Conference: Creative Resurgence

I’m finishing up two and a half days in Philadelphia (brilliant view from my hotel at left), shaking up the world of opera with colleagues from Opera America. In an attempt to synthesize the ideas and energy that result from an opportunity like this, I usually craft a written summary. This time, I’ve decided to post it here (Conference Notes)¬†just in case you want to know what a bunch of opera geeks talk about.

If you’re mildly curious but feel that a 5-page PDF is overkill (and what sane person wouldn’t?), you could check out my Twitter stream at

Tonight brings a performance of Dark Sisters across the street at the Kimmel Center (featuring WTOC alums Margaret Lattimore, Eve Gigliotti and Kevin Burdette.)¬†Tomorrow morning I’m on a panel as part of the Artist Intensive, giving advice to singers on how/when to ask for audition and competition feedback, and what to do with it when they get it. Then it’s back to the Trap in for a weekend of work, to see what has been going on with our Giovanni friends in the last two days!


Ned Canty

What a great post. Really sums up not only the info and vibe, but also the critical process necessary to take what is discussed and filter it through each individual company and community.

One note on the excellence debate. Part of my take away is that in the pursuit of excellence we sometimes focus or spend on elements that only a tiny fraction of our audience can recognize as “better”. As one of my colleagues put it, if you are spending $10,000 on something only 5 people in your audience even realize they should care about, they damn well better be donating $20,000.

The wine metaphor is another one that came up a lot. The difference between a $3 bottle and a $30 bottle is something almost anyone could taste. $30 and $300 is a smaller group. $300 and $3000 is into subtleties that many people literally do not have the genetics to appreciate.

There is arguably a slippery slope here, but I think there is also a lot of room for self reflection.

Thanks for the summary, and see you next week!


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