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Friday, May 30, 2008

Catching up

Sorry to have been silent for awhile . . . but life goes on!

I had less than a week home from Sweden before heading to Edmonton for auditions, a board meeting, and lots of planning meetings.

We just yesterday got back from Edmonton and are in the midst of the usual catch-up from travel--clothes to be washed, mail to take care of, errands to run, etc.

So, I'll gradually get some posts going.

Given auditions for Pro Coro Canada, I've been thinking about the whole auditioning process and will likely have a post or two about that. I also plan to write something about what it was like to work with the Swedish Radio Choir: what it's like and what I've taken away from that experience again this year.

The summer calendar is quickly filling up, even though I'm taking most of the summer "off" (no such thing exists!). Kathryn and I are off to Denver and the Chorus America conference June 10-15 (along with three other compatriots from Pro Coro). We'll likely get down to Eugene and the Oregon Bach Festival for a performance or two and visits with friends in late June/early July. My brother and his family will be out from Memphis for the month of July, so we'll have some time together. Our friend from Sweden, Eva Wedin, will come to visit for about 10 days at the end of July, and Catherine Kubash from Edmonton not too long after that for a few days as well. We'll head to Vancouver B.C. for some concerts at both Festival Vancouver and the Vancouver Early Music Festival.

My regular score study program also has to begin in earnest next Monday or I'll fall far behind! With Pro Coro I have Haydn's Harmoniemesse (parts should arrive next week and I need to begin marking parts--this will save an enormous amount of time--and I'll also mark the choral scores), Vaughan Williams' Mass in G Minor, a lot of new stuff for our "One World, Many Voices" program, and the Victoria Requiem. We also have two commissioned works, a substantial work by Allan Bevan for choir, soloist, narrator and chamber orchestra for Christmas, and a new work by Associate Conductor Trent Worthington for November. I probably won't see either score until the early fall, so all the more reason to make sure everything else is well-prepared already!

I also conduct Monteverdi's Orfeo in Edmonton in November as part of the Festival of Ideas, celebrating the University of Alberta's centenary, so continued score prep there, too. This should be a terrific production with a great cast (Colin Balzer, Suzie LeBlanc, Catherine Webster, Mireille Lebel, Bill Hite, Paul Grindlay and others) and wonderful period-instrument orchestra from all over. A number of the cast members and orchestra members will be in Vancouver for a production of Rameau's Pygmalion, along with Ellen Hargis, who will be stage director, so it's also a chance to meet and work on a few details of planning.

At any rate, even though it's technically a summer off, it'll be full!

More when I can.

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