Tuesday, July 27, 2010

New Opera Blog

Just in case anyone here didn't get the memo, I am now the General and Artistic Director of Opera Roanoke.

So I've started a blog for the opera which you can link to from this page. From there (the opera blog, "Vissi d'arte"), you can check out Opera Roanoke's new website, too.

Last week I posted a tribute to the great conductor and teacher, Sir Charles Mackerras, who died July 14. I will also be posting a tribute to two great--but very different--singers, Cesare Siepi and Anthony Rolfe Johnson, who died July 5 & 21, respectively.

This week I'm attending workshop rehearsals for Ricky Ian Gordon's newest piece, a Civil War era "theatrical song cycle" called Rappahannock County. It is set to premiere at the 2011 Virginia Arts Festival (in a co-production with Virginia Opera). I have been sitting in on some of the rehearsals with the cast and creators, in anticipation of a preview performance Thursday night. I'll write a bit about the whole experience then.

I will leave you with a quote from a short (and appropriately dense) biography of the composer Harrison Birtwistle by Jonathan Cross.

The composer understands "the function of the chorale: it clarifies, it illuminates, it accompanies moments of stillness, of revelation, of self-recognition."

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