Tuesday, July 28, 2009
While at Opera New Jersey, I stayed at a lovely retirement community in Hightstown called Meadow Lakes. I met several of the residents and one of the many remarkable ones is Don Smith. Don turns out to have been a pianist at the New York City opera in the late '50s. He is the pianist on the original recording of Douglas Moore's BALLAD OF BABY DOE which was conducted by Emerson Buckley. He played a production at Dallas Opera starring Maria Callas. In addition to Opera, he was the rehearsal pianist for the Ed Sullivan Show and then at Radio City Music Hall for three decades. Don keeps his piano chops up and plays classical music and classic pop songs.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Earlier this week the young covers for Lucia got a chance to run the show on stage. Although they didn't use costumes, they outfitted themselves in ways appropriate to their characters.
It was good for me too--eight days between performances is a long time to go without a practice.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The studio artists at Opera New Jersey presented to readings of some of my MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM, opera a cappella in Princeton and at the offices of Opera America. Here, our conductor, Keith Chambers readies for the performance with an improvised podium of old Opera News Magazines.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Sunday, July 12, 2009
LUCIA got off to a great start last night. Lisette Oropesa was mesmerizing in John Hoomes bloody staging. Scott Altman, Lisa Altman, and their board president, John Salapatas thanked all assembled afterwards, with special thanks to their new collaborators, the New Jersey Symphony.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Opera New Jersey is opening three shows is opening three shows in three days. It is an incredibly busy technical schedule--especially busy for the crew and the young studio artists, some of whom are in all three productions.