Fun fact about yours truly: when I was choosing college programs of study, I only auditioned for one school. I wanted to be a writer, a novelist or poet. Writing was one of the two tools that I had for making sense of the world; it was my way of breaking down feelings, situations, actions into strategies and plans. (The other tool was, obviously I hope, music; to process all those things I couldn’t quite put into words.)
The fact that I have so few words to describe this first season? Well, I’d have to look it up, but I’m fairly sure it fits the definition of irony.
Anne Midgette in a review of one of our productions said “The Platonic ideal of young-artist opera involves fresh-faced talent bringing ardor and a sense of discovery to roles they’re singing for the first time. The reality, however, doesn’t always play out that way.” (She goes on to say that we get it right, and I am grateful for that call-out!) It’s been one of the great privileges of my 13-year tenure at Wolf Trap Opera to be able to see the artists morph – individually and collectively – into brighter, more confident versions of themselves over the course of each summer. As relationships deepen and the work in the rehearsal room gathers intensity, each of them finds ways to bring more to the process, to trust their colleagues more deeply, to take more artistic risks. It’s exhilarating to watch — from a distance. My own journey this summer – and that of my colleagues – echoed the artists’ paths much more than usual, as three of the four of us were in new positions. There was certainly a sense of discovery! But all of the disorientation served as a clear reminder to respect the process; do the work, take risks, trust. (It’s scary, y’all! It’s been a hot minute since my singing days, but turns out those nightmares about showing up to a rehearsal completely unprepared and then finding out it’s actually a performance of a show were still handily stored in my subconscious.)
I’m grateful to every artist and administrator with whom we crossed paths this summer. We collaborated with respect, we took risks, we trusted each other. And we made some truly world-class art…together.
Let’s do it again next year, shall we?
Note: We’ve started on our audition tour, and will be posting occasionally from the road. For those of you singing for us this year, we can’t wait to hear you! And for those of you who are interested, check back later this fall for the Aria Frequency Lists!