This has been a very different summer for me. For many of my summers over the past ten years, I spent it with Higher Things, either preparing for or recovering from our liturgical youth conferences.
But this summer was dedicated to my wife’s endeavors.
Opera ala Carte finished it’s fourth season this past weekend. I will be posting a bunch of pictures here shortly, but I wanted to reflect on it a little bit before doing so. I had a fairly minor role in one of the operas (Alcindoro in La Boheme), so I got to see all of this from the inside. That has really given me a different perspective on the whole matter. I’ve always been involved with OAC in one fashion or another, but this summer was a much greater level of involvement.
It was a special treat for me to be able to see my wife in action, doing one of the things she does best. Now I am bias. I freely admit it. But my wife is truly amazing. She put on basically five operas in two weekends. Yes, it’s more than a little crazy. But it was GREAT! There were about 70 performers involved between the elementary and high school/college components, and I can’t even begin to count how many people involving in costumes, sets, programs, marketing, and heaven knows how much more that I can’t even begin to count.
I think what has struck me the most about all of this is the level of commitment that the students and young people have to doing this well. Opera is hardly mainstream anymore. It is viewed as elitist music that is out of touch with contemporary culture. Bah. What do they know? Opera is rich music, an incredible discipline that teaches singing, acting, and I don’t even know what else. So to see this group of young people (some of them as young as 7th grade), committing to this, well, it’s just a great thing.
I will comment on individual shows in the posts to come.