Why a blog

After some years working around I decided that it's time to share some experiences I've done in this period and, why not, try to reach artists that are new in the business with some advice from a conductor's point of view with humility, care, passion and dedication for the art form that opera is. On the other hand it's not going to be only a professional tool but a free conversation about different subjects and, according to my mood, I'll post in english and in italian as well. I hope you all enjoy this idea and come with me on this journey!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Green Mountain Opera Festival: flashback....

To come back in a place where you have already worked is always great because you know your way around and when location and people involved are wonderful.... well.... then is very special.

I worked at Green Mountain Opera Festival in 2010 on Lucia di Lammermoor and it has been a fantastic experience at the time and I was looking forward to be back to work on La Boheme.

I have to say Taras Kulish, Artistic Director of this gem of a company, has all my admiration for a lot of reasons: starting with the fact that he created this opera company believing in a project with music integrity and high moral, because of the genuine enthusiasm for opera and for the demanding of high music standard, last but not least the ability to put together first rate casts and orchestra and chorus.


And now some information about the amazing cast I've had the pleasure to work with:

Mimi: Mary Dunleavy
Rodolfo: Richard Troxell
Musetta: Natalie Polito
Marcello: Jordan Shanahan
Shaunard: Philip Kalmanovitch
Colline: Erik Kroncke
Benoit/Alcindoro: Geoffrey Penar

One statement to start: this cast has been sublime to work with!!! All beautiful artists, delightful people, hard workers that on a daily basis weren't afraid to take notes, correct, improve and grow all together with the piece in a great atmosphere created together with wonderful director Ellen Douglas Schlaefer.

The very important thing for me, as I always say, is to create an ideal atmosphere during the rehearsal process and with this group it has been an immense pleasure to work because we had a lot of laughs and a lot of very intense moment where everybody was into the drama of the piece....and considering that some of our rehearsal were open to public everybody got the sense that this was going to be a special run of La Boheme.

Plus there were other reason to make this run special for me.

On a personal note I finish a year journey started in Santa Fe with La Boheme and ended with this run in Vermont that has meant for me a lot: sort of leaving behind a year of big learning through difficulties and I'm very grateful for the experience I grew.

Then, this was the first Mimi for Mary and let me tell you she was (and is) an amazing artist: total commitment with the character, vocally very genuine and with a type of voice that I like to say "belong to the past" and with this I mean "so real and without imitating soprano of the past" but making her own role.

Richard has been so much fun to work with: I met him years ago but this was the first time we worked together and his voice, high energy and intensity has been spectacular.

With Jordan was the second experience after the Lucia 2 years ago still here in Vermont and was so much fun to work with him again especially having the knowledge of what I'd like to achieve and how can I suggest him things knowing his voice. Same thing with Erik even if 2 years ago he was in the chorus but he delivered a convincing Colline in the run.

Natalie, Philip and Geoff were emerging artists of the Green Mountain Opera Festival but believe me they worked the stage like consumed professionals: keep an eye on them!!!

It's been fantastic to work with the orchestra and chorus: it's been like to share music with a group of friends and it seemed like we saw each other the week before... everything seemed so natural and organic and there was no need to talk much but just a look and a smile to feel each other and create music.....I have a big smile on my face now that I'm surfing through memories.....

The audience really enjoyed the run: the enthusiasm was great inside the theater and outside as well with people talking and sharing what they felt during the show.
It's a big satisfaction to see that when you put together a very good show you can touch people souls.

I know that this entry sounds very sharp, but closing cycle is like to read a book: once you are finished you move on and wait to see which one will be the next one.

In conclusion photographic story of this experience....enjoy it!!!!

....talking about location.....

                                          ...view from rehearsal space...


                                          ...refreshing day off...


          ...even more refreshing ;)  


                                          the Opera House


Dana Dean said...

What a beautiful memory. It has been a great pleasure to work with you in Lucia and Boheme. Just always new what you wanted following your 'expressive' direction. I've learned a lot from you. It really is a great group and Taras is just wonderful! Thank you so much and I hope I get chance to work with you once again.


Ellen said...

A truly remarkable experience - thank you Leo!! And thank you Taras for all you do for GMOF!

Anonymous said...

Leo...you are the best! I thank you for your very kind words. It was a pleasure working with you. Looking forward to working with you again and again in the future!