Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More catch-up: Opening Night

In my frenzy to catch up with my posting, I have neglected to mention the fantastic photographer who has contributed to the last few entries. Eric Melear is on our music staff: pianist, conductor, coach, and intrepid lensman, he's a truly multitalented person. He captured the beautiful image above at one of our last BALLO rehearsals: Tammy Wilson, in perfect light, ready to go on as Amelia. "I literally dropped everything when I saw that light," Eric told me. I know the feeling - moments like the one above are so brief. Before you know it, that door has opened, and a person/career/life/opera has moved into something new.

The slow and "unsexy" (as one of my colleagues, SB, terms it) work that I've been describing does add up, and then one of those doors can suddenly open. Life in the Studio is a rollercoaster that shuttles musicians between the incredibly mundane and the unbelievably dramatic. This year, the 30th anniversary of our program, will see quite a few dramatic steps forward, with Studio members stepping into starring roles. It can be a very strange things for the artists involved - being required to show up for language class, for example, and then walking into the leading lady's or gentleman's dressing room. And when to launch a developing talent is always a big question, one to which there is no single answer.

Opening night was joyous for me as one of the Studio's mentors, but it was also fascinating for me as a musician and a lover of opera. A story unfolded on our stage, sung by musicians at various stages of their musical lives, some right at the start, some just hitting their stride and some well into their prime. That combination sounded like real life to me.

The photo in this post speaks romantically of a new beginning, but I hope it also speaks to you of your experience in the theater. What happens when you open that door and walk through?

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