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Music Never Sleeps, Part 2

Music Never Sleeps NYC, Part 2

Dear friends,

As our shelter-at-home days continue on, I’m pleased to share another set of videos from the “Music Never Sleeps NYC” livestreamed marathon, which featured many Caramoor artists.

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Construction Now On Halt After a Productive February & March

2020 has been quite the year – not only for Caramoor, but for the world. During these times, when the Caramoor staff is working from home like so many of you, we are building the Caramoor community in new and exciting ways and taking comfort from the words of our founders Walter and Lucie Rosen. 

“We built a home, my husband and I, not to be old or new, just to be beautiful. And we built it for music.”  – Lucie Bigelow Rosen 


Afternoon Tea in the Summer Dining Room

Afternoon Tea | At Home

A bite (and sip) of comfort

While we are unable to welcome you into our home to enjoy an Afternoon Tea, we invite you to re-create the experience in your home! Put on your kettle, try out recipes from our caterer, Word of Mouth, put on a playlist of artists who have performed at Caramoor, and dive into the story of our founders, Walter and Lucie Rosen (afternoon tea enthusiasts).

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Music Never Sleeps NYC, Part 1

Music Never Sleeps NYC

From artists’ homes to yours

Dear Friends,

Last month I had the pleasure of helping my friends Jan Vogler and Eric Jacobsen produce “Music Never Sleeps NYC” a 24-hour livestreamed music video marathon of original content performed by NYC musicians from their homes. This project was a labor of love and ended up receiving an incredible response, with over 40,000 views worldwide. It also received a 5-star review from Richard Morrison in the London Times!

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2020 Vocal Rising Stars Week, “The Art of Pleasure” | Day 7

Day 7…

March 18th, 2020

You never know which concert is going to become the year’s Big Event. I approach every project as if the fate of the world hung on my getting it just right. This season we revived two important, long-forgotten music theater pieces in November (Weill’s Silverlake and Blitzstein’s No For an Answer), gave Harlem’s gay subculture center stage in December, and rocked the Juilliard theater with Cuban songs in January. All of them struck me as sexy ideas for press coverage—and indeed, they each received a certain amount of notice. 

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2020 Vocal Rising Stars Week, “The Art of Pleasure” | Day 6

Day 6…

March 15th, 2020

Today wasn’t just our dress rehearsal, it was our Dress Rehearsal. The concert at Caramoor usually feels like a final run before the New York show on Tuesday, but this year it’s different. For one thing, there is no New York show because of the #$%^#&@*@ corona virus. And there will be only a tiny, silent live audience tomorrow at Caramoor. But there will be cameras and microphones for a live stream, which we hope to show again Tuesday as a substitute for the Merkin Hall concert.

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2020 Vocal Rising Stars Week, “The Art of Pleasure” | Day 5

Day 5…

March 14, 2020

This has been a lovely experience, a week of warm feelings, good discussions, support, kindness, and fine music-making. But I’ve been waiting in vain for the Big Breakthrough, the dramatic moment where you know an artist has loosened his or her shackles and is now able to fly higher than they ever did before. I wasn’t sure we were going to get one. 

I think we did today. 

We’re gearing up for a pair of videotapings, since we are not playing to live audiences at Caramoor or Merkin Hall. Instead we’ll film the dress rehearsal and the Sunday run, taking advantage of Caramoor’s updated technology. (First an accessible bathroom, now a permanent, three-camera, in-house set-up! Is it too much to hope for a sauna and a lap-pool?) The Sunday performance will be available as a live stream, and we think we can also show it again on Tuesday when the Manhattan concert was to take place. 

The whole thing has made me pretty jittery — I hate mics and cameras. The cast, however, is totally unfazed. In fact, the prospect of a video seems to have released something creative in the all the singers. Or maybe all the hard work we’ve done has finally hit the tipping point. All I know is there was some serious beauty on the stage today. 

Baritone Thomas West is the singer I know best. I was one of his Juilliard coaches for four years, and I’ve continued to mentor him as he finds his way professionally. We communicate without speaking, silently reading each other’s signals. That telepathy came in handy this week when Thomas been especially quiet. I knew he was handling the demands of our concert while dealing with some time-sensitive issues at his other big job as Executive Director of the Peace Project. At today’s runthrough, he stepped up to the plate and nailed his most difficult piece, the “Opera Scene” from Gabe Kahane’s “Craigslistlieder.” Gabe took an actual post from Craigslist and turned it into a wild cantata in six movements about a guy with a sociopathic compulsion: he is driven to put ice cubes down people’s shirts. It’s a tour de force in every way, hyper-serious and unhinged. Thomas navigated the razor’s edge of sanity and insanity, rational perspective and out-of-control OCD, to perfection. Even sitting behind him, unable to see his face, I knew he’d hit comic pay-dirt. 

I believe in Siena Miller, our mezzo-soprano. Her unique combination of fragility and depth enthralls me, as does the shimmery Cabernet of her voice. Siena’s personality is very dissimilar to that of the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson (one of the goddesses of song), but her artistry reminds me of Lorraine. Siena has been slowly coming in for a landing all week, absorbing (and perhaps wrestling with) everything Albert, Bénédicte, Michael, and I have had to say to her. I have sensed that what Siena needed most was some space to ground herself, and I’ve tried to give it to her. We were rewarded today with three beautiful performances of widely divergent material: a Catalan art song, a contemporary British art song, and a music-theater piece written for Mary Testa. Bingo.

Now I am the one who needs the grounding. I got my first alone-time at the piano today, for just an hour, and I’ll have another solo hour tomorrow to prep. I am negotiating with my arms and hands for a peace deal.  They are recalcitrant at the bargaining table, but I’ll sit down again and see if I can get to an entente cordiale.

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2020 Vocal Rising Stars Week, “The Art of Pleasure” | Day 4

Day 4…

March 13, 2020

In 2014 Caramoor asked me to include a fifth apprentice artist in the Vocal Rising Stars mix: a pianist. Initially I balked at the suggestion—it meant another mouth to feed, a possible impediment to the intimacy of working with the singers. After the first year (with piano genius Leann Osterkamp) I changed my mind. Each of the pianists has contributed so much to the process, often rehearsing with the singers in the evening hours when I am at home wrestling with this blog. 

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2020 Vocal Rising Stars Week, “The Art of Pleasure” | Day 3

Day 3…

March 12, 2020

Bénédicte Jourdois joined us today. She is one of the premier French coaches in America, a superb pianist, a peerless musician, an assistant conductor at the Met, a colleague of mine at Juilliard.

They don’t call her Bénédicte for nothing — she is a blessing. 

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