Tag Archives: Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Room

New York City Blog Oct. 30 – Nov. 5

I love so many aspects of opera: its history, its backstage drama, the composers’ lives but I don’t appreciate sitting through performances. The solution is to attend recitals and master classes. Last week I attended two sessions of a Joyce DiDonato Master Class at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Room. The room was electric with anticipation. Promptly at 4 p.m. each day Joyce DiDonato soared into the studio. She’s about 5’ 2” and packed with energy. The four gifted, brave participants sat in the front row of the 100 seated room. Maestra DiDonato had already worked for one day with Suzannah Waddington, soprano, Sophia Fiuza Hunt, mezzo-Soprano, Raphaella Medina, mezzo-Soprano and Haô Ting, tenor. The singers were accompanied by Justina Lee and Djordje Nesic. DiDonato referred to the Weill Music Room as a safe playground for magic to happen. She is bubbly, engaging and deadly serious about music. Some of her remarks were: Technique, discipline and desire. Talk to us. Show us who you are. If something is 99% true, it’s false. It has to be 100%.

To loosen up tenor Haô Ting she had him take off his jacket and shoes and sing while doing push ups. She told the four singers to get off the hamster wheel by traveling for three months. During that time, not to sing. Instead, learn a foreign language well, eat the food, sit in cafes, imbibe the culture. When you return, after two weeks of warm ups, your voice will be better than ever.

Joyce DiDonato is a musical activist who exhorted us, her mesmerized audience, to make it an active part of our lives.You can see this dynamo in action on YouTube.

Weill Music Room
Weill Music Room

Off to the Green Party in Thompkins Square Park. Isn’t democracy dangerous?