Saturday, September 25, 2010

One of those weeks...


One of those delicious, indescribable, unforgetable, "please can't they all be like this" weeks has just come to a close, and while I'm very happy to be settling into my hotel room with a rented movie on itunes waiting for me and room service on its way, I did want to put a few thoughts down about why a week like this blows my mind.

I promise you, it just doesn't get old ~ at least not yet, it doesn't ~ and certainly not when the level of music making rises to such beautiful heights and everyone involved finds pure JOY in the sometimes arduous, but ultimately uplifting and invigorating process. I've completed 5 of 9 recording sessions for my new disc, as well as giving a concert of a handful of highlighted arias in Paris, and I don't want it to end. I'm very fortunate to have an orchestra that, under the baton of Maestro Kazushi Ono, is extremely well prepared, proficient and eager, so all that is left to do is to play, to make choices, to find new levels of expression and new layers within the music.


If I were recording a full-length opera, as I've done in the past, I would blog about the process of recording each individual aria, but I don't want, yet, to give TOO much away. I will say, however, that it is a project I'm IMMENSELY excited about. My first two solo discs for Virgin Classics were very specifically themed explorations of a single composer around a single "idea" (Furore for Handel, and Arias for Isabella Colbran for Rossini). This time I wanted to spread my wings a bit more.

I've had a tremendously varied repertoire ever since my early days in Houston, even if it seems that I've dedicated most of my time to the worlds of Handel and Rossini, and so I wished to find a way to present "the rest of me" that was cohesive and interesting, with composers that reflect my musical appetite and roles that I have spent some time around.

The cumulative result will be (provided the coming 4 sessions go off without a hitch!) a real peek into the world of a mezzo-soprano (more or less), who usually spends half of her time in pants, and the other half in skirts, with composers to include Gluck, Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Berlioz, Massenet, Offenbach, Gounod and Strauss. Ah ... it's just bliss, really. It's a HUGE undertaking, but truly, it is unblemished bliss.


This morning I started my day with a harp, 6 cellos and a few woodwinds attempting to create an ethereal, transparent, intimate mood about the poetry and ecstasy of love, followed by beating Satan at his own game, and finishing up with a lone clarinet, avowing to kill for love. Are you kidding me with all of this?

I had the afternoon off today (that's rare!) and because it was raining here in GORGEOUS Lyon (what a delightful city this is ~ such a discovery for me!), which meant no Lyonaisse Photo Safari for me, I had some fun answering more questions for my video blog over on my Youtube channel. Feel free to explore and offer your comments!

In the meantime, the launch of my new website is crawling towards the big launch ~ so stay tuned! What a fun period this is!

CHEERS!

17 comments:

Mei said...

This new disc has some Pauline Viardot's scent...

Enjoy Lyon...!

chris said...

Let's hope you have enough time in Lyon to taste some of its famous dishes: quenelle de brochet,sauce Nantua(pike dumplings with a shrimp sauce) or poulet demi-deuil (with slices of black truffle put under the skin). Bon appetit.

Wolfgang said...

Dear Joyce, thank you for answering my question about your iPod's content! As I expected, this is a treasure trove of suggestions, and I will spend this rainy Sunday buying tons of great music. BTW, as you seem to like some Jazz, you may want to check out another "American in France", Stacey Kent.

Your new album sounds incredibly exciting and I am so much looking forward to it! Have a great time, and enjoy the recording as much as we all will enjoy listening to it

William V. Madison said...

"Gratitude" is your word -- but I'm grateful that you shared this week with the rest of us. The concert was more than dazzling, it was fascinating. (Just like you.)

coolfreeze said...

Just wanted to mention that once again your photos are absolutely beautiful. Thanks!

Sarah said...

I'm very curious to see your new website! I'm also curious as to how you go about setting up these recording sessions, especially with different orchestras for each CD. I bet they're lined up to work with you!

Zsolt said...

Just inform everybody, that tonight 19.30 (local time) the hungarian classical radio (Bartók radio) will broadcast the Donna del Lago from Geneva!!

You can listen it via internet, either www.radio.hu, or via operacast..just look for Bartók radio, hungarian classical channel.

Extatic said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful concert last night.

Hope you'll come back to Lyon!

chris said...

Your new website is fine but I would like it to give more infor about future performances, such as the whole cast for operas you will be in, and the program for recitals you will be giving. As it is, it just gives place and name of opera or "recital".

Philip said...

I know I am I being a curmudgeon and I will be moaning direct to Lyon Opera but Lyon was not great - for us at least. We bought the most expensive seats in the house. My wife flew in from England specially. Result - all we could see from the front row was the backs of the cellos. We moved to the gods for the second half so at last we could see you.

Surely the orchestra could have gone back a metre and you been more to the fore? I know they are wonderful, but it wasn't the Orchestra we came to see and hear.

Rant over, looking forward to Ariodante at the Barbican where I know we will be able to see!

Hariclea said...

In London tonight, crossing fingerzzzzzz!!!!! Will listen on the radio :-) Have fun and be awarded :-))))

Hariclea said...

Congratulationss for the Awards!!!!!!!! Bravisssima!! :-) That is some competition you beat ;-)))) To many more in the future, cin cin :-)

Wolfgang said...

Just one Word: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

jeanne.dark said...

booom, that was what it made in my head when I first saw the price of the tickets for your concert in hamburg!
people are talking about a few young teenagers who attend those classical concerts [supported by their rich parents]! well, I really would like to visit your concert but I don't have the ability - there are no rich parents and no reduction for students!
merci beaucoup

Yankeediva said...

@jeanne.dark: Could you send me a quick private email via my contact page on the website?? Cheers!

@Chris: I know it would probably be convenient to have more of that information posted, but with the way things change so quickly sometimes, I'd never be able to keep up, so that's why I link to the actual websites, so you can see the most up-to-date information.

@Philip - very sorry about the seats! There were a lot of players on that stage, and I know that I could barely make it through them all, so I think they did the best with the space they had, but my apologies!

@everyone else. THANK YOU. Ya'll are the best!

EditNetwork said...

CONGRATULATIONS on Gramophone Artist of the Year award!

Gi said...

Congratulations on the two Gramophone awards. Richly deserved! Hugs to you.