So long without much to write and then, sure enough, it all comes at once. Earlier in the summer I taught Indiana University's opera workshop with 22 young singers. That kept me busy, but after that activity didn't exactly grind to a halt, but at least reallocated itself. This is a slow time for AOT this year and the only activity lately has been visiting with the folks at Virginia Tech who have invited us to perform "Messiah" there on December 10th (we will be performing it at Georgetown December 7-9 and at the Baltimore Museum of Art December 21-23 through a collaboration with the Handel Choir of Baltimore). After the incomprehensible events there this past April, it is impossible not to let thoughts of the shooting enter into work on "Messiah", a piece that for AOT is about suffering, redemption, and forgiveness. They showed us the theater we will be performing in and it is a beautifully restored cinema.
I drove a large part of the day to arrive in Baltimore late this evening for our summer benefit which will be happening tomorrow night. If you haven't got you tickets yet there is still time (more information is available here). This is a perfect way to enjoy fantastic food and drink, a vibrant recital program, conversation with art lovers from around the area, kick off Artscape 2007, and help support one of the most innovative and exciting presenters of opera in America (remember the NY Times calls us "the future of opera"). I hope to see many of you there.
Also in Baltimore this weekend is a board meeting where we will welcome new members and brainstorm on the next three years of AOT (the length of our initial residency at Georgetown). There are lots of things in the works, including the creation of a ballet component to AOT, a choral component to AOT, additional performances by Ignoti Dei, and some really adventuresome programming. Usually I approach board meetings with a slightly nervous sickness, but I'm excited for this one. There is so much going on and we are developing a really wonderful group of committed volunteers.
Besides the board meeting I will also be using my time in the Baltimore/Washington area to meet with our costume designers in Philadelphia, our choreographer for an as-of-yet undisclosed project for next season, meet with our talented lighting designer (and so much more) Kel Millionie, and hopefully spend some off-time with friends in the area. Early Sunday morning I'm off to Chicago to meet with the folks at Chicago Opera Theater. This is a fantastic model company that program similar to us and does striking and important work. I'm looking forward to meeting their General Manager Brian Dickie.
And all that this weekend! Then it will slow down until August when the singers arrive to stage "Messiah". I'm excited about this group of singers, many of whom are the top American interpreters of this rep. It is a piece to stage only with great care and respect for the work, and I'm very cautious about it all. After that I'll be meeting with folks in New York about future plans for AOT and finally the first show of the 2007-2008 season will have arrived.
This is the work that needs to be done, and it is thrilling to be a part of so much creativity and talent. I hope to see many of you tomorrow evening, and don't forget to get you season tickets (available here).