So I finished in Chicago this afternoon on schedule just before 4 pm and am now en route to London - actually at O'Hare waiting for my 7:05 pm flight.
There was a strong showing here in Chicago, of a uniformly high standard with the odd exception.......and just one stand out who will be invited immediately to the finals. And there is a handful of really strong waitlisters. Of course we have the age old problem of an abundance of great sopranos. I am really trying to ration us to a maximum of fifteen of this variety out of the 40. But in the end it is quality that counts.
Chicago is looking pretty as I leave it this evening. I was delighted to have lunch with David Holloway, about to retire from Roosevelt but staying on as director of the Santa Fe young artists program. He has done a brilliant job there and I am sure he will continue to do so for a good while to come. And Henry Fogel, dean of the CCPA dropped in at the end of my afternoon. That was greatly appreciated.
So I have no idea when I will next be in Chicago. Presumably anyway for Neue Stimmen in 2015 if they keep me on. But I will try to get back each winter for a few days when the airfares are lower. I do not like missing all the changes and improvements - it is still my city in a certain strong way!
I should be home in London by 10:30 tomorrow morning. But only for a week. I leave for China and Japan on May 3.