New York, 21 December 2006

I can’t believe it’s been three months since I last updated this page. Time is flying by, and though much of it has been fun, some of it has also just been “hold tight and wait” kind of material.

On the fun side, I did a few wonderfully fun performances of Die Zauberflöte at the Met in October. My fellow Ladies are just about the nicest and most diligent and talented people I’ve ever worked with. I feel so priviliged to get to spend time with them, both in rehearsal and in performance.
I also did a really successful TV show in Sweden in November. It is called Bingolotto, and is a cross between variety show and game show. It’s a really wonderful show as it benefits youth sports organizations all over Sweden. Great prizes are rewarded, and every week there is a musical act. Normally the show sports pop artists promoting a CD, such as David Bowie, Elton John, Julio Iglesias, Tina Turner, or the latest Pop Idol winner… Never have they had an opera singer on the show. I was flattered, and a bit intimidated, to be asked to participate. With a wonderful orchestra and a grand prize of trips to New York to see Turandot at the Met, it really spun a whole new angle on opera for EVERYONE! It was thrilling to get to talk about what I do in really simple and normal terms, making it accessible and enjoyable and personal to people who don’t even have an opera house to go to – even if they wanted to. And, the response to the music was truly exciting and moving.

On the not so easy or fun side of things, I was recently pulled from the performances of Die Zauberflöte. The reasons may be many, and from all indication varied, but the bottom line is that it is an ensemble piece, and if you don’t add good things to the whole it is better to be replaced by someone who can. Even so, it is, to say the least, a surprising and unsettling pill to swallow.
I had so been looking forward to working with Maestro Levine, and it is sad to me that this is what happened.
But as always when one has no control at all over the outcome, the major challenge is to make peace with what is so. With the present. And to not make it into something it is not. Overdramatizing is in our natures…. but it isn’t all that useful!

Two little miracles did happen during the past week.

First, the morning after I first was told I wasn’t going to be in the show, a wonderful woman in Chicago wrote me an email saying how much she enjoyed reading my website, and that although she appreciated my opera success, she felt that my most important quality was sharing my thoughts and feelings, and humanity. (Hm! That’s an interesting point of view…)

And then last night, as I walked to the Met with my best friend Tim, he said “You never know why anything happens. Consider that you being taken off the show maybe means something really amazing to someone else – or to the whole!”
Halfway through the performance I ran into my replacement in the hall. Claudia, being a lovely, competent and bubbly woman expressed to me, not only her articulate and considered thoughts on our awkward situation, but also that for her, stepping into this production had profound meaning. Ten years ago, on the day, she made her Met debut as the First Lady, replacing someone else. It was an anniversary to celebrate ROYALLY, and so, the universe made it so!

How inspiring and wonderful!!

It made me teary actually, because I had really spent most of the day yesterday meditating on letting go of my experience of this situation – to be able to see the whole.
Little did I know or expect to be so moved and overjoyed at the meaning this situation had for someone else.
Suddenly handing these performances over to Claudia (for any reason) seemed like the PERFECT situation. Anything else would be out of balance.

How eye-opening!

I am so very blessed and privileged – whether through ease or difficulty.

Oh, and I got a picture of the little boy I am sponsoring in Africa. His name is Djousling and he lives in Chad. So adorable.
Like me, he is good natured and curious in general, but gets very testy when hungry… Funny that!!