Dec 29, 2009


At this time of year, you really don't expect to visit a blog and read new content, do you? Late December is all about recycling. (Or, if you want to be quixotic, it's all about reflection and meditation on another year past.) I hate to disappoint by not posting a review fo 2009, so here, dear readers, it is:


- Major drama in the office: Who will do the dishes now that Angela no longer works here?

- I introduce the What DODAD? feature, exploring what each Opera Cleveland employee does.

- I got to go to Florida in winter! To help oversee the installation of our Turandot set at Opera Jacksonville

-The stage managers arrive for The Barber of Seville!


-Lots of behind-the-scenes goodness about The Barber of Seville.

- Great reviews of Barber: "Sheer joy." - Opera Now; "The production...grabs ear and funny bone with equal vibrancy." - Plain Dealer


-An operatic ending for Peeps


-We announce our 2010-11 season!

- The Falstaff cast arrives for rehearsals!


- I get to wear a Falstaff fat suit, complete with moobs.

- We feel the love for Falstaff, with great reviews--critics and audience alike.


- In homage to tabloid magazines and entertainment shows everywhere, we post a few "Where Are They Now" on some recent Opera Cleveland singers.


- It was a somewhat slow month, okay?!


- We announce our new affiliate group for those age 25-50 called GO! Generation Opera

- Oh, and I travel to Branson, Missouri. For fun--or something like that.


- Yay! Lots to do and talk about with the arrival of our Don Giovanni cast.

- You can't forget my tour of the classic Don Giovanni artwork in the office.


- We're grateful for our patrons and for their kind words on our recent online survey.


- I'm STILL WAITING for the gifts I asked for on my Holiday Wishlist. Hmpfh.

- Of course, there's was my whirlwind visit to Seattle with Dean. (I'm still recovering.)

I hope your 2009 was just as eventful and that 2010 proves to be marvelous, darlings.


Dec 23, 2009


You can start tonight! PBS is showing a film adaptation of La boheme, starring Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon. In Cleveland, it's on at 9 pm on WVIZ.

What do you possibly have to do on the day after Christmas, other than laze around the house in holiday food-induced fashion wear (i.e. sweatpants)? Check out the Met's "controversial" Tosca, also on PBS, 8 pm on WVIZ.

In January, the Cedar Lee features two HD broadcast of La Scala operas . On Jan. 6 at 7 pm, see Massenet's Thais. See how La Scala's Falstaff stacks up to ours (heh heh heh) on Jan. 20 at 7 pm.

There's ample opportunity to get your Met fix this winter. EVERY Saturday, you can listen to the Met Saturday matinee broadcast on WCLV, 104.9. (The Station has run the broadcasts for 40 years!) Click here for the list of upcoming broadcasts, which include Hansel and Gretel, Carmen, Ariadne auf Naxos, and a 1958 archived broadcast of Vanessa.

Then there's The Met on the big screen, through its HD broadcasts at area movie theaters. Catch La Fleming in Der Rosenkavalier on Jan. 9. Carmen is Jan. 16 and Placido Domingo stars in Simon Boccanegra on Feb. 6. Click here for the complete list.

Of course, you will want to make sure to get your Opera Cleveland subscription to our 2010-11 season. Lucia di Lammermoor in May is only four and a half months away. (Granted, January and February will feel like FIVE LONG COLD MONTHS, but still.)


Dec 16, 2009


My time in Seattle is coming to a close. *Sob*

Maestro! I want a double tall no foam extra hot macchiato! I have to admit I'm hooked now. There's no turning back.

Another Cleveland connection in Seattle! Singer Jennifer Bromagen is from the Cleve and sang with the Opera Cleveland chorus for several years. She came over to Dean's house for some coaching. (And some chicken love.)

Honestly, I had it coming. I kept calling Dean's dog Grady "Eddie," as in dog on Fraiser. Incidentally, Grady is named for the Cleveland Indians' Grady Sizemore. (A Seattle native, natch.)

A visit to Jimi Hendrix's final resting place. Peace out, dude.


Dec 14, 2009


While I enjoyed all the Pacific Northwest sightseeing, I was homesick for opera. So Dean decided to take me to visit Seattle Opera.

On my way... (I feel like I need a theme song here, maybe something with whistling.)

The venerable Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera. My homesickness for the Opera Cleveland offices was such that I offered to fetch Speight coffee and make copies, just to feel more at home. (He took me up on those offers but not the offer to rub his feet.)

A former Clevelander! Kelly Tweeddale is the Executive Director of Seattle Opera.

And here I am outside the opera's performance hall.

Dec 10, 2009


Ah, I've realized what gives Dean so much energy--coffee. It's the Seattle way.

He literally made me bow down before this coffee shop--the very first Starbucks. The buskers let me sing second tenor with them, but I left after I found out they didn't know "Nessun Dorma." Pshaw!

Of course, what's Seattle without the iconic Space Needle. It's been there since 1962, and it's so very The Jetsons. (Ruh-roh, George!)

Like the Space Needle, the Monorail is also a relic of the '62 World's Fair.

Another coffee break, this time at Dean's favorite espresso cafe.

Hey, Clevelanders! I'm at the other end of I-90.

I thought I'd try my luck begging outside the new offices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Because they gave out 2.8 BILLION DOLLARS in 2008, I thought perhaps there might be a spare million for Opera Cleveland. No such luck.


Dec 9, 2009


Maybe I'm so tired because a certain Opera Cleveland Artistic Director **coughDeancough** has decided I need to see EVERY POSSIBLE LANDMARK IN SEATTLE while I visit him. I wouldn't be surprised if he moonlights as the Seattle Convention and Visitors Bureau as an ambassador.

Me and Ambassador Williamson at Lincoln Beach, overlooking the Puget Sound--with the Olympic Mountains in the background. (The idyllic nature of this photo just screams "Suck it, Cleveland and your measly lake!")

Dean sought out a co-ambassador for the day's sightseeing--"character tenor" Paul Gudas. (Oh, he was a character, all right.)

While cavorting on the beach, we spied the Fauntleroy Ferry--apparently Seattle has the largest ferry system in the world.

I insisted Dean take me into the foothills to reenact scenes from Twilight, which is filmed in the Pacific Northwest. (And then, later that night, I told Dean "Sometimes I watch you when you sleep.")

Team Edward all the way!
(FYI, those are vampire teeth on me, not cocaine drip.)


Stay tuned for more photos of my Seattle adventures!

Dec 7, 2009


It's that time of year. Time for my holiday wish list:

The Met's
Lucia di Lammermoor on DVD
With Anna Netrebko. (Watch out parents, this DVD is NOT RATED. And we never know what opera directors are going to do, do we?)

Karaoke machine pre-loaded with my favorite opera arias
Obviously, this item will take some coordination and savvy, but I have faith in you, readers! First, you will have to cleverly discern just what my favorite arias are. Then, you'll have to find instrumental tracks of those arias to load into a karaoke machine. (Oh, and you'll have to figure out if anyone still actually sells karaoke machines, because it's no longer 1994.)

To meet the doyenne behind Opera Chic
Opera bloggers need to stick together, yo.

This recording of Massenet's Werther
Ahh, divine!

The head of John the Baptist from Salome

I'm bored with the one I currently have. We've grown apart. It's time to move on.

--- One of my holiday wishes has already come true: I will be spending some time in Seattle with our Artistic Director Dean! Stay tuned for my dispatches from the Pac NW.


Dec 4, 2009


If Opera Cleveland has seemed quiet this week because I haven't been as talkative (bloggative?), that would be a faulty assumption. No, things have been bubbling at the office, as yesterday we officially announced our Green Opera Initiative.

In the past few months, Opera Cleveland has started to analyze its carbon footprint and begun to reduce it, and we decided to formalize it. While the Initiative will apply to the company as a whole, we're striving for carbon neutrality with Lucia di Lammermoor.

The Green Opera Initiative is more than a project--it's a way of thinking. (Does that not sound like benevolent corporate speak? Really, I just wrote it, and I mean it.)

Like other opera companies, we've recycled and reused stage sets, props, singers, and set pieces for years. But now we can place those actions--and greatly expand upon them--under a philosophy of sustainability. These days, it's silly not to think green.