Back in Chicago today I spent the morning dealing with a pile of stuff, ready to go downtown this afternoon to deal with the rest. And then we had a magnificent thunderstorm, rain and lightning, dramatic! So I went for a siesta!
I had a late afternoon/early evening date with my former and most recent board president Greg O'Leary. We met at the magnificent North Pond restaurant in Lincoln Park - in an area that has been home to Greg pretty well for all of his life. It was a grey evening as you can see above, the view from the restaurant of the Chicago skyline this evening at 5:30.
I have been extremely fortunate over all my years in this business to have had a series of wonderful board chairs/presidents. Of course there have been some duds - but not a lot....
I started out with a pretty high class model - George Christie, son of the the founders of Glyndebourne John and Audrey Christie. He presided over the board from 1959 and throughout my career there from 1962 to 1988. We had a wonderful evening together last month in Sussex and we will be together again when I return for two performances at Glyndebourne in August.
Then in Toronto Bill Williams was my first board president who served for the first two years of my time there. He was a saintly figure who gave unstinting passionate enthusiastic service to COC. And it was a delight to see him and Fritzi, his wife and partner of over sixty years, in Castleton last week.
And then I arrived in Chicago where Dorothy Walton led the COT board for more than 10 years - another fantastic friend and supporter of opera, and stalwart friend of her General Director. I am thrilled to be going with her and Bud to the Cubs game at Wrigley Field on Sunday afternoon.
And so this evening dear Greg O'Leary and I continued our monthly dinners which have been a ritual since he became board president. I am touched that we continue them now that I am really out of it. We will have one last one next month I guess. And then, thereafter, it will be my turn to take him to the Garrick Club in London for dinner. I look forward to that!
Life on the whole is good.........