Heating Up!

The faces of WTO 2019

Things are cooking over here at Wolf Trap Opera. (And I’m not referring the weather, nor to the awesome baked goods that are appearing in the offices and rehearsal rooms…many of our artists seems to have kitchen-focused hobbies, and while my clothes may be protesting my tummy is celebrating their culinary prowess!)

This week we welcome Filene Artist in Residence Lawrence Brownlee (2001) to campus for his first residency week. Alex Ross asked “is there a finer Rossini tenor that Lawrence Brownlee?” We all know the answer to that question (NOPE!) and are thrilled to have his experience and expertise with us this summer. He’ll be working and advising our artists on an individual basis this week, and will return in late July for more work with our singers. Don’t miss his Master Class on July 23!

Our second Vocal Colors recital will also take place this week on Thursday, July 11. We have a quartet of talented artists who have crafted musical responses to several  works in The Phillips Collection. Each program is different, so those of you who saw the June performance can attend this week’s performance and hear completely different musical offerings. It’s especially interesting to see how two artists might interpret a single work; join us Thursday and explore this lovely synthesis of visual art and music!

We move into The Barns later this week to begin technical rehearsals for Ariadne auf Naxos. This piece in particular is a big little show: on the ‘little’ side we have a fairly short evening in the theater, and a deliberately chamber-sized instrumental ensemble. The first act is a domestic comedy of sorts, as two groups find they must coexist and try their best (well, most of them) to navigate their newly-blended situation. On the ‘big’ side we have a sprawling cast, a premise that fuses traditional and progressive ideologies, and a juicy through-composed score that is by turns fiery and fierce, and transparent and ethereal. Everyone – from the characters onstage to the players in the ensemble  – has to turn on a dime in this piece! It’s thrilling, but it needs careful, thoughtful work to put all the pieces together. The work in the room, led by director Tara Faircloth and conductor Emily Senturia, is right on track, and the cast is ready for the challenge of adding in the technical scenic elements, costumes and wigs, and the orchestra into the mix.

If that’s not enough, we’ll welcome the stage management and musical teams for Rossini’s The Barber of Seville to the Trap this week!

The amount of energy and artistry that our collective team is putting out is nothing short of awesome, and the real danger is to get so tied up in the making of the art that we forget to appreciate the makers. To our Filene Artists, our Studio Artists, our Fellows and Apprentices, our Artistic Teams, our Scenic and Costume Shops, our Admin staff: your artistry, your work ethic, and your generosity are so, SO appreciated! Let’s make some cool stuff, shall we?

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