But it has been so great to be back in this city which is so important to me. And yesterday I was able to see COT's production of Philip Glass' s The Perfect American by my old company, Chicago Opera Theater, in the Harris Theater where we performed from 2004 onwards. It was hugely enjoyable in a production by Kevin Newbury who had been responsible for our staging of Nixon in China in 2006. He has subsequently and deservedly built a fine career, and this production of the Disney opera reflects great credit on COT. Justin Ryan was excellent as Walt, and our old friend Scott Ramsay was outstanding as Wilhelm Dantine, one of Disney's unrecognised, angry and frustrated cartoonists.
It was a great treat to encounter so many old friends, colleagues, and board members at the performance - a full house incidentally but there were only two performances so that is hardly surprising. Philip Glass is always a sell out anyway and I have little doubt that they could have sold out four - but you never know!!
I am sad to see that COT will not be at the Harris next season. The company was one of the partners in the building of this excellent theatre - but it is expensive these days as companies struggle to balance the books. But there it is........
COT is in transition mode with no current artistic direction. But there is a search on for artistic leadership - an exciting challenge which should really be undertaken by a veteran with a track record of excellence. Any takers?
I have my Neue Stimmen auditions at the Lyric Opera's home beginning at 11 this morning. Next stop Los Angeles where I fly tomorrow morning.