Thanksgiving, 2017

Once again, it is Thanksgiving of my favorite holidays. It is a time to give thanks to our great God for great sustenance and provision. It is a day to rejoice over the blessings we have received. It is a day to gather with family and share in the bounty that has been blessed to us. It is a day to remember loved ones, those with us and those that have passed. It is a day to take stock of our lives and realize that we too must give to others just as we have been so greatly given to. May we act on all of these things during this great day and throughout the coming year.

I once heard it said that Thanksgiving is the first leg of a triumvirate of holidays. It starts off the triune season of holidays in America. After this, we start preparing for the great Feast of Christmas and then head towards New Year’s. Days are now shortening, new light will come, we advance towards Spring and new life. The earth is falling asleep for rests. But, soon, it will be quickened and life will spring forth once again. And we rejoice.

I am away from home this Thanksgiving as I am performing, once again, in “Salome” at the Vienna State Opera. I have done this production many times since 2002 and always enjoy being a part of it. I am grateful (thankful) to be asked back so often and look forward to coming back to Vienna once again in 2018 for a new production of “Der Freisch
ütz”. I am thankful for these past 5 weeks which have seen me travel to Europe three times. I was here in Vienna for performances of “The Cunning Little Vixen” at the incredible Musikverein with The Cleveland Orchestra. Those were career highlight concerts. We also performed a concert in Luxembourg of the opera. I’m thankful for that one as well.

I am thankful for my students at Wichita State University and for all my colleagues. In early November, I directed my first opera, “L’Elisir d’Amore” since being named the Director of Opera at my alma mater. I look forward to many productions ahead including “Le Nozze di Figaro” this coming April.

I am thankful for my wonderful family. We have had a difficult year in losing my brother in July. We have great concerns about the well being of others who are dear to us. We also had dear friends come and go. But we have much to rejoice in as well...good health and the wedding of one of our sons in May. The challenges of life can be learned from again and again. We are thankful.

I have so many dear friends...I am thankful for each one of you. You support me when support is needed and lift me up when I am most down. I do pray that I am doing the same for you.

But, most of all, I am just thankful to God for life and being able to live it abundantly. I am thankful for all of HIs blessings and guidance. He is the foundation of my Thanksgiving for all things all things present...and in all things yet to come.

Give Thanks!