Tag Archives: opera

Tom Wright

This week we’re talking with Tom Wright, the Director of Artistic Planning for Vancouver Opera. I met Tom during the Opera America Leadership Intensive, and it’s true what you’ve heard about Canadians being amazingly nice – Tom is a great guy! But even though his path has been consistently in the arts, he’s taken an interesting twist or two during his career. Here’s his story:

Ok, Tom. It seems like almost everyone I talk to started out as a singer. Are you a reformed performer?

Well, when I was in school I was musical – as a child I played violin, cello and piano. But I was really a theater guy. All through high school I was involved in technical theatre, setting up sound and lighting systems for everything from assemblies to full productions of musicals and plays.

Between grade 11 and grade 12 my high school (Handsworth Secondary School, North Vancouver, B.C.) granted me a scholarship to attend the Banff School of Fine Arts in Banff, Alberta, Canada. Banff is a beautiful town in the Canadian Rocky Mountains about two hours west of Calgary, Alberta. The Banff Centre (as it is called today) is a long standing campus of training in all aspects of the arts, including the dance, theatre, music, opera, literature and visual arts.

I went to the Banff Centre with hopes of becoming a lighting designer. However, after the first month of the program I realized that I was slightly colour blind; so I started exploring other options. 🙂 I then turned my attention to learning as much as I could about all aspects of technical theater: costumes, make-up & wigs, electrics, sound, scenic painting, carpentry, and stage management. After my first summer in Banff, I realized the stage management was something a really enjoyed. I went back to the Banff the summer after graduation from high school and was placed on the stage management team of the opera.

Ok, so after graduation you must’ve found your way back into the opera field. 

Yes! During the summers of 1986 and 1987 when I was back in Banff,  I was involved with Colin Graham’s productions of Falstaff and Eugene Onegin. They were probably the two defining projects that ultimately pushed me into opera.

After the summer of ’86 I received and offer to work at Calgary Opera starting as an Assistant Stage Manager…long story short, I was there until 1998, when I had been promoted upwards to be their Director of Production.

My boss was then head-hunted for Arizona Opera and he asked me to join him. In Arizona, I was the Director of Production & Artistic Operations. However, in the first years I also oversaw a massive IT overhaul of the company where I implemented a wide area network between the Phoenix and Tucson offices. (Ed. – we have difficulties producing in 2 theaters that are .5 miles apart…I can’t imagine the logistical planning that must go into producing in two different cities!) When I left Arizona for Vancouver Opera in 2007 I had spent 9 years running the Artistic and Production operations of a company producing 5 operas a season in two cities completely double cast. Whew!

What is your current profession?

I’m currently the Director of Artistic Planning at Vancouver Opera. I oversee all Artistic, Production and Education programs/operations for the company.

What aspects of your current job/profession give you the greatest satisfaction?

This year’s launch of the Yulanda M. Faris Young Artist Program is a very satisfying achievement. I have been developing and implementing this program since I started here five years ago.

Well, to totally date myself by quoting a Virginia Slims cigarette ad, ‘You’ve come a long way, baby!’ Any regrets?

I do regret not continuing my music studies as a child but I was bit with the theatre bug and sports in high school and dropped music. Also, sometimes I feel that I should have gone to university to advance my education, (Banff Centre is not a accredited college or university so no degrees or certificates are awarded.) but in the end, I have always been employed in the arts, so I can’t really complain.

I’d say not! 🙂 But that’s a lot to figure out on your own…did you have a mentor?

My mentor was Colin Graham, first Artistic Director of the Opera Theatre of St. Louis and Program Director of the Opera program at the Banff School Fine Arts (82-88) He was the director of the opera program and it was his mentorship of me that brought me to where I am today. He took my love of theatre and my passion of music and really taught me about the beautiful marriage that happens with this in opera.

Advice time: what would you tell a student struggling with his or her career path?

Move forward with whatever makes you smile and make sure you have a passion for it. Passion, desire and love of what you like to do is really all that matters. I hope that students who are thinking about their futures, who have a passion and drive in a certain field, will see that it is possible to be gainfully employed in the arts. Passion, drive, networking and a bit of luck is what has taken me on my journey thus far.

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Annie Burridge: Soprano and Senior VP

Profile Phridays are back!

I’m glad to introduce you to Annie Burridge, Senior Vice-President for Institutional Advancement for the Opera Company of Philadelphia. I had a chance to get to know her during the Opera America Leadership Advance, and I think her experiences will resonate with many “reformed singers.” Here’s her story.

How did you get your start?

Technically, my theater career began at age 6, when I was the Littlest Indian in a production of Peter Pan. My mom was a music teacher, and there was always music in our house. I sang all through school, was in musicals and community theater productions. I earned an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University, majoring in Vocal Performance and minoring in Business. (There’s some classic foreshadowing for you, because even though I didn’t really know what Arts Administration was, I thought it sounded interesting.)

I had success and support at Penn State, but didn’t really know whether I was competitive on a larger scale. I did some graduate school auditions, and got a good offer from New England Conservatory. Right before starting the program, all of the incoming students auditioned for a spot in the Opera program, and I was extremely fortunate to be one four sopranos selected. (The entire program was capped somewhere around 25 singers) I worked with John Moriarty, and sang Mrs. Wordsworth in Albert Herring and Cunegonde in Candide. I was really happy with the opportunities that I was given while in school, but found my outside auditions to be a little less successful: I did a pay-to-sing in Salzburg one summer, but didn’t have much luck in the YAP realm until the December after I graduated. Des Moines Metro Opera called on December 23rd: they needed a Gretel for their January Opera Iowa tour, and even though I hadn’t had a live audition for them (I had sent a recording of Zerbinetta’s aria, because they had programmed Ariadne auf Naxos for the summer season), they offered me the role. I did the tour, and stayed on for the summer season. The following spring I did the Pensacola Opera Young Artist program.

It sounds like you were on your way!

Maybe, but it didn’t so much feel like I was on my way. On one hand, I felt incredibly grateful to have those professional opportunities; I learned so much! It was extremely frustrating. I knew that I could tackle difficult repertoire (Lulu, anyone?), but it didn’t seem to matter. It also didn’t matter that I was a good writer, or a natural planner. I rewrote my classroom presentations for the DMMO school tour, but having that eye for strategic planning didn’t make directors more likely to hire me. I had this whole host of talents that simply didn’t transfer over.

Ouch. That’s a hard place to be.

It was. When the Pensacola program finished I went home to Philadelphia – I had met a guy named Paul in between my residencies at DMMO and Pensacola, so I had some incentive. (He’s now my husband.) And I took an administrative job at the University of Pennsylvania to earn some money, as I was just tired of being poor. One of the perks of the job was that I could take classes at Penn for free, so I signed up for a Marketing class in their Non-Profit Administration program. After the first two classes I knew that I had found my thing, and weeks later I was offered my first arts administration position.

Huh! Did you make the decision to change right then?

Yes. It was a big moment for me. I’ve always been someone who commits fully to a career path, and I felt I needed to choose either the administrative career or the singing career – I didn’t want to dilute my impact in either arena by only giving it half my attention. I discussed it with my husband, cried for about an hour, and then made the switch.

Million-dollar question: was it worth it?

I had an epiphany in the car one day shortly after making the switch: I remembered the sitzprobe of Madama Butterfly at Des Moines, and just being moved to tears at the beauty of the music, the complete experience. I remembered sitting alone in the audience during a rehearsal of Barber of Seville in Pensacola when I was covering Rosina, listening to the overture,and again being moved to tears that opera was my job. And I realized that the moments that stuck with me the most weren’t moments in which I was actually singing. It was a revelation. So short answer? Indeed it was worth it. I call on the experiences that I had as a singer daily in my current position (Ed.: Annie oversees all the development and marketing efforts for OCP.) – my knowledge of the industry and passion for the art form allows me to inspire the people with whom I work and interact. I also feel so much more ownership in my current role at OCP than I did as a singer. I can watch a rehearsal and know that my efforts made a huge portion of this production happen. My traction with donors and the financial health of the organization dictates that I am part of the artistic process. Granted, if it were up to my personal preferences we’d be doing all Britten, all the time! But I enjoy being the person who represents our stakeholders and larger community in those discussions. And finally, those skills that I felt were underutilized when I was singing – writing, planning – I’m using every day.

It’s rear-view mirror time: What advice would you give to someone who is struggling through a dilemma similar to your post-Pensacola frustrations?

Be honest with what you want your life to look like. I was lucky in that I had some blazing arrows pointing me to my place in the industry, but I still have pals who are struggling through these decisions.Think about what you want your life to look like 5, 10, even 20 years down the road. What’s your ultimate goal? How can you pick up the skills that will get you there? Some people need to remain close to the creative process, so they might opt for teaching over an administrative job. Some may want to cobble five or six different kinds of performing jobs into a career. I knew that I wanted to be involved at the highest level of artmaking, and it became clear to me that I wasn’t going to be able to reach that level as a singer. I wanted to be a part of the biggest game in town, and I wanted to be a big part of it.

I think you’ve made it! Do you have any parting words or wisdom?

My boss’ motto is to be nice to everyone, all the time. It’s a small industry, and once you build those relationships you’ll have a network of people to ask for advice and help…because soon that assistant will be running the program for which you’ve dreamed of working. It always pays to be nice.

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Age of Reform

ImageKurt Ellenberger wrote a thoughtful article for the Huffington Post about the arts and higher education. In it, he talks about the ways in which college music programs prepare students for a field that is shrinking, and doing so using models that are based on the artistic realities of the 1950-70s. Key faculty are charged to recruit, to provide the economic engine that will power the educational train: but, with undergraduate degrees costing near 50k, graduate degrees close to if not more, it’s a lot to spend for a career with no clear path to employment at the end of the journey. I’d agree with him that we need to rework the system a bit.

I remember talking with one smart, savvy singer a few years ago…he was frustrated at the lack of a clear path, and remarked “My buddies who are going to law school know how long they’ll be in school, how much it’ll cost, what they can expect to earn when they get out. I’m going to have close to the same amount of training in my field as they will in theirs, but I may not even be able to make an honest living.”

He was frustrated, and rightly so. There are very few guarantees in our current economic climate, but among artists they number even fewer. One could place the blame on the academic institutions, for taking students who obviously couldn’t make the grade. But, as someone who auditions a fair number of undergraduate singers every year, I can say that the rates of change in a young voice can be both profound and quicksilver: even during the small window between their autumn audition and their arrival in late spring for rehearsals a Studio Artist can sound – for better or worse – like an entirely different animal. 

So, how to reform this model that obviously doesn’t work? Mr. Ellenberger talks about diversifying: finding the things that make each program special and capitalizing on those key elements. You can likely pull the names of schools who have done this off of the top of your head: Berklee for jazz, Juilliard for classical music: Rice in Houston has a reputation for singers with strong technique, University of Maryland for skilled singing actors. (There are many more…but there are also many programs whose strengths are not clearly defined.)

I think it’s a step in the right direction. Rigorous coursework, one-on-one mentoring and quality performance opportunities are still the building blocks to strong, vibrant musicians, regardless of discipline. But I’d also, in this age of specialization, call for two other aspects that should be mandatory in that education:

  1. Exposure to professionals in related fields, or professionals with that same undergraduate degree who have transitioned into something different. A panel, once or twice a year with a group of people who sat in the students’ places, but have found a non-traditional way to use the knowledge that they gained. 
  2. Cuts. (Controversial, no doubt.) Being asked after a number of semesters to rethink your choice of a degree if your teachers see you struggling with the coursework/physical demands/lifestyle is not a bad thing. (Although at the time I think it probably can feel very much like one.) To have a group of people that know you give you honest feedback and offer you options? It seems like a very responsible kind of guidance. And also, to know you have to dig in to succeed, to stay in the program? (Or to ultimately prove them wrong?) Well, taking that responsibility upon one’s own shoulders can be empowering.

Thoughts? Put on your arts education reformer’s cap, and tell me what you’d recommend.

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Home Remodeling, as a metaphor for Career Transition

My morning started with a cup of coffee, the New York Times, and a jackhammer.

(You read that correctly.)

You see, we’ve finally launched into a much-needed home renovation project, and a 4-inch-thick slab of concrete needed to be excavated from my second-floor bathroom. Now, had I not had a family who tore houses apart for summer fun instead of going to the beach or Disneyland (for the record, stripping wallpaper is no where near as fun as riding rollercoasters or swimming or making sandcastles. Just sayin’.), I’d be scared. But even had the outcome been said cement ending up in the dining room below, it would’ve been OK. Not ideal, but we would’ve learned something important (and, likely expensive) about the structural issues in the house.

Investing in something, and following it wholeheartedly to its natural conclusion, is never a bad thing.

I’m reminded of this especially as our summer season has just ended. I can draw parallels from our Studio program, which is geared towards talented undergraduate and first-year-graduate students, to the significant kind of home renovation that I’ll be vacuuming up for days and days. The Studio program is designed to give singersfirst-hand knowledge of the field, from a professional viewpoint. We try to go beyond the rehearsal schedule (which is compact and intense), to give them exposure to industry folks, tax professionals, musical and dramatic coaches, and a whole host of people who have made careers in this crazy field. The number of careers that people have carved out, and the ways in which they’ve done the carving, are as varied as the people themselves. They also see peers and recent alums, all quite talented, but some seeing a strong measure of success, others struggling.

The part of the program that we don’t advertise as much, but that is just as important? It’s a place where they can get enough information to decide if this crazy career is, in fact, not the right thing for them. It’s an important decision, and one that may of them haven’t vetted through their years of schooling. Most summers there are one or two Studio Artists who start to ask questions about what other things are out there, what level we think they’ll get to with their innate talent (Answer: I don’t have a clue, ever… there are simply too many variables to take into account.), what we recommend. The process is not unlike tearing open dry wall, jackhammering cement, checking the subflooring for soft spots, and rebuilding from the inside out.

The great thing is that, eventually, they do figure it out. Some stay in the field, recommitted to a performing career. Some move to related fields, and explore administrative jobs, artist management, and the like. Some take the discipline that they’ve cultivated in the practice room and head to law or medical school. And while we believe in the musical talent of every one, we don’t stop believing in them because they’ve stepped away from the footlights.

So, as we limp through the last few weeks of August, towards Labor Day (aka the Educator’s New Year) and the beginning of the academic year, I have a challenge for you: Take some time to tear off some of the dry wall, check your subfloor. What parts of the room are worth keeping, and what needs a rehaul? Will a change a paint color be all you need, or will you be jackhammering cement? Look at the career you’ve invested in: it’s time to recommit or remodel.

(New profiles and a more-regular posting schedule will resume in early September. Thanks for hanging in thus far!)

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Out-of Office: Leadership Seminar

I’ve let this project lag just a little bit (Ahem. I may exaggerate a little…), but it’s for a great reason. As part of the Opera America Leadership Intensive, I’ve been spending the last several days in a sunny conference room in New York with 13 colleagues from the US, Canada and Europe, talking about the future of the art form – our art form – and our place therein.

I won’t lie: it’s an extremely exciting time for yours truly. My colleagues are smart, warm, witty, and generous. It’s a little ridiculous, actually, how fantastic these folks are.The facilitators are knowledgable and gentle, even as they push us outside of our comfort zones (hello, public speaking!) and challenge our assumptions of ourselves and the field at large. I count myself amazingly lucky to be counted among this group of students.

We’re all asking a lot of questions, sharing volumes of information. And of course, being in New York there are things to do, friends to connect with, any number of millions of directions to explore. Even if I weren’t in season (WHICH I AM. How am I not in the office? And more importantly, have you picked up tickets for Rake’s Progress yet?), I’d find it slightly overwhelming. I have an awful lot to chew on, with more to think about and tackle in the days to come.

On Tuesday morning, we were all tasked to give our 5-minute personal history to the group. Five minutes to let the group know how you came to be sitting around that table, focused and passionate about an art form that many would describe as a hard sell.

And can I tell you, singers who are doubting whether a performance path is for you? Those of you who fell in love with drama and theater and music but who realize that you may not light up a stage? (Or want to light up a stage?) Can I simply tell you that the group of people around that table – like me, maybe like you – had those same doubts at one point. They parlayed their love of the art form, and the self-knowledge that footlights weren’t their thing, into leadership roles at major and influential opera companies around the country. They are Development Officers, Artistic Directors, Community Programs Directors…the list goes on.

It is a beautiful thing, indeed.

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ROI.

One of my favorite summer “work” activities has to be helping to prep artists to talk to the media, and in the process learning a little bit about them that we could use as a ‘hook’ for interview pitches. I have a list of questions that a pal and former colleague started, that we’ve added to over the last few months. Questions range from practical (“What can’t you travel without?” “What’s the best advice you’ve received?”) to philosophical (“Do you think sports salaries are merited?” “Where does the current system of young artist training fail?”) to totally whackadoo (“What’s your juiciest backstage story?” “Who was your worst colleague?”)

(For the record, those last two questions I would LOVE to hear the answers over a pint at the Vienna Inn…but find a graceful way to decline them in a real interview.)

One gentleman we spoke to came to singing after studying business for quite some time, and he had a markedly different perspective on the field, his work, and his responsibilities. He treats his career like a business: which it is, although we artsy types have a difficult time reconciling the art with the business. (There’s a reason that we can all still identify with the folks in La bohéme…) Another alum of the company puts a certain percentage of every contract into a fund that is meant to reinvigorate his artistry: language work, coachings, travel, research…if it informs his music making, it’s fair game for the fund.

I stumbled across this article, and it made me wonder if we’re not doing our field a disservice by not addressing these business aspects in our training programs. Return on Investment seems like a cold way to look at the profession; taking the passion and alchemy out of the art form. However, I hear every summer from singers whose friends are in law school, medical school…these pals know how long it will take to get their degree, to likely find employment, and how much they can expect to make when they begin their professional career.

Ain’t nothing like that anymore for classical musicians, if every a thing did exist.

But when is the right time to address these issues? Undergrad? Grad school? And, is it possible to address it when each career path is so very unique?

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A Framework for Creative Change

There’s a lot of buzz out there about the creative class… those people, regardless of industry (and while I might take some serious flak for it, I am of the opinion that not every person pursuing a performance degree/career is, in fact, creative. But that’s a topic for another post.) are innovators. In his book The Rise of the Creative Class, Richard Florida states that “access to talented and creative people is to modern business what access to coal and iron ore was to steel-making.”

 

That quote is 10 years old, my friends.

 

Adobe did a research study on UK workers, which showed that most people – fully two-thirds of those surveyed – felt that they were not living up to their potential. To quote Dylan Jones-Evans (Western Mail, 7.14.12)

“Four out of five believe that there is an increased pressure in work on being productive rather than creative. In addition, risk aversion is seen as a barrier with “playing it safe” being the strategy usually adopted by organisations which results in those who are innovative and entrepreneurial having their ideas stifled by those who are less creative. They also feel there was a lack of time to create new things and that they cannot afford to be creative.”

 

Hello, US Classical Music Market.

 

We’re seeing the big 10 operatic warhorses in heavy rotation. We’re seeing young artists inhabiting the roles usually given to established singers. We’re seeing a heck of a lot of Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms on chamber music programs. Companies are cutting back, scaling back, folding. Audiences are aging and shrinking. In terms of building a younger audience? We are the 98-pound-weakling trying to woo the quarterback’s girlfriend. (She’s mostly not giving us the time of day, but we’re not giving up yet.)

 

How much of that, I wonder, has to do with an art form in serious transition? In its heyday, having season tickets to the opera was akin to what having season football tickets are today. (singers/athletes; audiences; financial models and arenas…the sports analogies are really endless.) But that nostalgic glow is only attractive for a small margin of the population; those folks who are in a position to donate, to keep small companies afloat and to shore up the finances of larger ones.

 

It’s a difficult time to be an artist. (although, let’s be frank…has it ever been easy? I mean, we all know how Bohéme goes, right?)

 

In the current climate, it’s only natural to harbor some doubt… there’s some serious math to be done, weighing passion against sacrifice, talent and preparation against the national field. Personal preferences can take a backseat to financial necessity.

 

What if you’re the one playing it safe? With a desk job and a 401k and a nice apartment? And a constant headache and difficulty getting out of bed in the morning and the tendency to self-medicate because you’re just somehow not feeling it?

 

The Harvard Business Review has some advice. As a former (reformed?) teacher, there’s something inherently less scary/more doable when imagining a career leap as a curriculum or night course…setting up an experiment, finding ways to gather more information, sticking to a timetable rather than experimenting endlessly. (That’s called ‘having hobbies.’)

 

What scares you the most about making that transition?

 

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A Virtual Toast to Transitions.

(Does this come in an IV drip?)We hosted a small symposium this past weekend. Kim Pensinger Witman and I were fortunate enough to attend the Opera America Conference in Philadelphia a few weeks ago, and were both inspired and challenged in the seminars which we attended. But oftentimes our artists are bypassed from these larger discussions, or they’re expected to listen but not participate actively…the general directors dictate the tone and flow of the conversation. (It’s not a criticism – the GD’s are the ones who deal with those overarching principles on a daily basis…they should be the folks to initiate the discussions about strategy and the state of our art.) We wanted to give our singers an opportunity to join the conversation.

We called our two-day event Recitative: Plain Talk About Opera, recognizing that what we wanted to do wasn’t glamorous or sparkly…not aria-like in the least. We wanted to raise the questions that the singers/directors/artistic admins were pondering, but maybe hadn’t had the opportunity to discuss. And we asked a group of people who understood our demographic to help us with these discussions.

(Have I mentioned that, by and large, opera people are generous and helpful and agreeable? The colleagues who assisted with these discussions – artistic administrators and general directors and singers and conductors, from companies in our own market to Left Coast-ers, and even a representative from the Continent! –  surely were… we are indebted to them for their time, their thoughtfulness, their candor. Opera people are indeed pretty cool.)

It was a fantastic, provoking, sometimes heated two-day discussion. I was struck very early on with two observations: firstly, that there was such a passionate feeling towards both the art form and the collaborative structure of the art form. (not a surprise, certainly, but it was a wonderful realization of the intensity of feeling.) Secondly, that there were so many people who had started as singers who were now deeply involved – as artistic administrators, casting directors, general directors – in a non-performance aspect of the art. Do they contribute to the discussion as administrators? Most certainly. Do their words hold a different weight because they know firsthand what it’s like to biff a high note in public or trample over an overture in rehearsal with a respected conductor? I think that they might. They know what it feels like to perform at the top of their game. They’ve been moved by an exceptional performance, whether as an onstage colleague or an audience member. It’s invaluable information…and sure, a lot of it can be learned. But maybe not all of it.

It’s not an unusual path, for sure…transitioning from singer or actor to artistic or general director. I’m glad that there are so many people leading companies who, at one point, made the noise…stood in the spotlight…took the curtain call…and ultimately realized that they were meant to support the art form in a different way. Raising a virtual toast to transitions!

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Giovanni, interruptus

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This weekend reminded my little company of the importance of flexibility. We were about two-thirds of the way through the opening night performance of Don Giovanni when a derecho (a word I didn’t know until Saturday morning) blew through, taking with it our power, our beautiful projections, and endangering the safety of patrons and performers alike.

It was frightening, and heartbreaking: hours and hours of focused work, rehearsals, a set and costumes built from scratch all abandoned in an attempt to shelter from the high winds and horrible lightning. Yet Don Giovanni was not dragged to hell by the Commendatore – rather he remained alive, able to seduce for another day.

Fast forward to the following Sunday – a matinee performance, and one which had been sold out for months. It was a 90+ degree day, and much of the region was still without power. Our theater and offices were also without power, so the performance was obviously not going to happen.

We met at the theater: the box office staff, my boss and her boss, our production manager, the house manager. We grabbed cell phones and computers, and BB brought a mini generator to recharge as we needed. We called the orchestra and cast and crew to schedule a replacement performance, which came together much more quickly than we could’ve hoped. We crafted language for the website and patron emails, and our Web Manager SaM pushed the content out. We pulled up lists of ticket buyers for the show and everyone – even the Senior Vice-President – started calling patrons to let them know that the performance was cancelled. As cars pulled into the lot, people met them to explain the situation.

I know that there were some people we did not reach. I know that many folks – including the entire cast and crew, and frankly the admin & artistic staffs – were supremely disappointed. But rather than saying “oh well….nothing to be done”, we investigated other options and quickly made a plan. That flexibility is one trait that many artistic types have, and I was very happy to have been surrounded by a group of artists and musicians – turned- administrators when the chips were down.

The takeaways? When something unexpected happens (and I think this could apply to both good and bad things), take stock and make a plan. Give that new plan room to grow and morph. Titles don’t matter when there’s a job to be done, and in fact the leaders I revere the most aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

Still no power on campus (as of this writing), but we’ll be working offsite in several homes to continue preparations. And we’ll all be crossing fingers and toes that the power comes on in time for tomorrow’s rescheduled performance. (Let’s be honest, having Giovanni still running around is a bad thing, karmically speaking!) Wish us luck!

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una pausa

Another little blog hiatus is looming, as we’re hosting 7 performances and a 2-day symposium over the next 10 days. I’m so proud of the work that’s been overflowing practice and rehearsal rooms, and of the people who are so generously entrenched with us. If you’re in the greater DC area, stop by sometime soon for some great singing!

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