It’s more than exciting!!! Even more so for those among us who have been loving and cherishing Edita Gruberova for more than 30 years – and now your two wonderful voices will join together for the first time! Can’t wait to be in Salzburg on Monday … and deeply sorry that there won’t be a broadcast! Maybe later on …??? Such a memorable performance (which I’m sure it will be!) must not be lost, that would be an eternal shame!

The article from the GUARDIAN keeps boggling my mind but I’m sure people in Iran (and similar countries) will find a way to music in spite of all prohibitions. Just reading a book on Afghanistan where the Taliban proclaimed in 1996, among many other things: SINGING IS FORBIDDEN !!! Also dancing, playing games (such as chess, etc.), writing books, watching films, painting, etc. etc. Really awful … These things have happened before – let’s find some consolation in the thought that none of those wonderful things, so important in our life, could ever be destroyed or lost completely, human beings always have found ways to do what is important to them, and they always will!

And YES, we are incredibly lucky to have all these treasures at our fingertips!!! And to have someone like you, making us happy not only with your beautiful voice but also sharing your deep thoughts and impressions with us! THANK YOU, Joyce!!!

See you on Monday – and IN BOCCA AL LUPO for your first Adalgisa!!!

zurga said...

Thank you very much for taking time of your very busy life to share your thoughts with all of us that follow your blog and your great achievements.
It has given me great joy to attend some of your performances.
It is such a delight to hear you sing!
As for Madame Gruberova, she is a miracle.
My first encounter with her was in 1976 in Washington with the Vienna Opera, singing the Zerbinetta of all times.

Chris said...

Rossini is coloratura fireworks, Bellini is coloratura beauty, and Donizetti is somewhere in between.

Zsolt said...

Dear Joyce!

Im so excited as well about monday!!

You wrote in twitter that today was the dress rehearsal..but is it a concert performance, isn't it?