Alan's Blog...It's all Gesamtkunstwerk to me!

Thoughts from nearly 40 years on the professional stage

Wozzeck at The Met

It is so hard to believe that this run of “Wozzeck” has reached its last performance. It was just 50 days ago that I found out I was jumping into this production at The Metropolitan Opera after having been off the role for over 5 years. These past few weeks have been an incredible ride and a real test as to how quickly I could get such a difficult role back in my brain, rehearsed, and then on stage in front of an audience. I have to tell you, I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. There are few roles that allow a singer to dig deeper into their own minds. There are few roles that require so much physically and vocally (thank heavens it’s a rather short opera). There are few roles that are (at least, to me) more fulfilling. I am so grateful to have been a part of this wonderful cast and incredible production. The orchestra has been magnificent and Maestro Levine has been beyond inspiring. We’ve had quite a run but I now look forward to wrapping this up and returning to a bit of “normalcy”. I’ll get a few weeks off before heading to Germany for “Salome” (once again).

These past few weeks, on top of the performances, have brought other time commitments related to the career. I’ve had 3-4 interviews to do with various press outlets. It’s always fun talking about the work that you’re doing. However, one has to do these things at a slow pace in order to not break the rhythm of your show preparation. The hosts and interviewers have been so positive and uplifting as well. A good interviewer can help you sort out your own thoughts as well and help you organize just what you want to say. I’ve been fortunate, in the press sessions I’ve had these past few weeks, to have had people on the other side of the table (or on the phone line) that have done just that. Today, following the broadcast, the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Company) will play an interview that we taped just before Wednesday night’s performance. I was concerned about doing an interview before an evening of “Wozzeck” but it went very well. Much credit has to go with the fine folks in Vancouver who asked just the right questions. Thanks!!!

I also enjoyed doing an interview for a blogsite “” that will be published soon. We had more time for that one last Monday and got some good thoughts onto “paper”.

Last Saturday, during the weekly Metropolitan Opera Broadcast (“Le Comte Ory”), an interview I had recorded with Margaret Juntwait a few days earlier was played as well. What a nice interview that was. Margaret and I just started talking in the studio at The Met following the final dress of “Wozzeck” and then, lo and behold, it was recorded as naturally as two friends sitting and shooting the breeze (which is pretty much exactly what happened).

So thanks to the interviewers in my life the last few weeks. You made these experiences, for a guy that isn’t always comfortable being interviewed, MOST enjoyable. (Did anyone ever tell you people I’m actually kind of shy---I know, hard to believe!!!) .

This afternoon, following the show, I’ll quickly greet friends backstage before racing out of the theater as quickly as possible (I hope that my visitors don’t feel rushed--truly, that’s not my intent). I need to get back to Bucks County (about 2 hours from NYC) as quickly as possible because tonight brings the semi-annual “D.D.D.”---”Daughter, Daddy, Dance” at her school. This should be so much fun as I try to dance with my beautiful seven year old. I’ve been looking forward to this night for a long time (we even picked up a nice wrist corsage for her). I’m truly excited about having a date with this beautiful young lady. From what I hear, there will be over 250 in attendance. I just hope I don’t embarrass myself on the dance floor. I think, perhaps, it’s a good thing my daughter doesn’t know the story of “Wozzeck”. If she did, she might not want to head out to a party with me.

This next week is perhaps (no, definitely is) my favorite week of the year. Once again, after what has seemed like an extraordinarily quick Lent, Holy Week is upon us. I cherish each day of this week when we remember and celebrate Palm Sunday, Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and then, of course, EASTER. Each day, to me, is like re-walking steps---watching and remembering the steps that Jesus Christ took (and of course, His great sacrifice) and examining the path that we have found ourselves on in our own journeys. It is a week that helps to once again re-examine and re-affirm our faith. I am grateful for this week of reflection, growth, sacrifice, and commitment. I will try to blog a bit later in the week. I truly hope it is a week that brings contemplation and strength to all who read these words as well.

We will be looking at a couple of colleges this week for our second oldest son. I can’t believe those days have already arrived. What a journey this will be for him and for us all. We are excited for the possibilities and opportunities. Sometimes, however, I just wish they hadn’t come so soon.