the problem with a blog is that those times when one has the most to say tend to be the times one has the least amount of free time in which to write.
such with the case with my embarrassing lack of blogging over the last several month. first came "aureliano in palmira" in the festival della valle d'itria in martina franca. it was an overwhelming experience, in both good and bad ways. in the end i think we made it work, but it was the toughest child to deliver, with lots of factors working against it. in the end the piece was extremely powerful, and exploration of the cascading repercussions of the decisions leaders make, particularly those leading to the current crises in syria. the final images were of that very struggle, on a day when hundreds were killed in protests there. that work connected so deeply with why i do opera, and contrasted so sharply with the way the production was made (in a way so deeply unartistic for my tastes, so focused on ego and pride and trivialities) that it caused a real crises for me. i left feeling numb and unsure about a satisfying future in this profession.
that followed by a production of don giovanni with students in milan in six days. and yet, i was more proud of that then anything i've ever done. the students were so willing to give, to work, to try, to open themselves to something truly unconventional. it was a wonderful experience and i was moved my their utter commitment and energy. on the heels of that was dialogues of the carmelites, in what i hope is just the beginning of a long relationship with the piece. it was too much for italian audiences, but we knew it would be. i didn't get the first act quite write (neither did poulenc if i must be honest), but the second half was magical, deeply sad, moving. i was very proud of it and of the bravery of the young singers. now i'm in sardinia where we've just opened "riders to the sea", another very heavy work, but one in which i've found such beauty. it is truly captivating when this woman can finally say that she no longer fears, neither life nor death, and that she has found absolute peace. the production is off next week to the netherlands and i begin work on rigoletto.
in the meantime i'm learning the ropes of the my new position at the studio, where the members for this season will arrive next week. lots to do there, and my thoughts are now turning towards next season's projects, "where the wild things are/l'enfant et les sortileges" and "griselda". peter sellars' production just got an interesting review in the times. i'm sorry i couldn't see it.
i fly back to amsterdam finally tomorrow and look forward to an exciting week...during which i will hopefully write more!