This wasn’t supposed to be a silent summer. It was full to overflowing with wonderful stories, beautiful music, and even better people. But for the first time in 12 years, I wasn’t able to write. In early June, my brother died, and it left me unable to do much of anything except grieve and take care of the young artists, staff and productions in front of me. Writing wasn’t an option.
But there’s good news, and it comes in two parts.
First, the work that was done here in summer 2016 was characteristically and reassuringly strong. Stronger than ever, say some, but I believe we always feel that way because we are beautifully invested in whichever artists are in front of us at any given time. And that’s a good thing.
The Lucretia and its moving Lucretia Project spin-off were inspiring and heart-rending, Opera Seria was a heavy lift that crystallized and took off like a comedy rocket, and Bohème was everything it could have been and more. And in and among those shows, there were intimate recital performances, live music taken out into the community, a big-hearted and wise Artist in Residence (thank you, Alan), and more personal growth and artistic beauty than any heart should be able to hold.
Second, the fact that I couldn’t write about it may be a good thing. Although I’ve always strived to keep this blog a few steps removed from my personal life, it was unavoidable that some of me crept into it. In among the aria statistics and the shout-outs to our artists and programming – for better or for worse – there runs my own peculiar skew on this whole opera thing. And I hadn’t realized how much of what I write here is deeply and personally felt until I wasn’t able to access it.
I’ve wondered recently if I should continue writing, and truthfully, the jury is still out. (And please, I’m not fishing for encouragement or compliments, so don’t go there.) But it’s either time to phase it out or reinvent it, and time will tell. In the short term, there will be new audition aria stats available in a few weeks, and there will undoubtedly be audition tour updates through the fall. And then we’ll see.
Thanks to all of you who supported our 2016 season, and best wishes to all of my singer readers for your upcoming fall auditions. I’ll be back in September.
Photo credit Doug Pensinger, Kenosha Pass Colorado, 2012