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

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Opening night

It was a strong opening performance. It was nice to run across an old colleague, Stephen Sulich, who had just come up to the area to work for a few weeks with students at Concordia.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hansel and Gretel on the prairie

After a very windy, rainy, and slightly snowy couple of days a very respectable H&G will open tonight in FARGO! The technical staff made enormous strides between the dress rehearsals and the audience should be charmed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Apropos de H and G

Sets for the Hansel are being created by Apropos Studio in Minneapolis. The production is moved from a German forest to the prairie. Apropos also designed FM Opera's production of my CORPS OF DISCOVERY which they did back in '07.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

School Previews of Hansel and Gretel

Last week started with four school presentations in the Fargo Moorhead area. Pictured are FM Opera General Director David Hamilton, Hansel (Holly Wrensch) and Gretel (JoEllen Miller).

Friday, October 22, 2010

Critters in Hansel and Gretel

The production of H&G has a lot of dancers in it of all ages. Some of them play little critters--a beaver, a mouse, a rabbit family. There are two cats and they also play crows (shown here). And there are fourteen angels.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Hansel in Fargo

Fargo Moorhead Opera is opening its season with Hansel and Gretel. Here in an early staging rehearsal, Hansel (Holly Wrensch) is behing held captive by a pretzel, or more properly a rehearsal pretzel.

Monday, October 11, 2010

AIDA Makes its budget

I am also pleased to report that AIDA exceeded its single ticket goal. In this economy that is almost better than getting good reviews and standing ovations!

AIDA on Saturday October 9th

The October 9th AIDA had a flow to it that was exceptional. Every now and then you have a performance where everything goes right and the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Frankly it doesn't happen very often. I can recall a few times--a TURANDOT at Opera Festival of New Jersey, a night of SCOTT JOPLIN AND TREEMONISHA, a performance long ago in North Carolina of PAGLIACCI outdoors when the confetti that the villanous Tonio threw flew upwards into the wind and a flock of birds flew over when Nedda referred to the flight of swallows in her aria. The AIDA performance had that feel--particularly in the second act when every cast member was in fine voice and absolutely performing at their best. You live for these special performances and they keep you going on.

As the 2010-2011 season was the last one that I planned at Opera Memphis, this AIDA was a great way to finish! And now on to H&G in Fargo.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Aida in Memphis

Memphis' AIDA has been a success. Frankly, my luck at pulling off the heavier Verdi in Memphis has had mixed results--uneven casts. However, this group--Kishna Davis, Hugo Vera, Galina Ivannikova, and Eric Greene made a great quartet of leads. And as the Commercial Appeal review indicates, the Chorus, prepared and recruited by Stephen Carey had a powerful sound, certainly a more powerful sound than I have ever heard out of the Memphis group. What a way to go!