The Ampersand’ll Get You If You Don’t Watch Out

On this beautiful summery spring day, I’m inappropriately excited about this short blog entry. (Go ahead, click on it; it won’t take long.) This isn’t Schadenfreude, for I bear no ill will to our symphonic neighbors to the east. I’m just happy that he noticed that Wolf Trap is still in there swingin’.

The Filene Center has 7,028 seats (including the ones on the lawn where you get grass stains on your bottom and get to snack on wine and cheese all night). My Wolf Trap colleagues who deal with bookings on the pop/rock/jazz/blues/etc (let’s just use the common if slightly misleading “non-classical”) side often cite the smallness of our venue. Hahahahaha. Yes, I know it’s tough to compete with huge arenas for the the attentions of huge pop culture phenoms. But dealing with roughly three times the number of seats in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for each night? See, my heart skips a beat just thinking about it.

The “&” Part of My Job

Yes, I run the WTOC. But here’s my whole job title: “Director, Wolf Trap Opera & Classical Programming.” It’s the ampersand that gets you all the time. I book our chamber music series, and I also work with the National Symphony Orchestra on the shows they bring out here each summer. And that’s why Tim Smith’s blog entry made me do a little happy dance.

Especially in these crazy times, it’s tough to program “legit” (not my word) stuff in a 7,000-seat theatre. In the summer. Outside. There’s no doubt that it’s fun to hear the NSO play the lush score to Wizard of Oz with the moving towering two stories above you. And gamers of all ages will meet the orchestra for the first time, courtesy of Sonic the Hedgehog and his friends at Video Games Live. But here’s the thing: it’ll be every bit as magical to hear Sarah Chang dig into Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto or the Washington Chorus sink their teeth into Carmina. Not to mention the awesomeness that is going to be our Bohème, complete with the lush sounds of the NSO and some cutting-edge video projection design.

OK, the commercial is over. But it came from a good place. I didn’t intend to proselytize today, but I was so pumped from the fact that someone noticed that we weren’t doing Opera/Symphony Lite all summer. (Nothing that there’s anything wrong with that:))

One Comment

St. Peter's Trekker

I can see you chuckling with glee! My memories of Wolftrap -even in the summer – are wonderful, much of it thanks to you. Reading about life back home makes me homesick and I look forward to an evening on the lawn!

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