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

Monday, October 29, 2007


Last week, I went to Tallahassee to hear the graduate students at Florida State University's fine opera program. It's a strange place for it, but FSU has one of the top programs in the country. The program is led by Matthew Lata and Douglas Fisher.

They were in the midst of rehearsals for a new production of LA BOHEME. In the auditions class, the students were uniformly well prepared and all of them sang their hearts out.

Upon landing, the US Air hostess said "Welcome to Tally-Hassy!"

Friday, October 19, 2007

And on to the next one...

Our board has approved an opera season for 08/09. Theater dates have to be reserved, the symphony lined up. After that the artists who we are interested in for the shows (most of whom have already been contacted) need to get official notice. Contracts are negotiated and sent out. Then after that, we schedule auditions for the remaining available roles. Like most opera companies, ours are in New York. We will hear about twelve hours worth, and only for the roles we have left open. Opera companies generally do not do "cattle calls."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Vincero! Vincero!

Turandot opened last night. It was a fine production. This is a picture of Calaf, Roy Cornelius Smith, after the show. His "nessun dorma" was superb. We were thinking for awhile that we might bis (encore) the aria but we chickened out.

I could have wished for a bigger crowd--the auditorium was perhaps 2/3rds full.

About 350 stayed afterwards for LORD T. AND ELOISE.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Turandot opens tomorrow

We had our final dress last night, which went very well. We should have an extraordinary opening tomorrow night.

We always work to try to build casts that are not only talented, but also cooperative. This may have been one of the best yet. It is thoroughly remarkable that artists with such demanding roles such as Turandot (Audrey Stottler) and Calaf (Roy Smith) can also be not just decent human beings, but warm, collegial, and just plain fun!

Tomorrow night is also our after-opera Lord T. and Eloise experiment. We plan to have a video up on U-Tube as quickly as possible, perhaps as early as Monday.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Turandot has a Children's Chorus...

Chinese Gongs

The orchestration in Turandot calls for a set of Chinese gongs. These are small gongs which have specific pitches.

Friday, October 5, 2007

From the Radio Preview

Here are a couple of pictures from last week's live preview on WKNO-FM. Lord T. and Eloise are being interviewed by Darel Snodgrass of WKNO and the two singers standing are our Liu, Kaori Williams, and our Calaf, Roy Cornelius Smith. These photos were taken by one of our patrons, Dr. Douglas Tai.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Ping Pang n Pong

Turandot has three councilors--Ping, Pang and Pong who sing some of the most beautiful and intricate ensembles ever written in opera.

Pictured here are Joseph Hu (Pang), Scott Guinn (Ping), and David Hamilton (Pong).

They have destroyed MANY fans during the course of rehearsal.