Putting on our Midwest Ears

The view from the table this week in Cincinnati, from the back of the lovely Werner Recital Hall on the campus of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  Our pianist, as always in Cincinnati, was the peerless Donna Loewy; and our guest panelist Marie-France Lefebvre was a colleague of mine both at Washington National Opera and Wolf Trap. (Yes, the WTOC Audition Tour Girl Power continues unabated until we get to California and allow the boys to play along:))

Listening to auditions in the midwest requires a different prism than it does on the east coast. We spend a larger proportion of our time here focusing on singers for our Studio program, for there’s an abundance of undergraduate and first-year graduation talent. This year we heard singers from Carnegie Mellon University, DePauw University, Georgia Southern University, Indiana University, Miami University, Ohio State University, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Louisville, University of Michigan and University of Tennessee. (Alpha order, no favoritism!)  And many of the singers we hear for our Filene Young Artist roster are folks we aren’t able to consider this year but are excited to be able to follow and possibly cast in a future season. Of course, our whole company is about promise and potential, but here it’s even more about trying to see into the future.

Sopranos Only

  • Coming late to the party… A few heretofore popular soprano arias didn’t surface even once until Day 10: Mein Herr Marquis, Dove sono and Porgi amor.
  • Coloratura fads… Je suis encor and Da tempeste seem to be leading the pack for first-aria choice.
  • Tulip’s Aria from Bolcom’s A Wedding is a great new option for lyrics.
Rahree Rants
We heard just enough aimless phonating to set both of us off.  I can’t say it any better, so I’ll link.

Wooed by the Midwest
Cincinnati fulfilled her promise. We did our part by giving ourselves almost 3 days to absorb the impact, and the city stepped up to the plate.  Great food, better company, amazing talent, lovely lodging, and a freakin’ rainbow.  After a few years’ streak of stressful Ohio fly-bys, we might have done it right this time.

Four More  Hours!
We gained our extra hour last night (I used mine to blog:)), and now we’re about to pick up 3 more on the way to LAX this afternoon.  If you’re online at about 4am Pacific Standard Time tomorrow, I’ll probably see you there….

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