Sunday, March 09, 2008

Yankee Diva

How lovely to receive a comment from Joyce DiDonato last week for the Hugues Cuenod posting. Hughie is all uplift and inspiration. In my experience, it was simply impossible for anything feel impossible when around him, and certainly impossible to feel down.

I first encountered Joyce's singing while playing principal oboe in the Houston Grand Opera in 2004. For the HGO's 50th Anniversary Gala, she sang the finale from Rossini's La Cenerentola. She gave me such frissons that I could barely play my part. It was one of those performances by which others are judged—and usually found wanting.

Her blog—I've been a reader for some time—is great, so I am happy to add it to my links at the right. One of her posts this summer spoke to me so strongly that I have referenced it to friends as we've worked through the complications of Albert Fuller's death. In the face of the monumental losses experienced in the opera world last year, she wrote about the idea of carrying on the work of those who offered us our greatest inspiration.

" . . . it seems impossible to think of going forward without these great people among us, these immense presences in our lives. It almost seems perverse that we should still be able to hear and observe them in song after they've gone, but thank God we can. It makes me all the more grateful they gave so freely and willingly of their art so that we may have an eternal glimpse of their spirit here among us. And yet, it also amplifies for me how little we ever know about any artist that stands before us. How fragile, indeed."

The link in the text above is my addition, naturally. You can read the rest of Joyce's post here.

Carrying on in the face of loss will characterize our paths more and more with each step. As we go, we release our strongest, deepest memories into the world through our work, our music, and our lives, and in so doing experience the truest stuff of life in all its inscrutable wonder.

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