Viewpoint: The Changing Scene
One of the most exhilarating things about opera is that it happens every day, all over the world. It is an art form on which — quite literally — the sun never sets. Inasmuch as the summer months are the time of year in which many opera-lovers leave home in search of new musical experiences, we thought it was apt to focus this issue on travel.
In “Cruise Control,” Scott Barnes talks to soprano Christine Brewer about her experiences on opera-themed cruises. I was with Christine and her husband, Ross Brewer, when they participated in a voyage to the countries around the Baltic Sea with InSight Cruises and Holland America. One of the biggest thrills of that journey was an onshore trip from Stockholm to Drottningholm, arranged by Craig Rutenberg, the Metropolitan Opera’s director of music administration, who was Christine’s accompanist in her on-board recitals. We toured Drottningholm’s exquisite eighteenth-century palace theater, walked on its stage and marveled at the beautifully maintained stage machinery and interior decor; that day was truly a trip back in time.
Our cover subject, composer Jake Heggie, has created a number of well-traveled works since the premiere of his first opera, Dead Man Walking, in 2000. I did not see the premiere of his Moby-Dick at Dallas’s Winspear Opera House in 2010, but I was lucky enough to catch Leonard Foglia’s sensational production of the opera at San Francisco Opera and at Washington National Opera. In October, Heggie returns to the Winspear for the world premiere of Great Scott, an opera about an opera star that features Joyce DiDonato, Frederica von Stade, Ailyn Pérez, Nathan Gunn and Anthony Roth Costanzo. It’s sure to be an event that will inspire opera-lovers to make the trip to Dallas.
On July 1, Thomas M. Martin becomes the new managing director of the Metropolitan Opera Guild, which publishes OPERA NEWS. Tom joined the Guild staff in September 2012, as director of finance and administration, and it has been my pleasure — and the pleasure of all the editors here — to work with Tom in that capacity. Prior to joining the Guild, Tom served as director of finance at the Metropolitan Opera Association, executive vice president of the Big Apple Circus and chief financial officer of the National Kidney Foundation, Inc., where he restructured financial systems for its national corporate consolidation. Tom’s administrative and financial acumen have been of incalculable value to OPERA NEWS and to all of the Guild programs, and we all look forward to working with him in his new position as opera news heads toward its eightieth anniversary in 2016.
Tom succeeds Stewart Pearce, who will retire after five years of service as the Guild’s managing director and thirty-nine years of service with the Metropolitan Opera. Stewart’s knowledge of opera — as an art form and as a business — is without peer, and his counsel and advice have been invaluable. Our publisher, Diane Silberstein, joins me in wishing Stewart the very best as he begins a new chapter in his life.
F. PAUL DRISCOLL
The opinions expressed in OPERA NEWS do not necessarily represent the
views of The Metropolitan Opera Guild or The Metropolitan Opera.
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