Is there another airline that - when you arrive at the airport at 6:15am - offers you to get on a 6:45am international flight instead of your scheduled 7:40am? You know which airline I'm talking about. Anyway, I was really grateful to get on my flight from Newark to Toronto without any airport waiting time which will allow me to put my luggage down at home before going to the office.
I had decided to add a day in New York to my schedule to hear a few young singers of the Met's Lindemann Program (including two wonderful Canadians, soprano Layla Claire and baritone Elliott Madore) and to be present for Sondra Radvanovsky's first Tosca at the Met. After her first Aida for the COC and her first Amelia (Un ballo in maschera) in Chicago this was her third big triumph this season. The ovation after her "Vissi d'arte" was so strong that she couldn't hold back her tears on stage. What a wonderful moment for a former young artist of the company. It felt very special to be there.
As it only happens in New York I ran into Christoph von Dohnányi and his wife Barbara on Broadway. One of the truly outstanding conductors of our time he had been my mentor Gerard Mortier's mentor in the 70s. We had worked together a few times in Salzburg and Paris, on two Strauss operas (Ariadne auf Naxos and Elektra) and a few symphonic concerts. Spending twenty minutes in his dressing room during a rehearsal break taught me more about Brahms and Richard Strauss than I could ever have learned through recordings or literature. I owe him a lot and it was wonderful to see him in great form. I just regret that I won't be able to hear one of his concerts with the New York Philharmonic in the upcoming weeks.
Posting this I am already back in Toronto for a press event about our new production of Magic Flute this morning. Tonight is the final run-through in the rehearsal room. We'll be on stage at the Four Seasons Centre on Saturday.
Posted by Alexander Neef / in Travel / comments (1) / permalink
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