What a summer it has been!!!
Last I wrote I was on a plane bound for Perth Australia!
Looking back over the last month and a half I must say it is nice to have a breather considering all the plane rides and time zones! Perth was so beautiful, and the people of Australia made our trip to one of the world’s sunniest cities that much more enjoyable.
Immediately after our two concerts in Perth, I headed straight to Paris stopping over in Dubai. For my second time to Paris, we immediately began rehearsals for 4 performances of the Two Towers with Maestro Wicki and the 21st Century Orchestra. My cousin joined me for the week, and I saw so many Parisian sights I never even knew existed between preparations for the concerts! The house of Monet, Normandy, and basking in only the most decadent of crepes, picnics in the park, baguettes, and many of the local markets. The city came to life even more than in my first trip there a year ago!
On my return to Paris, the first visit in 2012 came right after I had our first little baby girl Lily. It was my first trip away from her after months of “mommy mode”. Shifting back into touring over the year since then, I could not ask for a better balance of both worlds. It is challenging trying to manage being a good mother at home, while still remaining focused as a musician and performer while away from your family. Thanks to Facetime & Skype I still get my fair share of “Lilygrams”. To be able to do what you love is so incredibly rewarding, and Lily only inspires me to do more.
Adding to all of these exciting touring dates this year, my husband and I found out right before my trip to Perth and Paris that we were expecting baby #2!!!!!
Being in the throws of the first trimester while dealing with all the travelling was definitely more challenging this time around. By the time I returned from our week in Paris my body was definitely in need of a break, despite my desire to continue with our busy touring schedule. I took a couple weeks to let my body reboot in the end of July, and stored up energy knowing the next performances would be stateside and much closer.
With so much energy and excitement for Chicago, my husband and I made our way to the “windy city” together while Lily went with the grandparents back to Pennsylvania. With our first week alone together since having Lily, we visited Pier Park, Millennium Park, and of course revisited Giordano’s deep-dish pizza. We enjoyed my parent’s old stomping ground together and took in the time we had to share together in what is one of my favorite cities!
The Ravinia stage was as beautiful as ever! The CSO is so historically significant in their contributions to the musical world, and to stand in that Pavilion with the players who make up this exceptional body of musicians is thrilling. Plus the brass players and percussionists made the baby kick away during the performances! People always ask, do you sing any better when you are pregnant, are there any changes to your voice and the way you sing? I can definitely say if there are any, they are only for your benefit as a vocalist. All the weight in my abdomen helps me feel even more grounded in the breath, phrasing, and my range only gets even lower! So most definitely! Could not have asked for a better week!
Next stop is Wolf Trap on September 6th and 7th for the first movie once again! We are restarting the trilogy in D.C. and this time around I will be working with one of my closest and dearest friends, Maestro Erik Ochsner! All of my family is making the trip from Pennsylvania, and Lily will be there to! Currently I am 5 months pregnant, and with the baby due in December and the growing pregnancy things will slow down a little for me on the touring end.
Could not be more excited for all the amazing opportunities 2013 has brought so far, and for those yet to come by the end of the year! Thank you to the fans who make the music of Lord of the Rings continue to journey its way around the world. And also to my family and husband who have made so many sacrifices, and who without none of this would be possible!!