Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

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Speed interview: Joyce El-Khoury

Sun Nov 2 2014

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Joyce El-Khoury plays Pauline in Les Martyrs at the Royal Festival Hall on 4 November, as well as the upcoming Opera Rara recording of the opera. We found out what makes her tick by means of our tried and tested speed interview.

What do you fear the most?
Waking up 50 years from now with regrets. Which is why I make every effort to live completely true to myself and in the moment.  CARPE DIEM! 

Which mobile number do you call the most?
My mom! Well, actually I FaceTime my Mom’s phone and talk to her and the rest of the family: Dad and my two sisters.   We Lebanese folk are very close!

What – or where – is perfection?
Perfection could be in a hole in the ground if I’m surrounded by my loved ones.

What’s your favourite ritual?
Coffee and porridge every morning in silence.  Without this, you get grumpy Joyce all day long.  You don’t want to see it, trust me.

What other talent or skill would you like to possess?
Growing up, I wanted to study medicine.  In fact, this was the plan until I fell in love with Opera.  So, if there was enough time in one lifetime, I would do that alongside my musical career.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
I’ve learned that we are all on this planet, doing our best, and trying to find happiness.  We all walk around with our beautiful qualities as well as our faults and sometimes we make mistakes.  The only thing that we all have real control over is how we choose to treat each other.  In my opinion, the best gift we can give ourselves and others is FORGIVENESS.  We will all need it at some point. 

What is the most played piece of music on your MP3 player or in your CD collection?
The Right Moment by Gerry Rafferty.  Imagine by John Lennon is a close second.

What’s the best thing about working with the OAE?
I am in awe at how masterful they are in terms of spontaneity. The players have a very rare gift in that they listen VERY closely to what the singer is doing.  In many ways, this makes for a very fulfilling musical experience because there is so much give and take.  It is so exciting.  Hearing them play Les Martyrs is truly inspiring!

We play Donizetti’s Les Martyrs on 4 November 2014 at the Royal Festival Hall. More details/buy tickets