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
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).
From artists’ homes to yours
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
March 10, 2020
In a week-long residency Tuesday’s rehearsal has a very particular vibe. The Monday honeymoon, the thrill of meeting for the first time, is over. Our first guest teacher, Albert Carbonell, lit up the room yesterday, but today we were left on our own to pull this show together. We don’t yet feel the pressure of a performance nipping at our heels, so no one is freaking out about memorization. In short, a low-key day, time for Michael and me to watch and listen—and figure out what everyone most needs from us.