As you can imagine, the staff, board and performers are thrilled with the outcome of Saturday’s opening performance of Nabucco.
It’s so interesting to experience the bit of human nature that adds a now expected but never certain bit of performance “oompf.” The singers conjure up a bit more sound or someone on stage is seized for an extra second because of something their colleague did. Could have been a glance or an outstretched hand no one had discussed.
I’m in the fortunate position of knowing what they’ve rehearsed but then have to be ready for how we all live the performance in that moment. Very cool and almost inexplicable experience. There were definitely some of those performance moments on Saturday. Brenda Harris’ performance returned long applause mid-show. Everything stopped for that moment. Others normally entering as the aria ended tastefully started their arrival but froze when it was clear that the audience needed this moment – and Brenda deserved it.
It was a heck of night though, a very well done Gala dinner preceded the performance. A lovely dessert reception followed. It was great fun getting to know a whole new musical community. I was really proud of the whole company for simply hitting the ball out of the park to open the anniversary season. As I came into the office today for a New Works Initiative meeting there was lingering excitement from the box office folks as well as the production crew I met at various points through the Opera Center along with board members and administrative staff in attendance.
As my attention during the daytime focuses on our next production, Anna Bolena, I am also eagerly anticipating a trip back to the Phoenix Symphony to conduct the “Eight Seasons” of Vivaldi and Piazzolla with one of my favorite violinists, Karen Gomyo. Summer is breaking in Phoenix and I’ve happily noted temps below 100 predicted for next week. I have some favorite restaurants to get back to and a small list of southwest items to bring back.
After the symphony performance next Thursday, it’s off to Boulder for off-season Colorado Music Festival donor cultivation and staff meetings over the weekend. Although it can get busy, you’ll never hear me complain (well, I hope you’ll never hear me complain!). I am a very lucky guy and I count those blessings everyday.
- Minnesota Opera Music Director Michael Christie
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