A Grand Night for Singing in a Grand and Wonderful Place

Last night was one of those evenings (and performances) that singers and all musicians long for. A quite varied and exciting concert was given to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Wolf Trap Opera Company. I have blogged already about what this company means to me and how much I was looking forward to the occasion. However, I truly have to say, that the event far exceeded my expectations. The audience was so appreciative and was involved from the first number through the end of the evening. It was a festive and joyous occasion. We were singing for fun, for the love of our art form, in thankfulness for the opportunity, and in remembrance of a time that has so greatly touched us all. We were also joined by the newest group of young Wolf Trap artists who show such incredible talent and wonderful promise.

The weather was spectacular---perhaps the nicest weather I’ve ever experienced in The Filene Center. The massive but so inviting theater cradled us all in the Virginia night. The crickets did their part by adding extra percussive moments while the evening’s breezes were enjoyed. I will not begin listing the individual names of the artists who, number after number, brought the house down. The bravos for each and every singer were well deserved and greatly appreciated. I have sung with many of the artists numerous times and enjoyed renewing the incredible friendships we’ve long held. I also enjoyed the chance to hear live, for the first time, several other singers. It was just a very special evening that will long live in my memory.

The pictures above were taken during our rehearsal hours yesterday as I strolled around the theater enjoying memories and the atmosphere. The previous day had us rehearsing in the wonderful Center for Education at Wolf Trap--what a great facility (and it’s even air conditioned--such a change from my days of rehearsing in unbelievable heat during my Wolf Trap young artist days). Nothing will ever top the experience of rehearsing the finale fugue from “Falstaff” (Tutti nel mondo) and feeling the earth move under our feet---LITERALLY---as the 5.8 earthquake hit Virginia on Tuesday. That was a shocker (and perhaps a prelude to this weekend’s scheduled visit from Hurricane “Irene”) but yet a bonding moment for singers who already are held together by a rich heritage and great experiences with a phenomenal opera company. There is no place like it!!!

And now, it’s back to Baron Scarpia and “Tosca” rehearsals. Oh, how I enjoy my job!