Jun 17, 2008

I'VE BREATHED THE MOUNTAIN AIR

As usual with any sort of trip (not that kind, hippies!), it has taken me a few days to recover after returning. Now that I have had ample time of sitting on my arse, I am ready to rhapsodize once more about my experience at the OPERA America conference.



On Thursday night I took the "party bus" to Central City to see The Rape of Lucretia. (Except the very thin mountain air put a kabosh on partying. At least that's what my pal Lisa Kelly, who is assistant stage managing there this summer, suggested--and she's not one to abstain from the spirits.)

I'm bummed I didn't get a photo of this but before the house opens, the ushers march down the street singing the "Opening the House" song. (Can you imagine the Red Coats strolling down Euclid Ave. in song?...No wait, actually I can see that.)

Atmosphere aside, I really enjoyed the performance. It's some brutal subject matter but it's Britten so to be expected. The opera house (above) was small in that old-west sort of way, as well as charming in that old-west sort of way. Phyllis Pancella as Lucretia and Brian Mulligan as Tarquinius gave standout performances. My seatmate Christopher Mohr, a composer, gave me a copy of his Naxos CD, From The Realm Of The Shadow.



Two operas in two days?! That's what I'm talking about. Friday night was Nixon in China at Colorado Opera. First things first: my seat at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House was uber comfy AND there was a supertitle monitor built into the back of each seat. Marin Alsop (the Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony) conducted a really well-performed Nixon. Robert Orth, who sings the role of Nixon all over the world, was matched by the talents of Maria Kanyova as Pat Nixon. But I was particularly psyched to see Thomas Hammons play Kissinger because he will be performing Bartolo in Opera Cleveland's Figaro and Barber (Hammons, not Kissinger--though that would be quite amusing.)

During the performance, I sat by Don Davis and Kate Gale, composer and librettist, respectively of Rio de Sangre. (Note to my boss: I want to go to this premiere, Will. Pony up!) At the open bar before the performance, (thin air be damned!) I got to meet former singer Pamela Pantos.

It was an awesome few days in Denver, but I'm also glad to be back in my coop. There's no place like...Opera Cleveland.

3 comments:

Angela said...

It sounds like you had a good time at the conference. I am sooo jealous of you!

Heather said...

Alas I was unable to attend The Rape of Lucretia, we didn't get our tickets in time and they were sold out. So sorry I missed it.

Anonymous said...

WB Carl, so glad to hear you had a good time.
BTW - You're one handsome clucker in that tux!!