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A grown-up concert

Steve called it a “grown-up” concert. Tonight’s Latest Word recital. (See posts from earlier in the week for details). Complete with singers whose musical maturity exceeded our expectations and surprised even themselves, and an audience that was willing to dig deep and concentrate fully. The program presented some logistical challenges, performed as it was on

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The world of audience feedback

Bernstein and Gershwin with the NSO in the morning (gotta love those West Side Story dances!), and more Sondheim at night. The range of patron responses to our little crossover experiment at The Barns is falling into four categories. 1) Love Sweeney and enjoyed the show; 2) Love Sweeney and hate what we’ve done with

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Opera-free zone

No opera today. Large doses of symphonic pops (Marvin Hamlisch and the NSO – rehearsal in the morning and show in the evening) and a dress rehearsal / work-through of the Latest Word concert. Great stuff on the latter. I’m a sucker for poetry (even though I’m not exactly knowledgeable), and getting to revisit Coleridge,

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High risk, high reward

Lots of work being done this week to prepare for Saturday evening’s Latest Word concert. Steven Blier’s been here since Sunday, and four of our singers have been digging into 2 hours worth of the best of the song literature from the last couple of decades. Rorem, Bolcom, Corigliano, Guettel, Musto, Gordon, Moravec and more.

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Press

Reviews came out today. We don’t pay a whole lot of attention to them. And for sure, we try to counsel our young artists not to read them during the run of the production. Good or bad, they rarely have a beneficial effect on a young singer’s current performance or general development. The Post sent

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Cinderella in Concert

There will undoubtedly be more on this later, but finally, a brief explanation on my gloom-and-doom postings from the last few days. I’ll post a slightly more detailed and satisfying account in a short while, but for now, here’s the official notice: ROSSINI’S CINDERELLA IN CONCERTDue to unforeseen circumstances, the Thursday, August 18 performance of

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Matinee audiences

Second Sweeney performance. Matinee. Sunday afternoons are prone to what I call “buffet coma” – all those folks who chow down at the brunch buffet and then come to the theatre to sleep. The cast was understandably optimistic after Friday’s opening, so I tried to damp audience response expectations for this afternoon. I needn’t have

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More bad news

Stayed up most of last night drafting some correspondence. A difficult situation about to emerge. Still can’t write about it here. But sadly, will be able to soon.

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Opening night

Opening night. But first I had to get through my pre-show talk. For several years now, I’ve been doing free pre-show “Inside Opera” talks for any ticket-holders who want to show up an hour early. In a perverse way, I love doing it. Maybe it’s because I was never an “insider” myself, having come to

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A turning point

Company day off. Also payday. I spent the day in the office, ostensibly to hand out paychecks and work with our press photographer to select rehearsal photos to send to the media, but also to crunch some numbers. A very depressing day, very likely leading up to a difficult decision. If it magically works itself

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