I'd like to dedicate this portion of my website to the wonderful, challenging, and audacious journey that is trying to become a singer.
The first inspiration for this blog has come from none other than the fabulous diva, Joyce DiDonato. The coloratura queen has been my mezzo-muse for the past 5 years. From the moment I discovered her, I was in love: her brilliant vocal color, her flawless technique, her command of the stage, her passion...the list of what makes her amazing goes on and on. But above all, it is her humility and dedication to the art that inspires me the most. The first time I read her blog I knew she was no ordinary singer. Her gift of writing and reaching out to young singers, offering sound advice and heartfelt inspiration, is a gift to all of us.
This winter I was lucky enough to see her perform in Maria Stuarda at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. If you haven't seen it yet, well just gush over Anthony Tommasini's review of her performance in the New York Times and get yourself to a movie theater to see it Live in HD (I think it's tonight!) I saw the January 4th performance with my boyfriend, Steve. Those who know me might say that I tend to speak in hyperbole, but I swear I have never seen such a moving performance at the Met. My heart stopped every time Joyce walked on stage. I cried during every single aria. The final scene, where you can just barely make out a pianissimo F until it crescendos to soar over the entire chorus and orchestra, is one of the most glorious, satisfying moments in opera. Her poise in her dramatic performance was the icing on the cake.
As if her performance in Stuarda weren't enough to inspire this blog, Joyce appeared again on stage at Lincoln Center, only this time at the Julliard School, where she gave a live-streamed Master Class for their very fortunate voice students on January 25th. With Eric Owns heckling her from the front row (!) - it was both wildly entertaining and fantastically educational. I found myself hastily scribbling down as much information as I could into my voice journal. Ever humble, Ms. DiDonato insisted that she was not a "master", and often put herself on the same level as the students as she worked with them. Her advice on artistry, language, dramatic presentation, emotion, life.... all of it I will treasure and look back on as I continue on my own singing journey.
Here are some quotes I wrote in my journal that I will leave you with:
- There is NO finished product without process...The greatest performers are students, always. Be open to experimental process, let it be a journey. Don't be so concerned about the final product.
- Music is the universal connective tissue of humanity
- The spinning never stops, even when you are breathing in!
- You can sing it as well as you want, but if you are not in control of your body, we are never going to get Figaro.
- It's not about you. When that curtain rises, it's about the character and the people who paid money to see the performance, and their experience.
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