Back in the "Vaterland"

After a few weeks off (not really, as there was much to do), I’m back on the road. This time, the schedule brings me for the first time to Baden-Baden, Germany. Ancestral research has let it be known that the “Held Family” can be traced back to Baden-Baden. I guess you could say I’ve come home. To be quite clear, it is GORGEOUS here. As I write this, a bird is gently singing outside my window. The trees are in abundance (as is the pollen) and I think I have found one of the most peaceful locales on earth. I truly can’t understand why my ancestors would want to leave such an area.

I flew from Newark on Sunday evening in order to arrive yesterday and begin rehearsals on yet another production of “Salome”. We’ll open the show next month. I’m working with a director I’ve worked with many times and with colleagues who I’ve also shared the stage with quite often. It’s nice to be able to have that familiarity when putting together a new interpretation. I’ve always enjoyed singing the role of John the Baptist. This is the third production of “Salome” I’ve been involved with since this past August. It’s like putting on an old pair shoes (or is that sandals--actually, I’ll be bare foot for this production) and walking well known streets once again. It looks like this production may also be recorded for a DVD that would be released in the future.

Since last writing, I had my yearly excursion to Yale University to work with the opera students. What a talented bunch of young singers. I expect to hear several of them on major opera stages in the future (and I’d love to be in their shows as well).

I also buzzed out to Ohio to pick my our oldest son who completed his sophomore year of college. Wow, has this been a fast two years. It was nice to have the family all together for a few days before I had to leave for Europe.

Finally, this past Saturday brought my daughter’s First Holy Communion at our Church in Pennsylvania. It was a very beautiful and moving experience followed by a party at our home. It was hard to keep the tears from flowing during the service. I will cherish each moment during her journey through life--but I think she’s growing a bit too fast for my taste. Can’t we keep them young just a while longer?