Wolf Trap Opera

The Future of Opera

Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned On the Audition Tour

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One of our Chicago audition spaces prides itself on “self-regulation.” That’s a euphemism for having a lot of signs on the walls. (this year’s haul at left)

Being surrounded by rules brings out the order-obeying conformist in me, thrusting me back to my school days. (In which I was a straight-A student, not because I was smart but because I was terrified of doing something wrong:))

So, in the spirit of rules, lists and lessons; today’s musings on Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned On the Audition Tour:

  • When traveling the country in flu season, wash your hands like Lady Macbeth.
  • It’s never a good idea to use bathroom soap if it stains the sink.
  • Flight attendants are the most cheerful on Southwest.
  • The more badly you want something, the less likely it is to happen.
  • I’m the only person in the opera audience who wishes I could fast-forward through the arias to the ensembles.
  • The El in Chicago is louder when it gets dark.
  • Peanut-butter-stuffed pretzels are the best mid-morning audition snack.
  • Texas drivers like to blow their horns.
  • People interact more in elevators when they can’t figure out how the buttons work.
  • I enjoy being on the west coast because I can pretend that I’m a morning person.
  • Almost any day can be rebooted by 30 minutes lying on your back in the dark on the floor.
  • It is still possible for me to spontaneously laugh out loud at the opera. I did it twice in two days.
  • Twenty years and over 10,000 arias after starting this operatic journey, I still learn new things every day.

We are exhausted but slightly giddy at the thought of returning home to Virginia tomorrow. Two more aria-filled days await us, followed by the hurried and difficult work of laying out the repertoire, schedule and casting for next summer. But the end is in sight, and there’s amazing stuff ahead.

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