Jul 31, 2008


We've hit that point in the summer: the vibrancy of the season has given way to languor. All I want to do is lie in my coop, watch reruns of Gossip Girl and drink frappucinos. (Yo, Intern Bobby, fetch me another!) I need some excitement around here.

Then I realized our Le nozze di Figaro performances are only two months away. Better yet, in just one month, I will get to hang out with the cast when they get to town. (We're gonna be BFFs and stay up all night chatting about opera!)

The getting to town part for the artists is always something we need help with. (RTA just won't cut it in this case.) We need Pick-up Artists (har har har): volunteers to pick singers, directors and stage staff up at Hopkins Airport and take them to their lodging in downtown Cleveland. Click here if you're interested. As thanks, you'd receive a pair of tickets to a dress rehearsal. (And get to meet me, which, really now, is reason enough.)

Jul 28, 2008


Choose One:
a) Stuffing envelopes b) Stamping envelopes c) Sealing envelopes
d) Folding surveys e) Folding more surveys f) All of the Above

If you didn't choose F, you are sorely mistaken.
(And probably one of those glass half full type of people. Blech.)

Indeed, I was immersed figuratively and literally (see above) in putting together a humongous Opera Cleveland mailing. We had put together an Audience Survey to obtain some feedback on what y'all want to see on our stage. Y'all meaning 3,300 people. Meaning there were 3,300 surveys to fold and 6,600 envelopes to stamp and label. (Because we're nice like that and include a SASE.)

Because we're an arts non-profit, we did this ginormous mailing ourselves. Our staff pitched in, including Artistic Director Dean (above left) and Executive Director Will (above right).

So, many paper cuts and repetitive motion strains later, we're done. If you haven't received your survey in the mail yet, you should in the next few days. And if you don't, shoot me an email and I will PERSONALLY send one to you.

Jul 22, 2008


Oh, The Onion. But, seriously...I'm all about a Love Boat opera.
(Although I'd opt for a Fantasy Island opera first.)

Jul 18, 2008


(No fat jokes, please. Too obvious.)

Jul 11, 2008


When I'm chatting with civilians (i.e. people who have never seen an opera) about opera, a common question I receive is "how do people understand what the singers are saying?!"

Surtitles, baby.
Operas are just like watching a foreign movie; English translations of the libretto are projected onto a screen above the stage. And I just found out that they've been around for 25 years.

According to this article in the New York Times, a guy named Lotfi Mansouri introduced surtitles in 1983 for a production of Strauss’s “Elektra” at the Canadian Opera Company. Beverly Sills, head of New York City Opera at the time, took note and incorporated the technology into a production later that year.

Not everyone was or is a fan of surtitles, though. A critic called Sills a "philistine" for introducing surtitles to productions. (Only a purist would be calling my Bubbles a philistine! Next, I'm gonna hear that it was a travesty that she sang with The Muppets. Some of my best friends are Muppets!)

I concede that surtitles can take away slightly from the action and emotion onstage. But I'm of the opinion that clarifying that action with words can only enhance someone's opera viewing. Opera is not just for purists; it is for everyone.


Our Finance Director went to Disney World
and all I got was this lousy hat

I jest. Despite my ambivalence toward Mickey Mouse (see here), I'm kinda digging on this look for me. I feel like a mash-up--mouse chicken. Oh so po-mo.

I have a new office mate!

I'm taking a closer look at my spider friend Boris, who is a new occupant in the office. (I'm all about interspecies friendship.)

Jul 9, 2008


Summer spells C-A-M-P, even for Opera Cleveland. (But our version doesn't include making junk out of popsicle sticks and tree bark.)

No, this year Opera Cleveland is back at the arts day camp smART in the City, a program of the Cleveland Foundation. Fifth and sixth graders from Cleveland schools attend one of the eight sites around the city. Our site happens to be St. Jerome's.

Yesterday, I went there to hang out with the kids, who--of course--adored me.

I helped them create journal covers for each kid's "Passport to my Future," which is the theme of the program this summer. Then I watched them groove in the Movement portion of the day. I would have joined in, but thought it would be too distracting for them to witness my mad dancing skills. (No chicken can krump like this chicken.)

Later, in the music portion, we played "Drop the Needle." (Something Amy Winehouse should look into. Just a thought.) The name of this game is a little outdated since no one but nerdy audiophiles uses record players anymore. The instructor would play part of a CD and the kids had to guess what country the music was from.

The kids attend smART for five weeks, and at the end, there's a performance that features all that they learned. I will be there.

Jul 2, 2008

LOL chikn

(With respekt to those crazy cats who made cuteness paired with
improper grammar marginally amusing.)