There seems to be a more than usual buzz around on our opening night this year, not to mention a virtually full house. I think that the positioning of our season as a quasi Festival season makes a difference. And a Mozart opera is always a good kick off event to be sure. We have a pretty glittering cast in the audience as well as on stage with visitors from far and wide including a good many who took the Air India cheapo flight from London yesterday! So this is the beginning of an exciting run I feel sure.
At lunchtime today we had another of those very successful and enjoyable events at the Arts Club - this time a conversation with Diane Paulus and our lighting designer Aaron Black on the subject of new productions and the process involved. The "audience" of members of the arts Club were lively and inquisitive. I hope that we gave them some insights, as well as some information on what IS a new production. There appears to be some difference of opinion around about that. In my book it must new sets, costumes, and all physical elements. They must not just be new to Chicago, nor can a new "staging" within sets and costumes bought or rented from another company qualify for this description. No, it has to be new from the bottom up - nor can it be a copy of an existing physical production newly fabricated......
So now that we have got that straight we can say that COT does new productions almost exclusively. The most recent exception was Nixon in China which was a co-production with the Opera Theatre of St Louis but by the time it came here in 2006 it had already been seen in the theaters of two of the other co-producers. I hope we made that clear at the time!
All is reasonably quiet as we wait for this evening. But Flowering Tree and Orlando are hard at it. It will be a long day. It started for me with a breakfast meeting at 8.30. If I am home by midnight I will be surprised. And I have a 7am flight tomorrow........oh dear!