One of the true highlights of my year is the announcement of a new season every January. Yesterday morning was my third COC season announcement, but getting out to the press and our public with a season that has taken years to prepare still feels very special and probably even more special this time as 2011/12 was the first completely unprepared season when I started here.
It is impossible to say which of the operas I am most excited about. They have all been given equal care and all of them have wonderful artists on and off the stage and in the pit that I will be proud and happy to welcome, many of them for their first time with the COC.
And while we got mildly beaten up by the usual (and some unexpected!) suspects for the choice or rather non-choice of certain repertoire and one or the other casting decision, I am happy that the general response to our new season has been very positive. We will try to make it even better than it looks on paper.
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Posted by Alexander Neef / in Season / comments (9) / permalink
The last new production of The Magic Flute I have worked on was in 2004/05 at the Paris Opera. It is great to come back to this wonderful piece after six years. Not that I had forgotten how much I love it, but seeing it on the stage of the Four Seasons Centre in Diane Paulus' production with Myung-Hee Cho's magically beautiful sets and costumes did make me very happy yesterday evening.
While we get the production ready for its opening on January 29, I feel even more fortunate to see how my little daughter Marnie discovers the piece for the first time.
It is amazing to see how the magic of The Magic Flute works on a three-and-a-half year old. It all started with Johannes (our Music Director) giving her a book containing the opera's characters on cardboard and a little play theatre for Christmas. Ever since, Prince Tamino, Pamina, Sarastro and the Queen of the Night have become very popular in our home and so has Mozart's music. Marnie shows me her Flute characters and says "Papa, I wanna listen to that song" or when I dare put on other music she objects "No, Papa, I wanna listen to Magic Flute." And yesterday, when we took her to the evening rehearsal she didn't want to go home after it had ended, insisting that it should continue. We will bring her back as often as she wants.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Season / comments (3) / permalink
Every year my colleagues in the Development Department (yes, the same people who are already crazily busy raising money to keep the COC going) somehow find the time to participate in their departmental Christmas Decoration Contest which essentially means transforming the doors and walls of their offices into winter-wonderlands or whatever their fantasy fancies. I am on the jury, but when I was called down to our second floor this morning to have a look I couldn't resist taking this picture which I gladly share with you.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Season / comments (1) / permalink
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