Shania Twain will come on over to Las Vegas in December 2012, launching her two-year residency at Caesars Palace. The country superstar, who has sold 75 million albums worldwide, revealed details of the concert series during a press conference at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville on Wednesday afternoon (June 8).
“I just can’t wait,” she said. “I wish I could just get started tomorrow. You know, today is a big turning point for me. I feel as though I’m about to step into a world of endless, creative possibilities. That is so exciting for a songwriter, for an artist, to take songs and translate them into such a magical place on a magical platform. This will be like no other platform I’ve ever been on before with my songs. It’s a whole new beginning, I think, for the old music, if you will.”
During the event, Twain fielded questions from reporters in Nashville as well as Las Vegas via satellite. In this partial transcript from the press conference, she talks about rediscovering her voice, releasing new music and reconnecting with her fans.
So much of your series on OWN has been about finding your voice again. What has been the time frame between finding your voice and this decision to play in Las Vegas?
Well, the losing of my voice has been very progressive and gaining my voice back has also been very progressive. Today I’m speaking very well. It’s very open. I’m very happy with the way it’s coming out. I’ve made a lot of progress in baby steps through the course of the series. I’ve seen great progress. I’ve gotten to the bottom of it and I’m addressing it. That is what sharing it was all about — addressing the fact that not only do I have a problem, but it’s scaring me and I really want to face those fears. So, sharing it with the public has been a very big part of addressing it, and it’s helping such a great deal just to talk about it.
And I’m singing more. I force myself into a lot of vocal scenarios in the series. I know I can do it. I’ve proven it to myself. And now after visiting with experts, it’s just a matter of following through with their advice and getting the therapy that I need. So it’s not really much different than an athlete with an injury.
You may not realize it, or you may, but most vocalists do go through vocal problems and have a “the show must go on” sort of theory. I’ve never missed a show, ever, in my career — any vocal performance, ever. And the show did go on, sometimes against what was better for me. I don’t wanna do that this time. The show will go on, but this time around, I’m going to feel confident and good about it.
You’ve been all over the world on tour. What does it mean to you to become the next Las Vegas headliner?
I am among the top-class company of the world as far as performers go, as far as production value goes and production support, the venue itself, the [concert promoters] at AEG. This is a dream for any performing artist. What more could I ask for? … I don’t even want use the word “opportunity,” although it is an opportunity, and I thank you for that, but it’s more than that. It’s just an exceptional gift and that is truly how I feel about it.
How did the partnership begin? What is the show going to be like?
I needed to see the venue for myself empty, hear the sounds, speak in there, walk around in there and really think very deeply about making the commitment — if I could do it, if I was up for the challenge. I felt very good when I left. I was still unsure. I still had things to go through, through the series, to find out what was really going on. In fact, after I left Vegas, Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville was my next stop for seeing specialists and determining what was going on.
To answer the second half of that question, “What is the show going to be like. What can we expect?” From today on, from this moment on, I decided that I would only begin dreaming now about what it would be like. And I will now let my imagination run wild. So it’s in the early stages. It’s going to be a process and I really don’t know what you can expect as far as anything specific, other than the fact that now my dreams are unleashed and creativity is unleashed.
And I’m going to make the most of this extraordinary platform because you can’t take this type of environment — as far as sound and lighting and expertise and crew — on the road with you. Nobody can. So, making the most of that has really given me a huge freedom and I’m going to go nuts! (laughs) Anything’s possible at Caesars!
Have you had a chance to talk to Celine Dion about her experience in Las Vegas?
I have not yet sat down with my list of questions. I would love to sit down and do that. I will call Celine. Somebody should warn her now. (laughs) The last time I spoke to Celine, it was about our babies because her first son, René-Charles, and my Eja are basically the same age. So we got on the phone and talked about all the little hiccups and the first baby syndrome and all of that sort of thing. And that’s the last time we actually had a conversation about anything personal. And I consider this adventure very personal. Of course it’s professional but this is where the worlds cross and combine. And I think Celine will be very insightful and very helpful.
What has the last year been like for you?
It’s been a healing year for me. … I didn’t set any time restraints on myself. I set out to heal. I wrote the autobiography. I did the series. I explored Vegas. I committed myself to things. And I think it was a learning and growing time, which I guess is all part of healing. Committing myself in the first place to do the series and to release the book was a very big step in almost forcing myself to stick with something. It’s like going on a diet or getting in shape. You do it with a partner or you do it with a buddy. I did it with the public, and they held my hand all the way through it.
And I did it with song. I wrote a song to cheer me on through the whole process. It was all very real and very genuine. It was a motivational exercise for me that I lived in real time and shared it. That forced me to do it. So, committing yourself is a very big part. I’ve learned how to commit myself and put that into healing instead of fear and anxiety, which is a big turnaround.
Do you feel competition among other productions in Las Vegas?
My whole career is a series of competition after competition from the side of the industry. I’m not personally a very competitive person in that regard. I make my music, I do my thing and I put it out there. I’m not counting or anything like that. It takes too much energy to do that, so I leave that up to the industry and I just worry about doing what I do. … Also, the touring industry and the radio industry are so highly competitive. If you survive that, I think you can survive Vegas. Trust me. (laughs) That is not even something that I’ve given much thought, to be honest.
Can you please tell us about your new song, “Today Is Your Day?”
Yeah, I’m very excited about the new song. And the new song was a surprise. I didn’t plan on it. I was petrified of writing a new song without Mutt [her musical partner and ex-husband]. A whole new world for me. It had been many, many years since I had written by myself so that was new and scary. The song, really every day, cheered me up so much. I thought, “Well, maybe I should share it in the series.” [Producers] Nathan Chapman and David Foster are both involved. I was very involved myself with the production of it. I enjoyed it. I’m excited about the new song and it’s really set me off, you know. I’m ready to get back into the studio. So I’ve written a whole bunch of other things over the course of this year as well, and I absolutely will make another record soon. And I will be making it over the summer. I’m not putting any pressure on myself as to when it will be ready. Whether it will be before Dec. 1, 2012, I don’t know.
Will people be able to hear new music during the Las Vegas shows?
Anything I’ve ever done live onstage has always evolved from the beginning to the end. I think it’s wise to always leave some room for that. So if there was a new song that comes along, then I would certainly adapt that into the show. I wouldn’t want to leave that out, so I will leave room for new music to come in as it comes. … I’m just looking forward to contact with the fans again. I mean, I’m enjoying this so much today — just sitting around talking with all of you. And I know this is not like the “fan crowd,” but I just enjoy the contact. Being able to communicate with the fans directly during the show has always been one of my greatest pleasures. That’s probably what I’m looking forward to the most, above and beyond the performance and the spectacle of everything. It’s just the direct contact, one-on-one with the fans. That venue is going to make it as intimate as it can possibly be.View photos from the press conference.