Welcome to my new blog. As an opera/theater/dance fan, and as General Director of Opera Philadelphia, I see a lot of work on stage. These outings are incredibly enjoyable, and they also serve as part of our “research and development” in developing projects, seasons, artistic partnerships, and opportunities for artists. Each member of our senior artistic team Corrado Rovaris (our Music Director), Mikael Eliasen (Artistic Advisor), Nathan Gunn (Director, American Repertoire Council) and David Levy (SVP of Artistic Operations), along with Michael Eberhard (Artistic Administrator) and Kyle Bartlett (New Works Administrator), work in various ways to find the best artists and opportunities for our growing range of operatic offerings in Philadelphia.
As the team captain, I too am deeply involved in this work. Much of this activity requires travel to see productions, meet producers, and hear singers and composers. This summer there is lots of travel for me and the team. First up for me is Festival D’Aix, a leading summer festival in Europe replete with five operas in four different venues, concerts, readings and an Academy for young singers. M. Bernard Foccroulle has been the general director here since 2007 and has continued to bring great distinction to the festival with a blend of traditional repertoire along with new works and often with contemporary stagings. Mikael Eliasen often works at the Academie here in Aix and brought Bernard and I together for a meeting in Philadelphia last fall, at which we talked about potential partnership with the festival. My trip this summer is the second installment of that exploration, and I am here for five days to see all of the productions and meet with Bernard and some of his artistic staff members.