Cunning in Cleveland

It’s great to be back in Cleveland to work with the MAGNIFICENT Cleveland Orchestra. I have worked with these extraordinary musicians several times over the last decade. It is always inspiring to create art with such talented musicians and with a wonderful conductor. Over the next week, we will be reviving the amazing production of “The Cunning Little Vixen” that we premiered here back in 2014. Recently, PBS television did a feature on this production and its impact towards “Reimagining Opera”. The is a unique production that tells the story so well. I’m happy that we will also be presenting this in Vienna and Luxembourg next month. Don’t miss it.

As a midwesterner, I’m always proud of the great music heritage that exists in these great central orchestras. The tradition is fostered and cherished. This is the 100th anniversary of The Cleveland Orchestra and we are honored that this production is kicking off the celebration. I know that there are some that are surprised when they hear that The Cleveland Orchestra is one of “The Big Five”...but, it certainly is...and deserves that reputation. Many think that this orchestra is our nation’s finest. I won’t go into arguing one way or the other...all I know is that performing with this orchestra, in Severance Hall, is truly always one of my favorite engagements.

It has been a hectic last few months as the school year began 5 weeks ago at Wichita State University. We have several new and very talented young singers in our midst. We are rehearsing “L’Elisir d’Amore” for concert presentations on November 9 and 11. This work is so much fun. I’m greatly enjoying every moment of the rehearsals and look forward to the performances. We will have an Opera Scenes program in February and a full production of “Le Nozze di Figaro” in April. This is such a special opera to me as it was the first opera in which I was cast 40 years ago. I can’t wait to begin rehearsals on this masterpiece and revisiting an old friend.

So, these performances here in Cleveland commence my 32nd year as singing professional. The operas at WSU are bringing my career full circle in some ways. And I look forward to the new circles and directions to come. I hope you have an outstanding season of music in your heart.