Thoughts from Christopher McBeth
We’re still basking a bit in the glow of our recent presentation of Puccini’s Turandot (pronounced WITH the “t” thank you)…in some cases…the staff is still recuperating as it was one of the more intense productions we’ve staged in a few seasons. I am particularly proud of everyone involved. The fact that it was such a stand-out run of performances after an already successful season including presentations of Salome, Fatal Song, and La Traviata makes it all the more gratifying.
Still the beat goes on: our costume shop team is weeks into creating May’s Abduction from the Seraglio costumes and the scenic shop is working on the May opera while also helping create sets for two other local companies. Me? I’m on one of my many scouting trips. This week I saw a performance of the rarely-presented opera, Die tote Stadt at the Dallas Opera before moving to New York to see La Sonnambula and Andrea Chénier…all with outstanding casts. The real impetus for this trip, however, is due to an honor. Every year, the Metropolitan Opera holds nationwide auditions in its search for the newest young talent…these are affectionately known amongst singers and opera types as, “The Met Auditions.” Beginning in the fall in twenty some different cities, the winners move on to regional level competitions…sometimes in another city and, respectively, the winners at regionals move on to semifinals in New York with all of this finally culminating in the grand finals concert on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera with the singers accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The winners receive a minimum of $10,000 and become candidates for the Met’s prestigious Lindemann Young Artist Program as well as other contracts. While it is quite the productive event simply to attend, I have been invited to participate as a guest judge. As such, I will be a member of panel including two other guest judges (from San Francisco Opera and Houston Grand Opera) as well as the artistic staff of the Metropolitan Opera. I have served as a judge at the district and regional levels for nearly fifteen years but this is my first time participating in the grand finals. It is a distinct honor.
I’ll do my best to follow up with more entries over the next week and update on the performances and auditions. It should all be quite exciting. As for now…I’m back to work.