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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rockin' Imeneo

Opera McGill's production of Imeneo closed Sunday March 27th. It was a terrific production, one that I'm extremely proud to have directed. The student casts were remarkable, Hank Knox and his orchestra gave inspired performances from the pit, Ginette's costumes were oh-so lovely, Vincent's sets (taken from Alcina and Lucretia productions) were just exactly perfect, and Serge's lighting connected it all together, even Gingras loved the show:

We had terrific ticket sales for Friday and Saturday nights - lots of patrons, new audience members, and students. Our matinee on Sunday didn't sell as well as I'd hoped. I was also disappointed in the student turnout - which seems to always be less than what one might expect for many Schulich concerts and events. I don't get that.

At all.

I would think that if someone was spending money on an education in music that they would not be content to just see one performance, they would want to see them all. I certainly did when I was in school. I went to every recital (that was required at Simpson) and every concert given by the ensembles and faculty. I was a piano major who gave two one hour recitals (both would've been considered masters level literature here), played over two dozen other senior voice recitals for fellow voice students, sang in the madrigal and choir (and did the requisite tours), plus played in, sang in, worked set crew, and occassionally danced in 10 productions during my undergrad years. When I was done, I was REALLY educated in music. I had played all the major song cycles by Schumann, Britten and Barber in recitals, had competed in piano concerto competitions, placed third in NATS as a baritone, worked 4 summers at Des Moines Metro Opera, and ended my years at Simpson making my professional operatic singing debut as the Emperor Altoum in DMMO's 1988 production of Turandot.

I also partied as a frat boy (Kappa Theta Psi - oldest local fraternity west of the Mississippi), met and dated my future wife, spent endless days hanging with friends, read the complete works of Shakespeare for a class I took for fun, reveled in a history of the culinary arts mini-course, played hundreds of voice lessons for three great voice teachers (for FREE), and graduated with honors.

Occasionally I get the "you're so talented" or "you're just brilliant" remark, or worse yet the "you're an overachiever". Actually not, I was educated in music during my undergrad years to be a total musician, not a specialist. Yes, my languages sucked (and still do) and some of those recitals were not the best, but I performed music that I loved, listened to music that I did not know, and grew a thousand fold as a singer, pianist, conductor, coach, and person.

I got my 10,000 hours in during my bachelors degree. That's why I'm a success today. Get out there and EXPERIENCE and LEARN and WORK HARD 'cause before you know it, the time is gone.

Oh, and I also learned to pour great drinks while tending bar at faculty receptions! It's an important skill that comes in handy to this day!

I'll get off my soap box now... It's time to stage some Donizetti for Wichita Grand Opera!

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