Sorry for the long silence. The past ten days have been so busy from early in the morning until late at night that I just didn't succeed in writing anything for the blog in my spare time.
First and foremost, we have finished preparing our production of Britten's Death in Venice. The dress rehearsal was on Wednesday and we open tomorrow evening. Alan Oke must be the best Aschenbach around and Steuart Bedford, who also conducted the piece's world premiere in 1973, contributes his wonderful musicianship and the seal of authenticity.
Yoshi Oida's production is stunningly, magically beautiful and just looks as if it had been designed for our Four Seasons Centre. Yoshi and I met a few years ago when I was working for the Ruhrtriennale-Festival in Germany preparing the world premiere of a new play staged by Peter Brook. Yoshi has been (and still is) a member of Brook's theatre company in Paris for many years, but he also is a very accomplished director in his own right. At 77, he is as active as ever and above all a wonderful and profound human being. It has been a true pleasure to have him at the COC.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who have posted comments about our production of Aida here. An open discussion with our public about why we do things the way we do them can only help us to deepen our understanding of the expectations, challenges and satisfactions of performing opera here and today.
Yesterday evening, I had the great pleasure to present a Ruby Award to Roger Moore, one of opera's greatest supporters in Toronto. In his acceptance speech Roger spoke about the necessity and challenges of a putting on new Canadian work for a big company like the COC and wondered how audiences would react to these news works when already an unconventional production of Aida alone causes so much controversy. I hope we will find out together.
Today, I am off to New York for a day of meetings and to see the Met's new production of Boris Godunov.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Season / comments (2) / permalink
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