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When I found out that I was going to be making a Carnegie Debut in the Weill Recital Hall, I was ecstatic for the opportunity to perform and to also breathe life into the music presentation through fashion. I had to laugh at myself, however, because for a woman who dreads shopping, I jumped for joy at the chance to wear a beautiful couture gown! I teamed up with couture designer Isabelle Donola and looked through her magnificent collection and found just the right piece that I felt expressed best the theme of friendship found in the song.

In composer Zhihua Hu’s song, “An Italian Poem,” the lyrics speak of how a friend “knows you, understands you, accompanies you, smiles at you, and is a friend for life.” When I was analyzing the song, structure, melody, etc., I found the song to encompass both the tenderness and at the same time the anxiety that can be felt by two friends separated by physical distance. As a singer living in New York City, it can be challenging to be far from the friendships I hold so dear. To me, the cape represented a certain melancholy but at the same time a firmness and safety. That sense of security is found by the way the cape wraps around the body and encloses in the front. The champagne/pink color with the soft silk fabric underneath reminded me of the carefree, joyful, free-flowing, playful girl inside who sang, danced and played in the streets with my gal pals during my youth. How exciting that I still get the opportunities to sing, dance and play, but this time…on the Carnegie stage!

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