Posts Categorized: Blog

By the Numbers

Statistics for this year. Skip entirely if this kind of thing irritates, confuses or demoralizes you. Read and use if you are curious or you find it useful. What’s to be learned?Fach: Sopranos represent about half of all aspiring singers. (Don’t despair, soprani; just acknowledge that the competition is stiff. It just means that you

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Chicago… Baby, What a Big Surprise…

Well, very little blogging to be done today. Review of applications for the Chicago site has taken a nasty turn. Historically, we get 40-50 applications for that site, and we accept 30. (A 60-75% acceptance rate.) Right now I’m staring down 104 applications for Chicago. And I get to pick 30. (A 29% acceptance rate.)

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The Barns

The Short List Part 1Time to start compiling the list of operas we might be able to do this year. We don’t program anything until we hear the singers, but there’s a process of winnowing that takes place concurrently with the auditions. We start by determining which pieces we are unlikely to produce – namely,

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Philadelphia

Curtis Audition tour kick-off at Curtis Institute. In a black box theatre/rehearsal room that provides an extremely flattering acoustic. The wonderful thing about it is that everyone sounds good. The bad thing is that everyone sounds good. So, right out of the box, we’re trying to separate voice from acoustic.I said this last year, but

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Gershwin

Dress rehearsal of Porgy and Bess at Washington National Opera. A beautiful, touching, funny night in the theatre. I know that it took a long haul to get here (as they say), and that’s no surprise for a piece as complicated and sprawling as this one. But what a wonderful thing to finally welcome Porgy

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The First Step

2006 Auditions: ScreeningWelcome aboard. For the next 30 weeks we’ll chronicle the development of our 2006 season. It all starts here, on a dining room table covered with forms, résumés, headshots and CDs. October is my least favorite month – I have to take 500+ applications (exact number not yet known) and whittle them down

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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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Pirelli! da King of da Barbers, da Barber of Kings!

One of our own Wolf Trap Opera alumni comes back to make a guest appearance as Pirelli in Sweeney Todd… We finished preliminary blocking of the entire show this morning! (That is, except for Pirelli’s scenes, as he doesn’t arrive until next week.) … Load-in began today and the set is arriving from the warehouse…

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Los Angeles

Auditions held on the campus of the University of Southern California in the lovely Schoenberg Institute Recital Hall. Wish we had more time here. The Metropolitan Opera National Council is holding its Western Regional Finals across campus, and several of today’s singers were auditioning in both places. Also finished our apprentice coach and apprentice director

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