CLA France Blog: Reflection from Johanna

Today’s blog post is brought to you by another CLA participant.  Johanna is a lovely soprano from Munich and has become one of my close friends here at CLA France.  I appreciate her sharp humor and passionate approach to singing.  In this post, she shares her experience of our second concert, which took place on Monday evening.  Thank you for sharing, Johanna!

“Yesterday started off with the usual coachings. When walking through the chateau you could see everyone highly concentrated, memorizing the last lines of new pieces to be performed in the evening. In the late afternoon everybody got changed into concert wear, and luckily, this time it didn't pour down on us as it did before the previous concert evening. One last run through the common ensembles and we were off to the beautiful town Belvès for our second concert.

This concert was graciously hosted by the lovely Carol Haber in her home directly in the town center.  We were all in disbelief while entering - how stunning their home was, and it even featured staircases from the 13th century! We went to explore the house and after walking up several flights of stairs we were rewarded with a breathtaking 360° view from their rooftop. Since the town itself sits quite high already, we could see very far into the distance. And, with the beautiful weather and gorgeous background, some serious photoshoots took place.

The concert itself had a lovely atmosphere.  The audience was very attentive and interested, which to me is very important. It makes me feel appreciated as an artist and gives me freedom and comfort to unfold my artistry. Everyone did a fabulous job - it was such a treat hearing all the performances, knowing how much effort and work had been put into them.

Afterwards we got to meet the audience at the reception and we all engaged in pleasant conversation. It is always interesting for us to hear how the audience perceives a performance. Typically, they don't judge it nearly as harshly as we do ourselves.  After indulging in wonderful food and wine (oh, all the wine here in France is wonderful!), we packed up and drove back to our chateau very satisfied.

The loveliest aspect of the evening was how supportive and nice everybody was about each other’s performances and achievements. It is truly a gift to spend so much time with wonderful people who share with me a love for this unparalleled art form.”