Monday, August 29, 2011

Conservatory Auditions

What a week it has been!  Thank you to everyone for your interest and support and well wishes!  For those who didn't see, you can read the big news by clicking here.  But, now it is on to more preparation and rehearsing.  I have been adding more to my schedule, which is very exciting.  I will be singing on some lunch time Bach cantatas, punned as "Bach's Lunch".  Oh, musicians...you make my sides hurt!

Also, on Saturday, I had the Conservatory Auditions for the upcoming opera season.  They are planning on La nozze di Figaro (the Marriage of Figaro) by Mozart, La Tragedie de Carmen by Brooks/Bizet, and a night celebrating the music of Carlisle Floyd directed by Metropolitan Opera conductor George Darden. I won't hear any results until later in the week, but weeks ago - since I'm primarily a Mozart-type tenor - I expected to compete well for the Figaro roles.  Well, it was later suggested to me that I should offer something higher and more lyric, obviously hinting that I shouldn't count out the role of Don Jose in Carmen.

So, I went out on a limb and prepared Questa o quella from Rigoletto, an aria that I have done many times - and for the record, do not enjoy it, but recognize that everyone else does (ugh!).  If they want to hear my high notes, they get most of what I have to offer in that aria.  My lesson and coaching times are at 10 am (which is preposterously early, I know) but it is nothing that Mr. Coffee and I can't tackle.  I say that because I have generally been preparing to sing that high aria early in the day, and I scheduled to have one of the last audition spots in the afternoon on Saturday.

On the audition day, I went to the Conservatory early, to practice some Bach stuff for another gig later in September.  By the time I was done practicing, my voice was in super high mode.  I waited for my audition, walked down the rows of the house and on to the stage after handing my music to my coach.  And boom, my voice was rocketing pretty high.  I am not sure if anyone noticed, but I sang the wrong verse.  I knew most people wouldn't realize it if I finished the verse with the correct high note.  Incidentally, I botched it exactly as Franco Corelli did in this recital.



I have always thought that Pavarotti sang this aria better than anyone that I have ever heard (and I have heard MANY).  The way that he approaches the very end is incredibly impressive - with easy and power (on an "ee" vowel no less).  It's stupid good!



Like I said, if you don't know the piece or paid enough attention, you wouldn't know that Pavarotti sang the correct verses and Corelli didn't.  But, when I sang, besides the switching of verses, it was probably one of the best times that I have performed it.  After I finished, the opera director said, "wow...well...I guess we'll hear your other piece as well".  And then I sang En fermant les yeux from Manon...messing up a few times on the diction. (thank you France for your simple language) And that was it, we then talked for a little bit about if I would be comfortable with the Flower Aria from Carmen, and I said that I would be fully confident in it.(secretly pretty excited because it is not too likely that a voice like mine would do Don Jose too often)  So, now we'll wait...  I have a callback audition tomorrow evening.  Here is a recording of the flower duet - in case you don't already know it.



As for my once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with the Kauffman Center Grand Opening, I have found out more information about the event, like costuming and set design.  I am hesitant to put anything online about that yet, in case they want to keep that secret as well, but it will be very exciting (and sexy) indeed.  That's all I will say for that right now...(ha ha, now you're probably very curious).  The first rehearsal is tomorrow afternoon, so I am very excited for that!

Lastly, I am planning a recital - a date has yet to be determined - but it will be a memorial to my ancestry, the Volga Germans, who 70 years ago were expelled from Russia by Stalin beginning the Forgotten Genocide.  All were either displaced, deported, or purposefully starved - over 300,000 died initially in the genocide and untold numbers (millions perhaps) died in Siberian labor camps.  To learn more, visit http://expelledgermans.org/volgagermans.htm

To remember them, my ancestors, I will be performing music of the region, which was greatly diverse and unique in Western Civilization as it was a crossroads between the east and the west.  Most of it will be Western music influenced by Eastern sources.  I'll have music by Bach, Rimsky-Korsakov, Cui, Ravel, and a special collection, a world premiere, of Volga German folk songs in a more modern musical language, written especially for this recital by another musician with German ancestry.  As soon as I finalize the dates and whatnot, I will be publicizing this.  I hope some of you in the area will be able to come.

Check back daily for more updates...I have something special planned for later in the week!

SCHEDULE
(still working on this - there's a lot to keep track of!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT

I will be a featured soloist (Tony) in an ensemble performing "Tonight" from West Side Story, at the Grand Opening Event of the opera house at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts - featuring Placido Domingo, among others - on September 16, 2011.  Tickets are sold out (they were so cheap to begin with - see below for details).  The following was my initial post (that I got in trouble for posting too soon - oops!) about the event, fully uncensored for everyone's enjoyment along with many articles.

_______________

Growing up, I was always captivated by the grandiose productions of the Olympics, the Three Tenors specials on PBS, and even the high school marching band.  In these I dreamt dreams and felt feeling that led me to forget the world and live within an imagined box of extremes.  I shot the game winning basketball shot in the NCAA finals, I sank an eagle putt to win the US Open, and I had an awesome police car and chased down bank robbers.

But as I got older, the realization never really came, that my impossible dreams were just of my mind and couldn't actually happen.  Of course I knew failure very well.  Even though I wasn't the best basketball player didn't mean that I couldn't live the excitement of sinking the game-winning shot in my head.  The dream that I could be like Pavarotti or be like Tiger Woods always was possible to me.  And in a way, when I would get great opportunities later in life, my reaction to them was always more muted than what I imagined as a kid.  So I stuck to my imagination - it was much more exciting than the glories of the real world.

I had a childhood infatuation with marching bands - the power, the militaristic uniformity, the emotion from the music.  In high school, I auditioned to be the drum major (I didn't get it).  But, as a small kid, if given that opportunity, I would have made that as important as life itself.  As a child, if I had known that I could be the high school drum major, I would be proud and nervous and excited that I had a future capable of something so great.  I tend to forget the simple enthusiasm.  I forget that I have had many accomplishments and projects that I should give the full joy of my youth - even to the things as simple as auditioning for the high school band drum major.

Recently, a small bit of news, an opportunity, arose that caused a flood of these childhood emotions of pride, nervousness, excitement.  I don't believe I ever said "yes" but instead I said that I was "horribly excited" for the opportunity.  Of course I meant "yes", but it never came out that way.

Here in Kansas City, what will likely be the most expensive performing art center (about half a billion dollars) and one of the most architecturally complex structures in the entire world will open in September, with the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.



I have been trying my hardest to find a performance opportunity there, in their inaugural season.  Performing there is not the only part that I was wanting to do.  I knew for about a year - with the rumblings and rumors around the arts circles in KC - that Placido Domingo (and for those under rocks - he was one of the Three Tenors) would be singing at the Grand Opening event.  It was then announced early this year that there would be two Grand Openings, the first for the opera house and the second for the symphony hall and would feature Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, Diana Krall, and others.  It would certainly be one the most important music events in the nation this year, but I can not afford a ticket.

(I guarantee you'll know the end of this, even if you've never gone to an opera)

The offer that was presented to me in the phone call - seemingly out of the blue - was to sing the role of Tony in the "Tonight" scene from West Side Story at the Grand Opening of the opera house at the Kauffman Center.  My mind exploded!  I immediately knew the importance of the event and who all would be singing with me.  I would be performed would be performed with the Kansas City Symphony under the baton of Michael Stern along with a large company (about 50) of singers and dancers.  More information flooded through the phone conversation, including that it is being produced by a Hollywood production company - presumably filmed, recorded, lights, etc.  The performance will take place on September 16, with rehearsals beginning on September 11.

Beyond the shock of the news, it took a long time for me to realize that I would be on the same concert as Placido Domingo along with other great artists.  The tickets alone, which range from $1,000 to $70,000, are enough to pressure any performer to taking a quick shot of tequila, trying to forget that people actually will pay that much to hear you sing.  And, shortly into the scene, Tony begins his solo with the "tonight" theme. The thought of it is still so exciting - I would be singing a solo at the grand opening of the opera house at the Kauffman Center, with the KC Symphony, a full house that has paid out the wazoo to be there, 50 singers and dancers, a Hollywood production company, and with my name on the same program as Placido Domingo - the most famous living opera singer, and one of the greatest tenors in history.

This is an amazing opportunity, that I will not waste, and I will live it with the passion of my childhood.  Who knows what the future holds, but as for right now, I am so excited to live in the moment - just like a kid.

So, now that the world knows, I will be posting press releases (so far they haven't been updated since earlier this year) about the other performers and all the events involved with the opening of the Kauffman Center.  I hope this will make Kansas City a great destination and capital for music.  I am so honored and excited to be a part of it.

CHECK OUT THE LINKS AND PHOTOS BELOW:

Opening Gala Press Release
http://www.kansascity.com/2011/08/23/3094607/kauffman-center-gala-producers.html

Information About Grand Opening Tickets (good luck!)
http://www.kauffmancenter.org/events-tickets/grandopening/

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts Wikipedia Page
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kauffman_Center_for_the_Performing_Arts

Kauffman Center Pictures from July
http://web.me.com/rein4kc/Site/Kansas_City/Pages/kauffman_pre-open_tour.html

Kauffman Center Official Website
http://www.kauffmancenter.org/

NPR Kauffman Center Blog
http://soundandglass.org/







Monday, August 22, 2011

Secrets

Today is the first day back at the Conservatory for my second year of my doctoral study.  I am very excited to begin and I have some very exciting things planned - the most exciting of which I am doomed never to speak of.  Oh the torture!!  If you don't already know, I divulged the information of an incredibly exciting opportunity on my blog last week, and a few hours later had to censor most of the post because I got in trouble for sharing some secrets.  Well, I will post the whole thing on September 17, but until then I must continue to wait until I have permission to say anything - you can read the censored version here.

(actually, I received an email hinting that I may be able to announce something soon - oh I am so excited.  There is more about "the secret" later in the blog)

In other news, I will be singing some demonstrations for the Conservatory in September over the recitative in Bach's St. John Passion and the recitative in Purcell's opera Dido and Aeneas - obviously singing the role of Aeneas. These are both very old and are sung using specialized baroque performance techniques.

(you really should listen to the whole thing, but if you're lazy, fast forward to about 7:30 and watch to the end)

Also, I have accepted a gig to sing the Evangelist in David Lang's "Little Match Girl Passion" here in Kansas City in May - which won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize in Music, one of the world's most prestigious composition awards.  It is obviously a modern piece, but it is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fable by the same name.  Listen to a little bit of it.


It is, for lack of a better description, a minimalist minimalist piece (or minimalism on steroids).  I mean this because it is built on a significantly small scale, but is a very large work, whose harmonic progression is very slow - this doesn't mean minimalism isn't exciting though, personally I absolutely love it.   It appears really simple - perhaps too simple, but is actually super complex; it requires great precision in tone, pitch, and the hardest part of all for singers - counting!  Minimalism makes for some great ambiance, emotion, and best of all - it glorifies perfection - just like the classical era of Mozart, Haydn, and Beethoven.  Because minimalist music doesn't quickly evolve - unlike doo-wop or rock musicians playing four chords in relatively quick succession - it is more important for the music to transform between the chord areas over a longer amount of time.  This transforming style works great with the heartbreaking story of the Match Girl: a poor and abused girl, who sells matches, transitioning from life to death, lighting matches so as not to freeze during the night - watch the beautiful Disney animated short film about the story (the music in the Disney film is not from the production we're doing, but it is beautiful as well).


Yesterday, I started my new church job at Village Presbyterian here in Kansas City, the nation's fifth largest Presbyterian Church.  I will be responsible for singing, probably a lot of solo singing, and conducting whatever they need, whenever they need it.  It appears that they will be flexible in working with my INSANE schedule, which I am very thankful for.  I sang for a pot-luck dinner (where the food was so good, you'd think they were Methodists), and met many of the wonderful people that I will be working with, many of whom are highly educated musicians.  They have three choirs, a brass ensemble, three handbell choirs, the Kansas City Wind Symphony, a youth choir, a youth orchestra, and children's choir.  WOW!  I will certainly have a lot of fun.

As to my future schedule, I will of course be doing my cross country audition circus again this fall.  I have selected some exciting things to audition for, and I am very confident - the most confident that I have ever been - going into the new audition season.  I have made a small vocal change over the summer that has brightened and freed my sound very much.

Also the Conservatory will be performing La Nozze di Figaro (the marriage of Figaro) and Carmen coming up, so I may be performing in those.  The auditions will soon take place for those operas and I will give you all the details about that soon.

Okay now, back to some news regarding "the secret":  as you may know, I will be singing with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus during the year, and we have been rehearsing for some coming events, and for a performance of Brahms German Requiem...one of my most favoritest pieces!  However, I was quite humbled last Monday when they announced my news, the same news that I cannot announce publicly yet, in front of all the singers.  I stood and they applauded - I felt so very honored.

But so as to not make too many people upset at my teasing - I have decided to just keep quiet for the moment, trusting that I will be able to simply make a statement at some point beforehand, even if it does not involve any significant details.

Sorry mom, but you probably shouldn't say anything to local newspaper yet...but I won't be able to stop you if your bible study group wants to pray for me, naturally by putting me on the prayer chain...I know some good gossip gets around that way (wink, wink).  

Monday, August 15, 2011

A Childhood Dream (censored)

Oops!  I just got note that some of the material that I mentioned in the post tonight is supposed to be confidential. Unfortunately I will have to wait until after September 16 to re-post this blog entry.  I have an incredibly exciting evening planned for that night here in Kansas City.  Beyond that, I can't even say really what I will be doing.  Unfortunately you will have to survive on excerpts from the post and I will have to censor the rest.  I hope you don't find the censoring to be too obnoxious, I'm just very excited.  I'm only sad that I cannot express my excitement with everyone...yet.

----------

Growing up, I was always captivated by the grandiose productions of the Olympics, the Three Tenors specials on PBS, and even the high school marching band.  In these I dreamt dreams and felt feeling that led me to forget the world and live within an imagined box of extremes.  I shot the game winning basketball shot in the NCAA finals, I sank an eagle putt to win the US Open, and I had an awesome police car and chased down bank robbers.

But as I got older, the realization never really came, that my impossible dreams were just of my mind and couldn't actually happen.  Of course I knew failure very well.  Even though I wasn't the best basketball player didn't mean that I couldn't live the excitement of sinking the game-winning shot in my head.  The dream that I could be like Pavarotti or be like Tiger Woods always was possible to me.  And in a way, when I would get great opportunities later in life, my reaction to them was always more muted than what I imagined as a kid.  So I stuck to my imagination - it was much more exciting than the glories of the real world.

I had a childhood infatuation with marching bands - the power, the militaristic uniformity, the emotion from the music.  In high school, I auditioned to be the drum major (I didn't get it).  But, as a small kid, if given that opportunity, I would have made that as important as life itself.  As a child, if I had known that I could be the high school drum major, I would be proud and nervous and excited that I had a future capable of something so great.  I tend to forget the simple enthusiasm.  I forget that I have had many accomplishments and projects that I should give the full joy of my youth - even to the things as simple as auditioning for the high school band drum major.

Recently, a bit of news, an opportunity, arose that caused a flood of these childhood emotions of pride, nervousness, excitement.  I don't believe I ever said "yes" but instead I said that I was "horribly excited" for the opportunity.  Of course I meant "yes", but it never came out that way.

(CENSORED - pictures, video, information, all of which I unfortunately cannot divulge at the moment)

This is an amazing opportunity, that I will not waste, and I will live it with the passion of my childhood.  Who knows what the future holds, but as for right now, I am so excited to live in the moment - just like a kid.

(More Censored Material - will be made available after 9/16)



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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

My Summer at Sugar Creek, Kansas City Symphony Chorus, & Planking

What an amazing last several weeks!  I had a great time at Sugar Creek, met so many wonderful people - it was hard to leave some of them knowing I may not see them again - but hopefully I will see them all soon.  The performances went great and the audience was very gracious.  The cast was terrific, the orchestra was superb, and the maestri and directors and stage managers all made the experience wonderful.

I have some incredibly exciting news about an upcoming gig, but I can't say anything publicly about it yet unfortunately.  It is so so so exciting though - certainly one that I will remember for the rest of my life!!  There will be many postings about it in the future, but until then I just wanted you all to be curious...

Yesterday, I auditioned for the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, which if you don't know, has expanded to over 160 members - that's larger than any of Robert Shaw's choirs.  I wanted to be a part of it this year because their season is spectacular, as it will be the first season in the new Kauffman Center.  We will be performing Brahms' German Requiem, Handel's Messiah, Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, and (wait for it) Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (the gates of Music Heaven open with six-winged fat, horned Brunhilde serphim operatically lauding the mere mentioning of the piece).  Plus, we will be performing some Wagner on the opening night Gala Concert of the Kauffman Center's Orchestra Hall on September 17.  This is a HUGE event featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Diana Krall, and Itzhak Perlman.  Tickets start at $500, so good luck with that if you want to go.  I am so thankful that I get to see and sing in the opening of what will be one of the world's greatest performing halls!


But on to some pictures - here are some memories of my time at Sugar Creek - remember I stayed on a farm...

The view driving up to my homestay - you wouldn't believe the view at night - so many meteors and other cool things that the city lights would flood out

Yeah, so...singers and farm equipment obviously go together...nevertheless, I was so curious about it all that Marv decided to show off his toys and tell me about how he works.  These combines, and for the opera singers out there combines harvest the crops, drive by satellite - perfect to within one inch!

Me in a wheel...something that I failed to mention on this blog is that Marv, the farmer, fixed my car for me after the starter broke.  If you remember, my wife and I recently had to buy a new car because her car broke, and here I was in Illinois with a broken Diane (my car's name) as well.  Thank you Marv!

Let's talk about the food around here.  IT TORE ME UP!  Not to make too many judgements, but it was obvious that the people up here are not too concerned about what they eat.  At this diner, my friend David and I got some breakfast.  Now, I always eat everything, and usually have plenty of room to spare (insert angry comments from women here) and I haven't gained any weight in eight years (insert more comments/cursing here).  I felt like death after nearly drowning in my tar pit of biscuits and gravy.  However David finished a plate of toast and eggs (you can barely see it but it is an entire dinner plate full of eggs) and a giant stack of plate sized pancakes.  By the end, there was only a quarter bottle of syrup left as well!  It was the greatest eating feat that I have ever witnessed!  The lady at the diner said people rarely finish the pancakes, let alone another plate of eggs and toast - leave it to an opera singer to push the boundaries of human achievement.  He later ran six miles...

Chicago skyline from a water taxi...

My brother and my mother planked at the Hancock Building in Chicago.  If you haven't heard of "planking" it is when you lie face down in a public place.  If you are wondering why people do it, it is mainly to be funny.  I love how the people in the background generally don't care what is going on.  Evidently everyone up in Chicagoland has social-blindness, we saw a man take all of his clothes off except for his tighty whities, and we were the only people staring.  That incident happened at Shedd Aquarium, where we also learned about the birds and the bees from the sea otters.

What diverse people...a shirtless man walking with his wife, a little girl and giant in the same picture (seriously he was significantly taller than 7 feet)......(I still can't stop laughing at this picture!)

Well, now back to the grind.  These last three weeks have made appreciate the opportunities that I have received so much and I feel so lucky to be able to be a professional musician.  My friends at Sugar Creek, I will hopefully see you again somewhere, sometime.  As for Kansas City - I'm excited to start my second year of my Doctorate, and participate in what will be one of the most exciting musical years of my life.

Stay tuned for my upcoming performance schedule...I won't post it until I can say something about the gig that I can't tell anyone about yet...(biting nails)

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Making of an Opera - "From Score to Stage"

Howdy folks...sorry for the long wait.  A few things came up during the week - exciting things - that I can't talk about at the moment, but as you know it is production week here at Sugar Creek.  Daughter of the Regiment opens tonight.  Here are two videos from the week. Until then, I have to go to a live nightly news segment...

ciao!



Monday, August 1, 2011

Young Artist Programs - A Guide for Future Divas

It's my 100th post and it's performance week at Sugar Creek! - Check back every day this week - I'll be posting on two new blog series: "A Guide for Future Divas" - showing some ways on how to get into this crazy business & "The Making of an Opera" - videos about my experience here at sugar creek including performances.
______________________

YAP = Young Artist Program

Sometimes this term is synonymous with "Apprentice Artist" and "Studio Artist" as well as other various forms, but generally, it is what you think it is - a program for young artists to learn the opera profession.  Much of what we do is similar to a trade school in that we are learning a very specific technical profession.  However, it is a very varied business.  As you may expect, everyone has an opinion about what someone should or shouldn't do.

Young Artist Programs are generally created by opera companies as a means to train young singers in return for (lacking a better term) cheap labor.  Young Artist Programs today attempt to teach singers about what is needed to succeed in "the business".  (And if you're an emerging artist, this info will be greatly beneficial to you, so take good notes - or bookmark this post)

A VERY BRIEF, FIVE TIP GUIDE TO YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAMS

1.  You must be able to sing, act, and do these in an audition (there will be a future post on this).  Companies generally want singer/actors. Obviously, the time of the "park and bark" is over.  Companies want people who look the part (not the epitomically colossal opera singer stereotype) and who can have more facial reactions than just happy and sad.

Willie the Operatic Whale
2.  Young Artist Programs come in tiers, like professional baseball.  Assuming that you've learned to play the game well (operatic equivalent to an undergraduate degree in music) and perhaps you can teach others, including yourself, on how to improve (master's degree), you are certainly ready to try your luck in the professional world.
  • Independent Minor Leagues - just like in baseball, this is the first level of YAPs, the first level of learning about what it takes to become a pro.  In opera, these would be "pay-to-sings" - meaning that you pay tuition or a fee to sing with a program.
  • Single-A Baseball - for most professional baseball players, this first step is one of the most difficult, and in opera that can also be the case.  This first step would mean that you are being paid to sing opera, or at the very least do not have to pay to sing anymore.  Most of these companies have many apprentices who help fill choruses, small roles, perhaps lead roles, or cover the lead roles.
  • Double-A Baseball - so now we're getting pretty serious, people are becoming interested in you being a part of their fantasy baseball team, and in opera - companies and perhaps talent managers are noticing you.  These programs would be some of the more historic and well known apprentice programs like Chautauqua Opera, Central City Opera, and Des Moines Opera.
  • Triple-A Baseball - you are the next in line to be called up to the majors, and in opera this means that you are at one of the most prestigious programs carefully scouted by talent managers and opera companies.  These elite would include: Santa Fe Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, Merola Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera.
3. How do you find out about auditioning for these programs?....www.yaptracker.com...it's the best and easiest resource that opera singers use to help them find gigs.

4.  The previous list mainly describes professional companies that have their performing seasons in the summer.  However, there are many companies that have winter programs: Minnesota Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, and Virginia Opera.  These are generally called "Resident Artist Programs" because you are employed for many months or even several years at a time.  Because there are fewer of these, the competition is fierce, however it would require you to move to the area.

Some of the best programs, like our Triple-A programs, are the most prestigious and coveted apprentice programs programs out there.  These top tier resident artist programs would include: Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, Lindemann (the Met), Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, and Florida Grand Opera.

5.  The most important tip is to audition for everything, especially for the programs that are in the next tier up.  You may not get to the gig this year, but your good audition may get you on the short list for next year.  So keep trying.

As to where this program (Sugar Creek) fits into the scheme of things...(trying to remain unbiased) it is probably a Single-A program with Double-A talent.  Because times are so rough, there are fewer companies.  This means the good singers can't move up the tiers as easily making the competition incredibly difficult for the singers who audition.  For this particular program, we were required to send in an audition recording - I'm not sure how many applied because they did not release that information to my knowledge, but I have seen other similar programs tout anywhere between one and three thousand applicants.  Then they invited 280 for a live audition in one of several cities - I went to New York.  Of that number, only 19 became apprentice artists for the company.  So, it can be tough - that's why it is important to apply often, to even have a chance.

Opera, as a business, is having a tough time, just as many other professions are.  Many opera houses and companies are running a deficit, and until donor contributions rise again, many companies - even long standing companies like the holy New York City Opera - may become extinct.  But for many, these young artist programs are a way to keep producing operas.

The good news is that there are more classically trained singers and classical musicians than ever before in our country's history, which may serve as some hope for the continuation of what we love most, even if the world falls off the cliff in the Great Recession.  Some of the most difficult times in world history have created the greatest achievements in music - for example, the Medieval Music Era developed because of the fall of the Roman Empire, the 20th Century Music Era developed out of the humanitarian and economic costs of World War I, and Jazz developed in illegal "speakeasies" during Prohibition.  For what it's worth, the world is a much more stable (and thankfully less sober) place now than during those times, so there is still optimism to be had. 
_________________

Come back tomorrow for my video, "The Making of an Opera - Raising the Dough"


SCHEDULE

August 1 - Sugar Creek Opera - Community Preview Concert - Kiwanis Club, Watseka, IL Noon
August 4 - Sugar Creek Opera - Kick-off Concert (Duet from Romeo et Juliet & Agony from Into the Woods) Watseka, IL - 7:30pm
August 5 - Sugar Creek Opera - Daughter of the Regiment - Clifton, IL (near Chicago) 8:00pm
August 7 - Sugar Creek Opera - Daughter of the Regiment - Clifton, IL (near Chicago) 3:00pm
August 8 - Audition - Kansas City Symphony