Retrospect: Pulcinella in Munich 2021

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A personal account from mezzo-soprano Julia Dawson.

So it was in this context, on a January evening with storms raging within and without, that I received a text from Barbara asking if I was in Europe and did I want to record Pulcinella with the Munich Philharmonic in three weeks. My answer was an enthusiastic YES. I arrived in Munich during the height of lockdown to find a ghost town. The streets were for the most part, deserted and we were not able even gather amongst ourselves after rehearsals. It seemed miraculous in this context, not only to debut with this amazing orchestra, but to be able to sing with other people at all! The energy of the orchestra and the soloists was one of immense gratitude that we had this chance, made possible through the diligent work of the orchestra administration in planning and executing COVID safety protocols.

As the first orchestra rehearsal began I was carried away by the beautiful sound emanating from the orchestra into the empty hall. 

We were alone in the Gasteig, making an offering of music together. What a gift. 

Munich team 2021: Levi Hammer, Barbara Hannigan, Charles Sy, Julia Dawson, Douglas Williams & Rolf Verbeek.