"Elektra", Baseball, and Teaching

Tonight, we pass the half way point of our run of “Elektra” at Lyric Opera of Chicago. It has been an amazing run so far and I greatly look forward to these remaining performances. There is an energy onstage unlike any I’ve seen for awhile. The response from the audience after our last performance was something I’ve never heard quite to that extent--and I’m not sure I’ll ever hear again. These are the nights that we long for as singers. Not every performance is a mountain top experience, to be sure. But when you have nights like this, you know they are still possible and so we try as hard as we can to make them exist--for both sides of the lip of the stage. When it comes together well for the performers, orchestra, conductor, etc., and then as well for the audience, magic occurs.

This is a great time of year and for more reasons than just gorgeous natural colors. It is also the baseball post-season. Once again, my St. Louis Cardinals are doing well--far better than was believed would be the case at the beginning of the season. I’m thrilled they made the playoffs. But, being a Cardinal fan, I’ve become accustomed to the Birds being in World Series races and I hope for the same this year. I remember the excitement of last fall when I was in Spain, being awake at 4:00 a.m. to watch the games over the internet, and rejoicing over another World Series Championships. I’m hoping for the same this year--but I’m glad the games will be on at a more civilized time. (I still wish they played the games during the day).

After our next performance, I’ll buzz down to Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois to work with many of the vocal students on campus. I’ve often returned to my alma mater to work with the budding talents and greatly look forward to these days. It is invigorating and educational to me to connect with these young voices. I find that teaching makes me a better singer as well. It will be wonderful to hear the crop of voices on hand and to hopefully provide some guidance and experience that will be helpful to them. We grow, as artists, through experiences just as much as through education. These should be a great few days for us all.