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Saturday Off

A company day off that falls on a weekend is a rare and marvelous thing. Too often, the weekly day off falls in the middle of the week, and because the rest of the world is still chugging along, we have to staff the office. Not so today. And, as if the gods knew that

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Times Have Changed

After having sunk into the depths of almost writing Giovanni supertitle translations right up until the dress rehearsal, I’m reforming. Finished the first draft of Cenerentola today. Actually have a week to edit and tweak. Tonight brought a magnificent Don Quixote by the Bolshoi Ballet and Orchestra. A landmark event at Wolf Trap. Back in

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Research

Our music library is just about a year old, but it’s one of the best things about our home in the Center for Education. I was desperate for something like this 20 years ago. Scores, recordings, reference books, biographies, historical programs, trade magazines. It’s a small room, but it’s packed with the building blocks of

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Finally

It’s a relief to start staging rehearsals for Cenerentola. Mostly because 99% of the work I’ve done on it this summer has fallen on the negative side of the ledger, and at last we’re creating instead of tearing down. Our conductor and director have stuck with us in this revised scenario, and we’re in their

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Saying Goodbye

Three singers finished their work with us this weekend and headed for home. I love those summers when we can keep most of the company on through the final opera, but the only way to do that is to program a finale to the season that involves a huge cast – Magic Flute, Falstaff, Tales

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"I am in need of music that would flow"

Our season often starts with our “death by aria” concert for the Wolf Trap Associates. (That’s not really the title. But you get the idea.) This is the first time it has ever happened this late in the summer. And it was a surprisingly atypical event. In early June, the performers don’t know one another

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Indisposition

Another bout of illness in the Giovanni cast; this time a bit less severe vocally, but still traumatic in its own way. It’s so hard to spend weeks and months refining something and then have your “instrument” rebel. The sobering thing is that it’s unavoidable. Most singers are surprisingly hardy people. But there’s no way

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Audition Tour Prep

Nailing down the audition dates for the fall. Probably 12 days in 7 cities. Typically about 350 singers. 700 arias. The cycle starts all over again. Although it seems as if we’re looking ahead before we’ve even finished this season, we actually operate way behind the typical scenario. Most companies have known for many months

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Downtime

Normally, this is the quickest turn-around of the season. There’s no “buffer” of time between the 2nd and 3rd operas – it’s the only way to cram everything into 12 weeks. It means that singers who work on both operas (in this case, the three who are in both Giovanni and Cenerentola) rehearse the new

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Colleagues

All of my matinee audience predictions have come to naught this summer. And I couldn’t be happier to be wrong. Great audience today! And again, marvelous work from all involved. To have these young singers deliver Italian recitative in such a vivid, detailed, and in-depth fashion is a real gift. From them, and from our

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