Goodbye to November

Messiah with Carlos Mena.jpg
Photo by Monika Sieburg - With Carlos Mena during Messiah applause in Dortmund
My blog has been down for a while. But she’s back… at least I really hope so! So many things have happened that I would have loved to write about.  I have been running around like a crazy woman this November singing six different programs in different cities and countries.  I have met wonderful people, heard the most beautiful music, felt the greatest jubilation and the deepest sorrow, been shocked by the world, heartened, disheartened, speechless, unable to stop speaking…  Through it all, I have been lucky to be surrounded by a great family and incredible music.  I have been lucky to meet and make music with people from many different countries each with his or her unique story, dreams, and way of seeing the world. 
I am profoundly sad about the result of the US election, but I cannot think that all people who voted for Trump are bad or racist people.  I think that people are very complicated, and it is too simplistic to put everyone in the same box without knowing his or her story.  We all have our own struggles.  Some Trump voters are so desperately trying to put food on their tables, they just needed to vote for what they saw as change.  That said, I am brokenhearted for my country that Trump is the devastating change that we will have.  My heart breaks further every time I read anything about his appointments or about anything that he has said or done.  Seeing his picture inspires a dread and sorrow and remembrance of history lessons past that are never really in the past.  I am not sure how we will overcome this, but I am trying to support as many Human Rights organizations as I possibly can.  I am looking for inspiration in the wonderful and brave people in this world who fight for the rights of all of us. I am looking for inspiration in the music. 
A few days ago I arrived in Dortmund at midnight after a long day recording in Berlin.  I went to sleep a few hours later and was awakened way too soon by the drilling on the floor above mine in my hotel. My voice was tired and my mind was tired too.  But then I got to rehearsal with the wonderful conductor Andrea Marcon.  We started at the beginning and went through the whole soprano part of “Messiah” piece by piece.  It didn’t matter that both of us have performed “Messiah” countless times in the past and even once together.  This was a new day, a new time, a new chance, and we were going to see what we could discover.  Trying out new things with only one orchestra rehearsal requires the greatest teamwork.  The only way to do it is for each of us to listen, use our instincts, and react to each other as quickly as possible.  Making music is never perfect… nothing in life is… But I love the feeling of getting up on that stage with my heart and my ears open and knowing that there is a whole team of people from the conductor to the orchestra to my colleagues and the audience working together to experience something that is greater than ourselves.

Written by : Robin Johannsen

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