Looking back--Looking Ahead

It’s time for my yearly “look back” at the preceding year of performances and to briefly look ahead to see what awaits. It was a full year in so many ways. I believe I actually had more performances during 2013 than I usually do and less breaks. So many performances stand out in my brain as ones to be cherished. We had a spectacular run of “Tristan and Isolde” in Toronto, a career goal accomplished when I sang Hans Sachs in “Die Meistersinger” in Tokyo, great concerts of Wagner in Cincinnati (with Christine Goerke) and Cleveland (with Christine Brewer), “Salome” in Toronto, great performances of “Peter Grimes” in Toronto and St. Louis, and then a repeat of the St. Louis performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. On top of all this came two trips to Yale to teach and many Masses where I served as the Cantor in our home Church. It’s hard to pick a favorite performance--it’s even hard to narrow down the choices. But, I usually try to name one performance that will always stand out in my mind. Hmmm...........

I always love sing “Peter Grimes”. It is such an ensemble piece. Singing Hans Sachs was a lifelong dream. The concert with Goerke was indeed special. Golly this is hard......Okay---the winner (and there isn’t much of a prize involved) for my favorite performance of 2013 goes to....”Peter Grimes” at Carnegie Hall, November 22, 2013. The performance went well (actually, I had better performances of the opera in Toronto and St. Louis). But, there was something very special about singing the piece on that great stage. In addition, I had many friends in the audience that night. Any time you get to sing for friends helps to make the evening more special for the artist. Thanks for being there, folks. It was a very special evening.

And, if I’m allowed, I’d like to offer another “winner of the year” (hey, it’s my journal---why not?). Singing for my son’s wedding this past week was also a “career highlight”. I didn’t have to sing any big arias or music that was overwhelmingly challenging. But, I did get to be a part of a beautiful ceremony that celebrated a blessed sacrament of the uniting of two very special people. It doesn’t get much better than that.

But, now, 2014 has arrived. This will be a totally different year onstage and off for many reasons. I’ll be making a major announcement soon about some plans that are just being tidied up. But, for now, I look forward to heading to San Antonio later this month for “Rusalka”. I look forward to returning to Minneapolis after a very long absence for performances in March. I am thrilled to return to Munich for two of my favorite roles. The concerts of “Salome” in Philadelphia look to be exciting (the performances have been sold out for months). I will be challenged by “The Cunning Little Vixen” (a new opera to me) in Cleveland with that FABULOUS orchestra. And, I’ll be returning to Vienna for “Salome”--my third run of that production on that matchless set and stage.

It’s been an incredible year. Much lies ahead. Thanks for being on this journey with me. Have a truly blessed and wonderful 2014.