Happy New Year to all loyal old and potential new readers in 2011.
We began the year on a farm near Creemore with the whole program of cows, chicken, cats, dogs and a horse-drawn sleigh ride. There truly isn't a better way to make a three and a half year old happy.
At the COC we're in full preparation for our winter season now. Both productions, The Magic Flute and Nixon in China, are in rehearsals and if I include our tour of The Nightingale and Other Short Fables to New York there won't be a calm moment for most people in the company between now and early March. This will be followed almost immediately by our spring season with three different operas, La Cenerentola, Ariadne auf Naxos and Orfeo, so before we can take a good breath almost half of 2011 will be over already. And since we are just about to finish the calendar for our proposed 2014/15 season I start getting an idea of what I will be doing on my forty-first birthday. A slightly frightening thought, but for those of you who didn't suspect it already there really isn't anything like working in the performing arts. It should rather be called a life with (or sometimes despite) the performing arts. But then, looking at all the potential joys and satisfactions down the road, I am quite happy with that.
On another subject: If anybody could tell me where to find the best Galette des Rois here in Toronto that would really make my weekend. Have a good one.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Toronto / comments (4) / permalink
Does it ever happen to you that you come home after a performance and you can't sleep because you're still so caught-up and moved by what you've seen? It happened to me last night after Pelléas et Mélisande at the Met. I just couldn't stop thinking about the two brothers Pelléas and Golaud (Stéphane Degout and Gerald Finley) and the wonders Simon Rattle and the Met Orchestra had been doing in the pit.
Walking into the General Manager's Box I found one of my favourite people in the world, the director Peter Sellars. He just started rehearsals for his production of Nixon in China at the Met. Pelléas is one of his most beloved pieces (he did a famous production with Simon Rattle in Amsterdam years ago) and I was glad to be able to spend the evening with him sharing our enthusiasm for the piece and the performers.
The fragile beauty of Debussy's sounds still haunts my memory while I'm on my way to Newark Airport as quickly as the tons of snow that came down over the region on Monday allow the taxi to go. I should be back in Toronto around noon and look forward to seeing the National Ballet's Nutcracker this afternoon.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (3) / permalink
After all the travel chaos my flight from Paris to Toronto yesterday went very well and was just 45 minutes delayed. During these past few days I had had my doubts about being able to get back for Christmas. I'm so glad I'm here now.
In the meantime, most of our artists for The Magic Flute have arrived and we're in rehearsals for this new production since Monday already. There will be lots to talk about next year as we get it ready for opening on Jan. 29.
Since the summer I owe you a blog entry about two wonderful composers who both celebrated their 200th anniversaries in 2010. I will try to get this done before the end of the year.
Happy Holidays to all readers!
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (2) / permalink
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