I'm in Heathrow Airport...and have been here for about 6 hours on a layover between Amsterdam and BWI. It makes a great chance to catch up on work, but also makes me anxious to get going. Last night night I went to a performances of Dido and Aeneas by Opera Zuid in the Netherlands (the performance was a run out into the Hague). It was a coproduction with the Netherlands Opera Studio and had Canadian mezzo Catherine Daniel in the lead (she has just finished the young artist program in Montreal with my good friend Chantal Lambert, and will this year be coming to the opera studio here in Amsterdam). The production was directed by Hans Nieuwenhuis, who in a real masterstroke combined the piece with Purcell's funeral music for Queen Mary and staged it as a funeral for Dido's first husband Iarbus. A really nice touch...it is always a problem figuring out what to pair with Dido. We are trying something very interesting with the piece next year...but more on that later. I'm particularly keen on the opera studio, because they have asked me to do some guest teaching and directing there this year in a number of projects.
What I really want to be doing is posting a blog on my real thoughts about Francesco Zefferlli....a so-so director, but perhaps the greatest window dresser in the world. In reality I admire his work in a certain empty-but-beautiful way, but it is him as a person and public figure that really gets to me. No excuse for that kind of behavior. But, I'm resisting the urge to a diatribe...and will sate myself my posting another video of the wonderful talents of Sylvia McNair. I'm off to Bloomington right now to start coaching some Weill with her. Can't wait!!!!