After the Met Ring Cycles ended spring went in to high gear with some wonderful, incredible events.
I had always been slated to go to the Deutsche Oper in April to sing Helmwige in two performances of Walküre. However, as I was walking to dinner with a couple of friends, I received an email that would change that. “Our Sieglinde has withdrawn. How do you feel about singing her instead?”
Yes. The answer is yes. Of course there were nerves involved. I’m a Virgo. I like being in control of situations and this was most certainly not in control. However, Nike’s slogan always comes to mind in situations like this. “Just do it.”
So I did.
One of my favorite roles in one of my favorite houses with Maestro Runnicles conducting, Torsten Kerl as Siegmund, Greer Grimsley as Wotan, Catherine Foster as Brünnhilde, Daniele Sindram as Fricka and Atilla Jun as Hunding. Boy was I a lucky lady.
Also – I got to wear Julia Varady’s apron and Violeta Urmana’s costumes. I can say that I felt pretty dang special.
After the whirlwind that Walküre was, I headed back to Karlsruhe to stage and sing my first Marschallin in Rosenkavalier. We had less than two weeks to go from start to performance and with any piece that can prove difficult. With Rosenkavalier, it seemed impossible. I am pleased to report that we did it! Yay! “Die zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding.”. Any time that I can sing Strauss I am a happy lady, and this was no exception.
In the middle of the run of Rosenkavalier, I was able to escape to Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a week and sing in the Grand Teton Music Festival. Jackson Hole is an incredibly beautiful place — raw, natural and just heavenly. Once again, Walküre was on the menu. Once again, Maestro Runnicles was at the helm and once again, I counted myself as the luckiest soprano around. Stuart Skelton was an amazing Siegmund (so wonderful to be reunited with him after singing my first Sieglinde with him in 2009!) and Donnie Ray Albert was an incredible Wotan. The orchestra at Jackson Hole was something incredibly special. Made up of members of the top orchestras in the US, it is like a summer band camp for adults. They were incredible and played with such amazing sound. I really hope to be able to work with them again.
After that, I went back to Germany to finish the run of Rosenkavalier and sing some Beethoven 9ths.
Then vacation!! I took my first ever, real vacation this year. Hawaii. For ten days. Worth every penny.
There may have been diet coke involved.
I then went to Texas to visit my gorgeous sister and my beautiful nieces. They are really the loves of my life.
My sister couldn’t be any more beautiful.
After that, I had planned on going to San Francisco for some study time, but received a call from my manager saying that the soprano one in Aspen’s Mahler Eight had withdrawn and he was wondering if I could learn and sing it. Again, Nike. It is such a monumental and incredible piece and I was so happy to have been able to be a part of it. It was also very special in that seven of the eight soloists were doing the piece for the first time, as was Maestro Spano. What an amazing experience and one that I will definitely treasure for the rest of my life.
The ladies of the Mahler 8. Sasha Cooke, Meredith Arwady, Amber Wagner, Heidi Melton and Esther Heideman.
Symphony of a thousand. (Or in this case 549. Whoa.)
And that takes me up to today. Rested. Relaxed and getting ready to start the 2012/2013 season next week. Die zeit, die ist ein sonderbar Ding indeed.