Alan's Blog...It's all Gesamtkunstwerk to me!

Thoughts from nearly 40 years on the professional stage

Zipping here there and everywhere...Toronto/Cincinnati

It’s been quite a week so far. And, it’s only just half over. After singing the performance of “Salome” here in Toronto last Friday, I had a few days off before heading to Cincinnati to rehearse for this weekend’s concert at The May Festival. What a wonderful tradition this annual festival is for the city and region of Southwestern Ohio. I have long wanted to be a part of this great event. As I have a pretty significant background in choral music, taking part in this annual celebration (noted as “The Premiere Choral Festival in the Country”) is a joy.

However, one has to be able to get to rehearsals, etc., on time. My flight on Sunday was cancelled to Cincinnati (due to weather problems in several locales). I was able to book another flight but, instead of flying directly to Cincinnati, had to reroute through Atlanta. This meant that, for the first leg of my trip, I flew 700 miles to only get 30-40 miles closer to my destination. I finally arrived at my hotel at about 12:15 a.m. on Monday.

Rehearsals went well during the week--it should be an exciting and wonderful concert. The chorus sounds magnificent as does the orchestra. It is nice to work with James Conlon on the podium once again. And, what a thrill to work with one of my favorite sopranos (and best friends in the business), Christine Goerke. We last sang together in “Elektra” in Chicago which opened this current opera season. Our concert in Cincinnati is all Wagner and Verdi as we celebrate the bi-centennials of their births.

I needed to fly back to Toronto yesterday in order to be here for tonight’s performance of “Salome”. Again, it was a flight with connections. This time, the plan was to take me through Detroit. All went well up to Michigan but, upon arrival, I found out that my flight to Toronto had been cancelled (this just isn’t my week for smooth travel). There were strong winds in Ontario yesterday which grounded many flights or delayed them. I was told that I could get a flight later in the evening (but it was already announced as greatly delayed). I wasn’t sure if it would actually fly or not. I finally decided to head to the rental car counter and then drove the 4+ hour trip back to Toronto. Let’s just say, it was another long day. Oh, and just as I arrived into the Toronto area, that delayed flight landed at the airport.

Sometimes, we only think about the performances and the preparation for them--but the actual time getting to our venues is sometimes the toughest part of the business. I am so looking forward to getting onstage tonight and losing myself again in the music. Having one’s head cut off in “Salome” is preferable to hanging out and waiting for cancelled flights.

And, in the morning, I head back to the airport for my return to Cincinnati…….and on Sunday, it’s back to Toronto……..(did I mention I’m looking forward to a little time off that comes at the end of next week?