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Monday, August 24, 2009

The Chalk Board

Well it's the end of the summer.  For my boys, it's the tragic end of their great, wonderful, summer adventure in Brevard and at Grandma and Grandpa's house in Iowa.  They've both grown over an inch, our youngest has had to get new shoes, and our oldest seems oddly mature yet still a little boy.

My summer has certainly been a wonderful adventure as well: it seems so long ago that I landed in Charlottesville to direct Camelot.  Those rehearsals were terrific, my cast was a treat and certainly a gift, and our final product was entertaining, moving, and historic -- Ash Lawn Opera finally performed in a real theatre!  

The weeks in Brevard were packed, my wife loving every minute of teaching there, terrific performances in an a seemingly un-cut Hoffmann (not my idea!), standing O's for Hello Dolly (starring many McGill students), two scenes programs, and then my surprise conducting gig for the Angelica/Schicchi with my son singing a small role.  How did we do all of that in seven weeks?!

This vacation in Iowa has been refreshing and enlightening -- I realize I want more!  Recharging the batteries is good for my bags (as in under my eyes), and it seems also good for my artistic soul. I feel as if I've had more interesting ideas pop into my head while relaxing on my in-law's back porch the last few days than I've had in the last few years.

But now it's back to my chalk board at McGill.  Hopefully my students will understand the need to erase their chalkboards so that something new can be written!  I'm looking forward to exploring Agrippina, The Rake's Progress, Trouble in Tahiti, Carmen, and Dido and Aeneas with my McGill students as well as taking on the Orpheus project for Opera Memphis (I'm staging the Gluck with a mezzo, counter-tenor, and tenor triple-cast in the title role!) as well as making my Kennedy Center debut as a stage director in November.  

But before all that hits, my family and I have two more days filled with family visits, more sweet corn, a bit more grilling, and packing the car for the two day trip home to Montreal.