[Kade Smith is the program coordinator for HGOco. This is first of a series of guest posts about Opera to Go!'s tour of The Magic Flute.]
MIDLAND TOUR- MONDAY
Opera to Go! set off on a journey to Midland, TX yesterday to perform our brand new version of The Magic Flute. We all met at the Wortham Center, some of us bright eyed, a few bushy-tailed. Because we needed a cargo van for the OTG sets and a passenger van for the singers, we took two vehicles and therefore had two drivers. Chuck Winkler, our director, decided he would drive the solitary cargo van, while I drove the passenger van.
Our first stop was in Katy, where we picked up our Queen of the Byte/1st Lady, Katherine McDaniel. Seeing the traffic coming the other way at 8:30 in the morning gave us all a new appreciation for those of you who have to make that commute every morning! It was a good idea for us to pick her up, especially since it gave us a chance to stop at Chick Fil-A and get some breakfast (of couse Alejandro Magallon, our Tamino, saw the Taco Cabana next door and couldn’t resist the call of a breakfast burrito!)
We then continued on I-10 to San Antonio, and amid intermittent naps by the cast, discussed our musical heritages. Everyone told when they first started singing (or playing piano, in the case of our pianist Youngha Guk). Many of us have been singing all our lives, and a couple of us discovered opera later on in high school or even college. Alejandro said that he studied astronomy before he decided that he wanted to perform.
Our first important stop past San Antonio was the Buc-ee’s, a Texas favorite known for its smiling cartoon beaver on the logo and great local snacks. We got beef jerky, drinks, more beef jerky, some chips, and even MORE beef jerky! Dennis Arrowsmith, our Sarastro, found a Texas pillow that he had to have. I think the window was a little too hard on his head when he kept falling asleep, so he needed some cushion! I myself got a Buc-ee’s t-shirt, which I’m hoping will help me fit in when we go roller-skating later on today.
The rest of the drive was usual- some good conversation, a few games, lots of western Texas brush. Just so you know how nerdy musicians can be, one of the games we played was to name as many composers as you can from a certain country! I chose France, Brian Speck, our Papageno, chose Germany, Katherine was brave and picked Scandanavia, Alejandro chose Spain, and Cecy Duarte, our Monostatos/Papagena /3rd Lady, chose Italy. Dennis took over England for Youngha when she got tired of the game and he actually woke up for a bit!
We arrived in Midland last night just in time for dinner. At the hotel we met our Pamina/ 2nd Lady, Hannah Nelson, who flew in from Minnesota- no, South Dakota (an inside joke) where she had been singing in a concert this weekend. Our dinner, again in true west Texas style was- can you guess? Barbecue. It was delicious! After dinner we came back to the hotel to get rested for our shows today.