This weekend has been a lovely mixture of stuff. Yesterday (Saturday) was the wedding of our dear friends Bud Dobbins and my first wonderful Board president Dorothy Walton - a true board star who bore the burden of the chairmanship of COT for ten years. She brought me here in 1999 and her laying down the reins in 2006 was very difficult for us both.
Above you see the view (thanks to my iPhone) from the Cliff Dwellers Club on Chicago's South Michigan Avenue, next door to the CSO, where the beautiful ceremony and accompanying dinner took place yesterday evening. And what a gorgeous evening it was as we crammed on the terrace on the 22nd floor of the Borg-Warner building.
And of course we had music - two of COT's prized possessions, Leila Bowie and Matthew Newlin, with Scott Gilmore the impeccable accompanist, delivering three very different love songs by Bach, Grieg, and Lehar. Altogether a lovely evening.
Today was the long awaited final round of the process the settle the 2012-13 Lyric Opera Ryan Center members. There were just four new additions to join the existing ranks. In voice order the lucky ones are Tracy Cantin, J'nai Bridges, John Irvin, and Will Liverman.
John and Will were both apprentices at Santa Fe this past summer. This is a good solid path for them to pursue. The Ryan Center, under Gianna Rolandi's leadership, has a fabulous record in developing young professional singers.
Tracy is another of the seemingly endless stream of Canadian singers who are making their mark on the international opera scene. Tracy is from Montreal and has been studying at McGill.
J'nai has been known to us all as one of the most striking of up and comers. This is a great breakthrough for her - she is going to be a big personality in the Ryan Center and a huge vocal asset.
So it has been a good day and we look forward to seeing these young people develop over the next three years.
Amongst the singers today was Cecelia Hall, a current member of the Center. She sang an aria from Clemenza di Tito quite stunningly - I was delighted......she will be singing the title role in our production of Handel's Teseo next Spring. Indeed we have no fewer than five current or immediate past members of the Ryan Center with COT next season. They are the best!
Now for a quiet Sunday evening.......