Yesterday was a long day but I managed to get out yesterday morning to have a look at the remarkable Walt Disney Concert Hall – Frank Gehry on top form, a magical building. So much has been written about it – I am happy to have seen it at last.
I am now back in Chicago - in the 80s for the last day of September. Lovely.
We had a good couple of days of meetings with friends and colleagues of the US opera community. When I was first on the Board in 1990 Ardis Krainik was Board chairman and there was full participation by long gone leaders such as Martin Feinstein of the Washington Opera, Peter Hemmings of the LA Opera, Plato Karayanis from Dallas as well as David Gockley, now in San Francisco and Speight Jenkins still in Seattle.
None of these companies was represented yesterday. That needs to be fixed. It doesn't help that Placido Domingo is running both companies formerly led by Feinstein and Hemmings. And Plato's old company, Dallas, is now without a General Director following the departure of Karen Stone this month. A most splendid new face playing his part is Anthony Freud of the Houston Opera. He chaired the meetings this week with great skill and elegance. But I think that we need to get the full engagement of all the new leaders. Opera America makes a huge contribution to the well being of opera in this country and we all must play our part. So step up everyone - you need this service and it needs you!