Saturday, October 27, 2007

angle of repose

It's 2 PM on a beautiful Saturday. The Texas sky in October and November is something to behold, blue as a robin's egg; when it's cloudless and filled with sunshine, it's one of the prettiest sights I know.

We opened FILLE DU REGIMENT last night to standing ovations. How gratifying to have our first pair of operas up and running, to hear our chorus and orchestra making such beautiful music, to hear and see our varied, skilled, unique soloists. All sorts of work behind us now, with all the requisite celebration.

THE REFUGE is kicking into high gear, however. Coming up in the next ten days are performances of individual movements of the piece in five different community venues, including a gallery, a huge outdoor stage, and a restaurant the size of my hometown high school. We'll hear traditional Vietnamese string players, sitars, tabla, African choirs, mariachis, and they will hear us.

As they travel around Houston for those REFUGE nights, the Studio is also
beginning to coach the repertoire they'll sing for a staged concert of opera scenes in December. They're auditioning for visiting guests. An acting coach has been in town working with them for the past week, and a celebrated soprano will arrive in a few weeks to do a master class. Our library is consolidating the scores of two premieres the company will do in the next year and a half, and distributing music as it arrives. The guest conductors of our winter operas are in contact about details for the orchestra parts. The music staff is preparing to, well, prepare it all.

Tonight is BALLO again at the opera house. I'll be sitting a few miles away listening to the Houston Chamber Choir. Two reasons - first, a love of choral music that goes back to my roots in Minnesota (where people still sing in church!). Second, a reminder to myself that it's important to sometimes just be a listener. Some other group of people agonized over every detail, logistical and musical, of tonight's choir concert. I will have the privilege, the sheer luxury, of coming to take it all in.

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