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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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Swan Song in the Woods

A great week of bringing opera to the kids. Probably about a thousand of them all together. Lots of enthusiastic feedback. (Today’s 6-person story included a rapper/narrator singing Rossini, (I never would’ve believed it if I hadn’t seen it), a jailor, a prisoner, an evil landlord, a genie, and a fortune teller.) We had set

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Don Giovanni!

What a marvelous opening. It’s gratifying to allow our young singers to sink into these bread-and-butter roles, but it’s intimidating at the same time. To quote from director Ned Canty’s 4,000-word (!) initial email to the cast: “Finding the right tone and the human truth in the piece is like tap-dancing along a high wire,

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Cinderella Falls into a Pond

Once upon a time in a house, Cinderella and Manny Ramirez went to a pond until Captain Hook came to marry the princess. The mezzo-soprano Manny Ramirez was a big hit with most of the audience. Who says trouser roles stretch the imagination, anyway… Day off rehearsal for Giovanni cast, and they need it. Terre

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"The Uninvited Guest" times two

One of the best things about this week in the woods is getting to drive the electric golf cart. Simple pleasures. Today’s improv challenge: Once upon a time in a castle, a knight and a king played poker until a donkey came to eat the cards and ruin the game. Today’s improv opera “The Uninvited

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