I sometimes have to pinch myself… sharing the Lord of the Rings music has brought me to some beautiful places in my 10 years of touring. Sydney, Singapore, Colorado, Switzerland. But there are few cities that have been as beautiful as Monte Carlo!
Sitting here poolside looking out over the deep blue piercing water watching the yachts and sailboats float by, I feel grateful to have both sides of my life feel so in balance. Ying and yang, mom and musician, at home and abroad- it’s such a blessing to love both parts of my life so equally. Getting a break from bottles and diapers for a couple days, and basking in the beautiful music of Howard Shore with my touring family in this marvelous city- I could not ask for more!
This week I celebrated my 3rd wedding anniversary with my husband, and thanks to the new Timehop app, I saw that this is the second year in a row where France has stolen me from him. But it is ok, because I carry him and our two children with me all the time. As I see kids playing on the beach, or watch a couple eating their croissants sharing the beautiful silence of a peaceful breakfast together, I think, “Oh Lily would love to do this,” or “Oh, I wish Jake were here to see this view with me!” It is rather ironic that on this same day last year I was in Paris, the city of love, enjoying the romanticism of France despite being halfway across the world from my own loves.
But let me say this- Monte Carlo has its own flare! The classicism of the architecture is mixed with an exquisite taste for lavishness displayed in every hotel, casino, boat and plate. It is beyond breathtaking! These are the times where I thank my lucky stars that my “work” feels so far from the typical 9-5 I somehow have escaped in my life.
Our first performance in the Grimaldi Forum was simply majestic under the baton of Maestro Ludwig Wicki. This music feels like home to me. The phrases and ornamentation of each solo I sing has a familiarity, yet each night with Howard’s music I learn something new. People ask me all the time, “Are you ever bored, or tired of singing this music?” My reply is still the same: “How could I be! There is always some new small detail I hear every time I sing it!”
I told Jake before I left that maybe next year, or the year after he simply MUST come with me. This is far too miraculous a place to experience without my partner in crime. The audience and turn out was great, and I know the entire organization did a tremendous job bringing this production to the stage. The city itself cascades down the surrounding mountains eventually running into the ocean. The prince and princess of Monaco live perched on the very top of the city, with what must be one of the most spectacular views! Our own venue was below sea level- simply crazy!
Having travelled in Lyon, Paris, and now the south of France and Monaco I see that there is such a distinct individuality between the regions. Like in the states, North, South, Midwest, West Coast- there is a charm uniquely their own. One simply cannot argue with their taste for wine, sun, and the moments of grandeur that rise in the breaths between the waves crashing on the beach.
I did indeed gamble for the first time here, and only came ahead 15 Euros. But regardless I think I won the jackpot!