I feel so grateful and blessed that I got to sing 7 concerts at the Albert Hall with Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and John Rigby conducting and of course the fantastic Raymond Gubbay team. What a joyful and moving experience, especially when dedications were made in support of Ukraine, by the lighting designers and the conductor. I got to wear a dress designed especially for this occasion by @Daniel Dioguardi in the colours of Ukrainian flag. I sang for 40,000 people, fearlessly belted out 7 top E flats in ‘Sempre libera’ and remembered all the verses of Rule Britannia – an experience I would want to repeat any time soon.
Every tree was once a seed and so the journey of Hadley woods Festival – Music on Jack’s Lake begins. One of the deep realisations that I have come to in the Pandemic is that we never know what might happen tomorrow or even in the next moment. I knew this in my head, but living through Covid lockdowns, cancelled work, so much illness, fear and suffering around made me fully understand it. Which is why I have decided to act upon an idea that had been brewing in my mind and without delay start a music festival next to a beautiful lake in Barnet/Cockfosters. This combination of water, woods, music and people coming together is unique and has an X factor. I feel very proud of the first concert and I am excited for this dream to start growing roots in the years to come.
If Corona virus was a person, I would write a letter or call to talk, to ask. I would have so many questions: why are you doing this to us? What is the point? Why now? Where did you come from? Why like this? Are you here for a reason? What am I learning from this experience? How do I survive this? Will I survive this?
I guess these questions come naturally out of the state of isolation. The place where we are all faced with ourselves, where we are forced to look deeply within, we are really becoming aware of our fears, our strengths and weaknesses. This is the place that we discover what are we made of.
Recently, I have been looking into who I am, why I am here in this world and what my purpose is – but it is in this lockdown that these searches had become more acute and more urgent.
I feel grateful for this time, for learning to treasure every minute, all human connections, rediscovering buried connections with nature; creativity; art; music. Finding new ways of communication, new ways of teaching, finding more capacity in me for giving, letting go more, stressing less, just being, re evaluating my parenting, my life and my relationship with my singing. I am grateful for these revelations.
Like all things in life however, there are two sides to this coin – I feel a deep sadness and grievance for so many lost lives and people’s pain. I feel extremely sympathetic and compassionate for everyone who have lost their loved ones and who weren’t able to say goodbye. I feel afraid for those who are stuck in abusive relationships and people who suffer from depression or other mental illnesses. I am also worried about elderly people who are alone and for all the people who need urgent medical care for illnesses not related to corona virus. I feel that this isolation has also a very mean, cruel face. I worry that people are not processing what they feel now and bottling their feelings up, which in turn might bring to a delayed explosion of PTSD. I pray that the world will have enough therapists and mental health workers.
I feel that we are all changing and we will not be the same when we come out of this. Nonetheless, I pray and hope that we will come out of this better, stronger , braver and more prepared for the next world crisis. We are all equal before death, before illnesses – I pray that this will help us appreciate life more.
Meanwhile let’s just breathe through it…