A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella now available at Albany Records

Saturday, December 15, 2018

House with Gothic windows

A pretty bad drive-by picture of a house with Gothic windows in Central Iowa. Here's a wikipedia article about the style. The house that inspired Grant Wood is in Eldon, IA. 

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Tour de Chislic

(Mutton Chislic at Red Rocks Bar and Grill in SE South Dakota)

Just got back from a fun residency at Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota. Thanks so much to the voice faculty there--Darci, Michael, and Marla--for setting it up. A lot of Speed Dating Tonight!, a little rep coaching, and helping them pick two soloists for an aria and concerto competition. They commissioned a new song for their January production of Speed Dating Tonight! and it is about chislic. You can hear a recording from a coaching
The beginning of the lyric goes...

Chislic... Meat on a stick
Sometimes on a skewer, sometimes on a toothpick
Grilled, broiled, or even fried
No matter how they make it, you should take it.

South Dakota has amazing sunsets--

Saturday, October 20, 2018


Up in Fargo to help them celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the opera. We've had a great relationship--they've done SPEED DATING TONIGHT! twice and also toured CORPS OF DISCOVERY. 

While I'm here, I got to sit in on a little rehearsal of my first mini-opera LEO. LEO was first done in 1985 at the One Aria Opera Festival produced by the Texas Opera Theater. It had a nice run--toured by the company and done by several companies--but has been on the shelf for at least twenty years. So I'm very grateful to Fred Heringes, Steven Sulich, David Hamilton, and the young singers at Concordia for planning on producing it this January. 

LEO is a jazz opera about a man who is angry with his cat. I recopied it for this revival cause nobody likes to read manuscript anymore. By the way, I've lost track of my  collaborators, Fernando Fonseca and Cal Massey. If anybody knows how to get back in touch with them, I'd love to get back in touch. There is business to be done!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Speed Dating Tonight! #62 in Savannah

 Finished up the summer with a lively SpDT! at Savannah Voice Festival. Of the 60+ productions, I've only been involved with a handful, so every time I do it, I get to hear some pieces I haven't heard before and, inevitably, revise them. The production featured the premieres of two new dates "Bow Tie Duet" and "Toaster" written for SVF supporters, the Krulics and the Andersons. 

Two of the performers, Kristina Costello and Sarah Barker were gracious enough to record two of the older pieces, Dress up, and You Know Who

As composer-in-residence at Savannah Voice Festival it is very gratifying to hear my music programmed regularly there and, in some cases, not even knowing it's scheduled until I hear it.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Hike in the Mountains/Nosy Parent from Taos Opera Institute 2018

Although there have been over sixty productions of Speed Dating Tonight!, I've only personally participated from start to finish in a handful. This June at Taos Opera Institute I've had the chance to do a SpDT! and hear some of the newer dates live for the first time. Dater #33 "Hike in the Mountains" was commissioned by Opera Steamboat and fits perfectly up in Taos.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Opera America conference 2018

I'm in St. Louis for the Opera America conference. Haven't been to one for several years.

*Panels about the need for more diversity.
*Certainly more programs for women composers and a strong women's opera network.
*More composers than before and more new work
*A real sense that the business is a struggle every year
*More companies than ever

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Lauretta from dress rehearsal of Schicchi

This is a bit Sara Duchovnay's "O mio babbino caro" from GIANNI SCHICCHI. By posing life-ending grief, Lauretta manipulates her father, Gianni Schicchi, into helping the Donati family with the problem of Uncle Buoso's unfavorably written will, which will leave her unable to marry Rinnuccio. 

We've had a lovely run at OperaDelaware of GIANNI SCHICCHI and BUOSO'S GHOST and gotten some good reviews from Broadstreet Review and the Cultural Critic

Friday, April 27, 2018

Conductors in karts getting cookies, Episode 3

One of the pleasures of working at OperaDelaware has been getting to know their regular maestro, Anthony Barrese. A meticulous and tireless artist, he has done a great service to the field by creating a large body of orchestral reductions. He is also a fellow composer. One of his favorite pastimes is go carts, something that was completely new to me. He has started a video podcast of interviewing conductors and taking them go carting.

You can watch the entire interview below, or here he samples my cart drive with my piano concerto as background.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

And Beyond: Black license plates in Delaware




I've previously shared some local stuff from the road such as the lawn jockeys in Saratoga, NY, and the signs in Amarillo. Out on the road in Delaware, they have allowed folks to keep their older black license plates. Here's a sample of them. Apparently there is some prestige in having one of these old plates. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Buoso's Ghost at OperaDelaware

Having a great time preparing GIANNI SCHICCHI and BUOSO'S GHOST at OperaDelaware

Here's a little video of a rehearsal of the opening duet with Sara Duchovnay and Kirk Dougherty.

I've got some comments about this duet posted with E.C. Schirmer here.