Friday, July 10, 2015

For your eyes only

Dear readers,

Here are some more Quisi photos. Please don't go around sharing them - I was not supposed to take them. Enjoy.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A funny thing happened to me on the way to the opera - Update 5

Dear Readers,

Our second Butterfly here in Maine went very well, happy second opening to the Butterfly cast.

Last week was a whirl wind, indeed!

We had our first concert night of the season, in which I sang some Quisisana classics and the Rigoletto Quartet with Shannon Kessler Dooley, John Dooley, and Caitlin McKechney. The guest were so complimentary and engaged.

As for the 4th of July weekend, I made my way slowly to Parksville, New York for my final concert with the Bronx Opera. We performed at the Dead End Cafe. A funny thing happened to me on the way to the opera:

I was driving to Parksville via Vermont, driving on a small state highway in New York when I realized that I didn't know the speed limit... no sooner had I contemplated the speed limit when a police officer, who was driving in the opposite direction turned on his lights and pulled me over.

He asked; Where are you headed in such a hurry?
I responded: I am on my way to a performance in Parksville.
He inquired: Oh? For what?
I explained: I am singing a concert with the Bronx Opera at the Dead End Cafe.
He requested: Lemme' hear some notes.
I acquiesced: Una furtiva lagrima...
Appeased, he instructed: Aright, take it slow o.k.?


Can you believe it?

The final performance went well. Three weekends of solos, duets, and quartets are over and I am here at Quisisana full time.

My battery is running low... I should run.

More updates soon


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Butterfly at Quisisana - Update 4

Dear Readers,

I have to admit that Wednesday night's show was a great success. Cheers to successful openings.

Pinkerton is starting to sit well in my body, and the cast is doing a fine job indeed.

"Bravi tutti" to the Butterfly Cast for a well received show.

Readers, this was the first time I was ever "booed." I was told that, before starting this summer, a tenor knows that he has done a good job portraying Pinkerton if he gets booed. Of cheers and booes I received both in abundance, which I am proud to have accepted - and proud to share.

While working on the beach today I was met with a mix of congratulations and condemnations, from audience members who refused to disassociate me from Pinkerton. It was the first time that any one has ever approached me as said "The only thing I can say to you is that I hated you from the first moment you entered. What an incredible performance, you were detestable." Guest after guest complimented my voice, my acting, and mauled me with endless adjectives describing the wretched and base attributes of Pinkerton's character. I was told "I don't like you." I over heard a guest say to his daughter "That was the bad man from last night."

The guests and I shared an illuminating and intense dialogue regarding Ellen Schlaefer's production. What a treat it is to discuss character choices, opinions, perspectives and motivations with an engaged audience.

The most rewarding comment was when a young man approached me and said "This was the first opera that I have ever been too. You know it is not really accessible. I think I want to see more. Do they do this often? Where can I see more?"

It is a challenging role. But I am enjoying this Pinkerton more and more every show - it will be the role I will have performed the most come September. Check back in two months from now.

AND NOW - for Beach photos:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

And Now Direct from Quisisana - Update 3

Dear Readers,

Happy July first and GREETINGS from Quisisana, in rainy Lovell, Maine!

I apologize for the delay, this last week was inordinately busy.

We presented three performances of Madame Butterfly: the first preview on the 19th, the second on 22nd, and the third (and final preview) on the 25th. Tonight, July 1st, will be our prima rapresentazione of Butterfly - it's opening night for the opera here at Quisisana!

Contributing to the dense schedule has been my participation in weekend performances with the Bronx Opera Quartet. I have been proud to share the stage with baritone Andy Oakden, Leslie Swanson, and soprano Halley Gilbert. We offered concerts at Vladeck Hall in the Bronx, the Woolworth Chapel in Woodlawn Cemetery, and will be performing a July 5th concert at the Dead End Cafe in Parksville, NY.

It has a been a great treat to present arias and ensembles in participation with the Bronx Opera Quartet. I have been singing Nemorino's second act aria "Una Furtiva Lagrima" from Elixir of Love by Donizetti; "Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life at Last I've Found Thee" from Victor Herbert's Naughty Marietta; "Un di se ben rammento mi - Bella figlia dell'amor" from Verdi's Rigoletto; "Maria" from Bernstein's West Side Story; "Au fond du temple saint" from Bizet's Les Pecheurs de Perles.

Those of you who are familiar with Quisisana, or have investigated their website, know that the singers are also hired as staff members at the resort. I have been working on Quisi-Beach with the beach crew Tuesday - Sunday. Working on the beach means that I have the daunting task of being in the sun for five hours a day on a beach, helping guests and staff with kayaks, sails boats, row boats, and paddle boards.

Below are some the much awaited photos from my first 2 weeks here: