Pretty poison: Lucrezia Borgia at New Amsterdam Opera
Keeping the thread: moment-to-moment awareness in singingOp-ed
The body only does what the mind tells it and allows it to do. Intense, almost loving attention to every single note can help realize a tricky passage like this. When it comes to runs and coloratura in general, this approach is useful because it can help give fast singing a real clarity, accuracy and a sense that there is plenty of time to sing all the notes and for them to be heard.
Just in time for fall: Shoperatic!Op-ed
It's Suzanne Vinnik and Sara Duchovnay of Shoperatic.com! We're excited to announce that after talking about our new online peer-to-peer marketplace for what seems like eons, we are LAUNCHED and open for business! When we ran into a little technical snafu in beta testing, we reached out to our friends at Schmopera who were able to help us figure out the problem and got us back on track!
Body-shaming, product-selling, & knowing the differenceOp-ed
But with a minimal amount of online vetting, a professional musician should be able to tell the difference between an organization which is about presenting concerts that put their artists in the spotlight, and one that offers "background wallpaper" in a variety of patterns and colours. There's nothing wrong with either, but each come with their own set of expectations.
Getting vexed over Wagner & other narcissismsOp-ed
The appalled opera goers make claims about wasted money and travel time, and they take a strange stance of half-defending, half-blaming the performers onstage. But the main objections seem to be the apparent "desecration" of Wagner's work. "Yes, I naively assumed that Wagner’s family had obeyed his very exacting wishes, and that Bayreuth was the place to see his operas as he intended them," writes Peacock.
The value of creating new work for singersOp-ed
"I appreciated that we weren't the focus of the project; we were the vessel for it. Everything in the experience was about making the art better and it was our job to the best performance possible. In any opera, the music comes from the libretto and every note means something. To have that be the full focus of the project meant that was a different musical experience for me."
An open letter to audition candidatesOp-ed
Panels don't often offer feedback to candidates: it's time-consuming and usually difficult to successfully administrate in the aftermath of a set of auditions. So here's a general note I wish I could send to everyone who auditions for me:
Stop shaming AdeleOp-Ed
We can do better. We can espouse and proclaim the value of vocal health, technique, and efficiency, while recognizing with great respect and awe the beauty in non-traditional voices, and overcoming the professional and territorial myopia that threatens to rob us of our innate desire to hear the gift of a great voice raised in song.
The big, and ever-present, "what's next?"Op-ed
From the perspective of my relatively secure, European composer bubble, the amount of exposure I received between the announcement of, and participation in, Frontiers bordered on empowering and overwhelming, with a dash of terror for good measure. The response I received from audiences, colleagues, and the staff of Fort Worth Opera affirmed my Brand — "I am becoming a better opera composer" — for the foreseeable future.
Preparing for performance: what I didn't know I knewOp-ed
I've always been amazed how the rehearsal process produces in me a higher awareness of what I have written. To think that I know every motivation behind every note and gesture is, for me, conceit. I need another's inquiries to drag out the nuggets of meaning and all the things I didn't know I knew about the piece.
Taking tweed seriously: lessons for the emerging opera composerOp-ed
I could easily represent myself as a safe choice, saying, in effect, "I'm not going to be a problem for you. I’m not one of those crazy egocentric composers who is going to make ridiculous demands and make you sorry you wanted to work with me." I can assuage these preconceptions with a picture that pretty much sums me up: "I'm normal! I'm a nice guy! I'm wearing tweed, for God's sake!"