Fall Break in D.C.

Wichita State University takes four days off each Autumn for a Fall Break. This gives the students a much needed break (and the faculty as well). It has been a very busy first two months for all of us. While my students enjoy a few days off, I’m in Washington, D.C. to do some teaching as I am the Artist in Residence for the Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program at The Washington National Opera.

I’m very impressed with the young singers (and pianists) that have been assembled for this year’s young artist program. In these few days, I’ve heard some great singing and am witnessing excellent potential. I think you will be hearing about many of these singers in the years to come. I’ll be excited to follow their careers and am honored to get glimpses of each singer in these early days of their careers.

Tomorrow, I am to head back to Wichita after a few hours of teaching. We’ll crank everything back into gear and head into the second half of the semester. I’m looking forward to November and “Elektra” in Montr
éal under the baton Yanick Nézet-Séguin. It promises to be a very exciting production. Guest teaching at Yale (I think this is my 13th year of visiting the outstanding students of Yale Opera) comes my way in December.

Ahead, as well, is a return to the Canadian Opera Company for “Siegfried” in Toronto. In fact, the next seven months will see me firmly back in the arms of Wagner as I’ll be back here in Washington much of the Spring for complete Ring Cycles with the Washington National Opera.

I have always wanted to be an artist that has his feet firmly planted both on the stage and in the classroom. It makes for a very hectic and tiring lifestyle, at times. But, I am truly loving my job(s), performing masterpieces and nurturing young singers at Wichita State, Yale, and here in Washington. I’ve often said, teaching makes me a better singer. Singing, as well, makes me a better teacher. I highly recommend both.