It’s great fun to begin to see truly familiar names in programs and paperwork from the mid-80’s. The 1984 list includes coaches who were to become my colleagues (JoAnn Kulesza, Carol Palca), Foundation staff who are still here toiling away at the Trap (Bob Grimes of The Barns), and an administrator who was to become my boss (Peter Russell). As of 1984, I was trying to get an audition at Wolf Trap, but to no avail. (Ah, but stay tuned.)
The ’84 season comprised three operas at The Barns (Poppea, Albert Herring and A Little Night Music) and two at the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods (Donizetti’s Rita and Walton’s The Bear). Other than an afternoon of excerpts, there was no WTOC presence at the Filene Center (back in operation in July 1984, having been rebuilt in the two years since the April 1982 fire).
The Company’s training profile was becoming increasingly refined, now geared to what Artistic Director Roger Brunyate described as “an older category of singer, whose career is already under way, but who still needs time to consolidate the foundations laid down.” A smaller group of younger apprentices/associates were part of the 1984 ensemble, but as an adjunct to the main business of giving more established emerging artists a place to refine and ply their skills.
Young Artists of the 1984 WTOC
John Portman Trout
Shirley Willis Jaron
Darren Keith Woods
Associate Artists of the 1984 WTOC