So I am starting this web log, at the instigation of Peter Debreceny who is a member of our marketing committee. What is it for? Well the theory is that people might be interested in what I do and think! We shall see. Anyway here goes. During the coming summer I am travelling all over the world for the Bertelsmann Foundation's Neue Stimmen competition so I will be bringing you news of any discoveries I make and you will be the first to know which remarkable young singers may turn up at COT in future seasons. But for now we have to get this season in Chicago done - two wonderful pieces by Mozart and Britten.
Figaro rehearsals are two weeks from the opening on May 4 and we began the Dream rehearsals this morning. Went to see a run trough of Act 4 of Figaro this morning - what a lovely cast we have, so much young talent and I am proud of them. Jane Archibald has gained much depth since she sang Poppea in Agrippina so spectacularly in 2003. She has spent two years in the San Francisco Opera Center which is so well run now by Sheri Greenawald. She will be a delightful Susanna, warm and clever and lovable. Krisztina Szabo, another beautiful Canadian has made the transition to Soprano spectacularly well. Her devastating Ottavia last year will be followed by this brave heroic Countess, so completely convincing she is in all she turns her voice and mind to. More from Figaro after the final run through before we start in the Harris - that will be Saturday afternoon.
So we had the meet and greet for Midsummer Night's Dream - but without our Tytania Danielle de Niese who is singing Cleopatra in Zurich this evening - indeed as I write this. She arrives tomorrow and comes straight to the Palmer House for the party. And without Andrei Serban whose new production of Faust opens at the Met tomorrow evening. So looking forward to the Dream. Have loved the work since I first saw it at Covent Garden circa 1962. Our wonderful Glyndebourne production in 1981 saw the return of Britten repertoire to Gly after the estrangement following the historic premieres of Herring and Lucretia in 1946 and 1947. Britten will surely be seen as important an opera composer of the 20th century as Verdi and Wagner were for the 19th. Do I exaggerate? Time will tell - but B.B. has endured since his death in 1976 and dominated the 20th century rep of so many companies in all countries. Only Janacek can rival him. Dream is magic, and such a remarkable adaptation by Peter Pears and BB - Shakespeare would surely have been delighted. Its extraordinary to remember that BB died 29 years ago.
Have an evening off today - our Gala Party is tomorrow. Nathan Gunn and Danielle de Niese will surely turn all heads.......apparently Nathan was offered a role in Beatrice et Benedict with COT 11 years ago - so I am glad he will now make his COT debut at last! I'll put some pix up on this site on Friday.