Nitty Gritty

January finds us in an exciting, thrill-a-minute phase of arts administration. The mounds of paperwork dwarf the memory of how exciting it was to hear the auditions and pick the operas. (Yes, I know I said I’d talk more about the operas, but I can’t just yet… Soon. Promise.)

Auditioning and casting was tiring and sometimes tedious, but the music reigned supreme. Now we venture into the steel-gray days of winter when it’s easy to lose sight of the goal. Spending my days churning out emails, making phone calls, checking availability, negotiating fees, discussing contractual arrangements, doing and re-doing spreadsheets. The glamorous part of the job. All you aspiring artistic directors who look forward to spending your careers creating dream casts for Traviata – beware!

What we’re doing is putting together the rest of what makes the opera company tick. For 2006:

  • Conductors (3)
  • Directors (4)
  • Music & language coaches (~6)
  • Stage managers (4)
  • Designers (10)
  • Apprentices (2)
  • Scenic & wardrobe shop staff (~15)
  • Interns (7-10)
  • And somewhere around 150 orchestra musicians & choristers

In between, we’re working on ads and program copy for this month’s Kennedy Center Chamber Players concert and next month’s recital with Alan Held. Omigod… don’t panic… have to practice…. must practice…



Now that the round of auditions are over, I can safely ask an audition related question:

Of all the soprano arias in Die Wunder der Heliane, which one would you prefer to hear in an audition, if any, and why?


The question sounds a bit like those final essays in the blue book tests I used to take in high school. (You know… “Which of the author’s themes ring true, if any, and why?”)
Seriously, I’m just stalling because I had to look up “Die Wunder der Heliane” to find out it is a Korngold opera. I have never had the pleasure of hearing any of its soprano arias, but I truly hope I have the chance sometime soon. Like most people, I only know “Die Tote Stadt”. So you’re way ahead of me on this.
(In a weird bit of synchronicity I had just today pulled Korngold’s Sonata in D for piano off the shelf and thought I should spend some time with it…)

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