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Preview: Yankeediva


A Voice, a Vision, an Adventure! Welcome to the ramblings of an international opera singer as she travels the world, searching for beauty and possibility in the world and on its stages.

Updated: 2017-12-27T08:27:38.702-06:00


I've moved!


***NEW YANKEEDIVA BLOG ADDRESS***Hello wonderful Yankeediva Readers!!May I just take one moment to THANK YOU (each of you! Yes, YOU!) for taking the time to stop by and read my ramblings? It started off as a rather tentative venture YEARS ago, and has certainly been more successful than I ever could have imagined. Your interactive comments have helped me shape the direction of my writings, and

Positively WOW!


Well, they don't make weeks like that too often, and for good reason - I'm not sure the heart can take it! My previous week started out with an unbelievable amount of intensive, inspiring work, and ended with a day which inundated my emotions and rendered this chatty mezzo nearly speechless. (Well, nearly!)Last Monday and Tuesday found me finishing up the final tracks for my next disc, and as

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

Please excuse the digression, but I feel I must


Passing By


It is with great, slightly belated pleasure that I announce the release of a new disc on which I had the extraordinary privilege of participating: please give a hearty welcome to Jake Heggie's most recent compilation of his compositions for voice and piano, with a string quartet thrown in for fun entitled PASSING BY. As if exploring new music and poetry wasn't incentive enough, he managed to

Broadening my horizons


I am currently a bit inundated with reams of notes and words being sung into a very perceptive microphone, all which will hopefully be for the benefit of your listening pleasure in a few months, so my writing capacity is a bit dimmed for the moment. I CAN, however, easily post a few photos from the most lovely of trips to Istanbul. It was a magical trip, and one which captivated me from

The beautiful, inspiring good news about the Arts in today's world


Please allow me to share this inspired, thought-provoking talk given by Ben Cameron - another gold mine from the astonishing TED team. There seems to be so much pessimism about what is happening in the world of the arts - is there any hope? I found this passionate talk to be direct and uplifting and a bull's eye challenge to those of us that care about our world, to continue to forge ahead with

Broadcast Alert and random thoughts


Well, that didn't take long! I blinked and my next season is starting up already! I know I'm certainly not alone with the thoughts that time flies, but this time it seemed to explode into oblivion! Our vacation was simply sublime, but our time at HOME was even better. It's amazing what that does to refresh the spirit, ground the heart, and remind me that I, occasionally, have a very lovely

What deep relaxation looks like


Just what the doctor ordered!



First of all, a few stats about my last 5 months:2 torn ligaments1 ankle surgery1 pair of crutches and 2 walking casts5 countries2 new roles (oh, I love you ladies!)2 new productions 1 revival, whose premiere coincided with the year of my birth26 shows2 magical recitals1 thrilling recording6 CD signings (thank you for coming out!)Countless interviews (in French, Italian and English)1 book

Sublime Surreality


Yesterday was our final "dress rehearsal" (we oddly still refer to the final rehearsal for concerts as a "Dress", even when costumes aren't involved), but because the Edinburgh Festival is such a hotbed of activity with over 240 classical music performances in the span of a few short weeks, rehearsal space is at a real premium. As a result, we soloists, the Maestro, Sir Roger Norrington, and the

Salzburg Recap


No, it never gets old to think of taking part of something so historic and profound:We were blessed with amazing weather while in this lovely city: for highlighting those steeples and orange roofs, blue skies by FAR beat out those gray ones!The road trip to Salzburg involved a stop at a roadside rest stop where I saw surely the world's largest jar of Nutella. It was only 33€ and I tried to

"Things Change, Jo"


In 1998 the Houston Opera Studio premiered the now nearly standard repertoire opera, "Little Women" by Mark Adamo. It challenged us greatly at the time, but seeing that it has enjoyed numerous performances now makes me quite happy that we were in on the ground level. I sang the character of "Meg" (even though I REALLY wanted to be "Jo"!), and found that in the end, it was definitely the right

An Experiment


Let's see if I end up enjoying this...

Austrian Photo Safari - looking up!


Why rain is good


It would appear that after our 3 heavenly, gorgeous sunny days here in Salzburg we may have consumed all the sunshine for our 2-week allotment. That does make me a bit sad, but it's imperative to remember why the rain is necessary and, in fact, sublime!At a recent dinner party (oh God, it was good! And the recipe can be found in the new Opera Singer's Cookbook: Die Oper Kucht!) I couldn't get

Worst accompanying photos EVER, but it's the best I can do for the moment!


Greetings from SUNNY Salzburg! Oh how happy I am to be able to say that! This city is simply stunning in the sunshine! May it never go away.I am happy to report that sizzling electricity pulsed through Bellini's music last night, and my first essay of this wonderful role will be galvanized in my memory for a long time to come. I feel like I just met a new, dear, friend, and I cannot wait to

Look, Norma...


It's NORMA day in the Alps!! Guard your children, dump the cheating Roman's, and sing joyfully in thirds!(Can you tell I'm excited for tonight?)Happy Monday!

The kitchen is open!


Thursday night there was quite an event here in Salzburg: the charity launch of a new cookbook (Christmas present alert!) by Evelyn Rillé and Johannes Ifkovits, entitled "Die Oper Kocht". It is a who's who of opera folk sharing their best recipes with brilliant, playful photos, all by Johannes himself, as well as handwritten recipes in each of the singer's native language. It's a great idea,

It's a November release, Baby!!!


(Can you tell I was a bit tired? "I'm doing another Rossini work, 'Stabat Mater' of Rossini." Redundant much? ;-)I had a show in Milan on a Tuesday night in July, and a driver picked me up from the secret exit of the theater (so clandestine!) so I could make a quick escape, and what should have been a 4.5-5 hour drive, ended up taking over SEVEN HOURS!!! The "driver" was by far the slowest man

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

Opposing views


I read this horrific, incomprehensible article from the Guardian newspaper this afternoon, and it made me immeasurably, profoundly sad. Truly, my soul wanted to curl itself up in a corner and find a blanket to lay over itself, simply to disappear and escape the pure insanity and foolishness of it. How can we, those of us who are lucky enough to have the freedom to choose to listen to Ella, or

Let the Tweets begin!


Ladies and Gentlemen, I MAY be crazy, but I've just elected to TRY the Twitter-universe. Wish me luck, but it was this afternoon's AMAZING first piano rehearsal of "Norma" here in Salzburg that inspired me - I wished I had the way to telling everyone right away what I was feeling. So on the advice of several friends, I came home and "tweeted" my first "tweet":"Singing in thirds with Edita

Getting back into the swing of things


It's HARD to finish a soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating vacation! I want one more day to swim in the pool as the mountain waterfall plays in the background. I wouldn't mind one more back massage. And certainly I will miss the abundant breakfast buffet (although another day of that might put me over the edge!) It's been perfectly perfect and just what the doctor ordered. Tomorrow I head off to my

Parting thoughts, secret looks, and invitations!


(On the famed Ponnelle set of "Barbiere" during intermission - photo graciously taken by an enthusiastic stage hand whose name I unfortunately missed: Grazie mille, amico mio!)Well, what a whirlwind this past week was! What an experience Milano was! What a life, eh? I can't write too much, because technically I'm on vacation (aaaaaaaaah) but part of my vacation plan was to catch up on over-due