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Day 7: Mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis in the Artist Spotlight

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During the 2015 season, the blog will feature interviews with our Filene Young Artists. Today, we hear from mezzo-soprano Abigail Levis, Cherubino in both Figaro and Ghosts of Versailles. Abi will also perform with Steven Blier in our August Rodgers Family concert. Which experience(s) most influenced your decision to become a professional singer? What’s the earliest point in your life that

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Day 6: Soprano Amy Owens in the Artist Spotlight

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During the 2015 season, the blog will feature interviews with our Filene Young Artists. Today, we hear from soprano Amy Owens, our Barbarina in Figaro and Florestine in Ghosts of Versailles. Amy is familiar to WTO audiences because of her appearances on our stages in the summers of 2011 and 2012 as a Studio Artist. She’ll also be featured

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Day 5: Lessons from the Uninitiated

Newbie Orientation

Last summer we ran a small pilot project called Opera Newbies, during which we invited several dozen brand new opera-goers to our 2014 performances. They participated in several rounds of surveys before and after their first opera performances, and WTO Volunteer Sandra Saydah recently helped us collate and interpret the data. Sandra visited our offices today to present her findings.

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Day 4: Still Innocent, But Not for Long

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It’s still early days in the education of dear naive Figaro. Still the same sweet, enterprising, enthusiastic guy we knew from The Barber of Seville, he is over the moon about the fact that he and his adored Susanna will soon share a bedroom. But his excitement blinds him. Susanna is the realist in the relationship.

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Day 3: A New Chapter for Shouse House

Costume Shop

If you’ve been to Wolf Trap, you might’ve seen the house on the hill next to the parking lot of The Barns. It was one of Mrs. Shouse’s (Wolf Trap’s Founder’s) residences, and she still lived there during the summers I was on WTO staff as a coach. She hosted picnics on its patio, and

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Day 2: Il Compleanno di Figaro

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Yes, Figaro will get married in a few weeks. But today it’s his birthday! And we do birthdays right at Wolf Trap Opera… Thanks to bass-baritone Thomas Richards (a.k.a. Figaro) for being such a good sport and wearing the birthday ritual crown, glasses and boa. Check out his real photo and bio here. Stay tuned

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Day 1: The “First Day of School”

Director David Paul describing the set model photo to the FIGARO cast

Director David Paul describing the set model photo to the FIGARO cast

Figaro rehearsals begin. It’s the first day of school, the first day on a new job, and the first day in a new town. Artists arrive and barely get a chance to shake hands before being thrown into a full sing-through of the entire opera. None of this sit-around-a-table-with-coffee-and-read-the-script like our actor friends. Not for us

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The Revolutionary Power of Mind and Heart

Figaro costumes

A Marriage of Figaro guest post from conductor Kathy Kelly Act one, scene one: the chambermaid has just confessed to the manservant that, before they can marry, their lord and master intends to bed her. Just as they’ve worked through his angry and suspicious reaction to this news, she’s called away on an errand; they’ll have to

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A Tale of Three Prosceniums

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Three days in New York = three unique demonstrations that opera is alive, well, sassy, classy, thriving and growing. Tuesday: Cav/Pag at the Met. Full house, new production, some phenomenal music making. The old guard arguing heartily in favor of the old Zeffirelli production, everyone in awe of the Met Chorus singing Cavalleria (thank you, Donald Palumbo), and Maestro

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Podcast, Butterfly Edition

Preliminary set model photo by designer Zane Pihlstrom

Preliminary set model photo by designer Zane Pihlstrom

Here ’tis, a little something to whet your appetite for our August 7 Butterfly!  I’m heading off for a week’s vacation to clear my head before the season ramps up. See you on the other side!

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