Showing posts from January, 2008

Sarasota Opera Studio

About 15 years ago, I left my apartment in Sarasota and I distinctly remember walking to the opera house, feeling the wind, smelling the ocean, weather was quite cool.. my spirits were high and I was feeling excited to begin rehearsals on Bizet's Jolie Fille de Perth.

I did not have children, I hadn't seem my wife(of only a year at the time) in more than a month... I was focused and did everything the rules said, but I left Sarasota opera that year with more questions than answers. I was unfulfilled. Funny how I remember now how much Greg Trupiano cared about the artists and our experience. He made a difference for me that season.

As I walked into Capital One this morning, I was overwhelmed with a sense of deja vu, but the conditions were nowhere near the same. The winds were there, no ocean, but a bright sky and I am expecting a good day with challenges and issues. My singing performances these days are quite good, but certainly not every day. My rehearsals are even more i…

Got ego?

I have it. I recognize that it can keep me from partnering with others if I don't keep it in check.
Part of the reason I am so passionate about communities is because of a natural tendancy to separate and compete... ego is part of who we are, but if we can actually use our skills and ego to promote those around us in a collaborative manner.. we can literally change the world. One instance at a time.

There is a great poem/reflection written about this here...competition or collaboration
Below is an excerpt from that poem by Rev. Charles Hulin III.
" So we learn that the key to success is cooperation. We have to cooperate to win anything from ball games to wars. We have to cooperate to keep the peace. We have to cooperate to elect public officials that we hope will be honest. We have to cooperate to operate a business . . . To move a church forward . . . To keep a home together . . . To build great institutions."

I have been fixated lately on my inability to get churches to wor…

age for Classical musicians

PBS special on Monday night featured this quote from famed conductor, James Conlon.

"There is no age for performers in classical music" (paraphrased as I don't remember it exactly)

The idea that classical musicians bring music to life based on ability.not age is quite compelling to me. This really is different from experience and explains why young artists can provide such compelling performances without experience. The experience plays into other factors. Maybe the parallel is closely aligned to sports.

Music has a complexity to it, requiring ability, but the age of the performer is not really relevant..or is it...

AFC Championship Symphony

Did anyone else see the very, very cool orchestral lead in to the AFC championship yesterday. It was an excellent blending of classical music and football and it was done blending a wonderful collage of videos, photos and pure energy to set up the game..

Kudos to CBS for a spectacular piece of musical and video artistry which generates a desire for excellence, showing how classical music can even make a difference in the NFL... I loved it.. I rewound and watched it twice.. wish I could find it online so I could keep it..

Inclusionary Excellence as an imperative

Can I adopt an inclusionary approach to music and people which jointly embraces a passion for excellence without excluding those with less ability? I think that if we adopt the imperative to seek excellence, while embracing our individual spirits and talents then this is possible. Growth and teaching are done by the community with all of its abilities. The Da Capo assessment model provides an opportunity/framework for the students and "studio" to leverage its combined talents to improve the whole. A student at any level has something they can share and teach, and in the Da Capo Way this ability becomes an obligation. As a musician, they are obligated to share their talents with the world around them.

We can't ignore our base drive for competition, but we learn to deal with it and put our ego aside. I am most excited when I can build other musicians all levels. If we all returned the favor more aggressively and explicitly, I wonder what a difference it might ma…


My approach to the world.. is really this simple..Get good people…Tell them what you want the end state to be… Support them.. They will succeed in the end… Most important thing is to focus on the people…

My essence, my soul, is unique. I am special.. but I am not better than others. I am here to love and be loved. I thank God for that tremendous gift. My desire and ambition sends me down the road to excluding others, and showing that I am better than other.. by the world’s standards of course… What a waste of energy. This hierarchy that we create for ourselves is at the root of our inability to embrace one another.
Christ redeems me, and allows me to be. My music, my skill is all a gift that I am bound to use to help towards the ultimate salvation of the entire world. As we rank one another against his model, we all fall short.. but that doesn't absolve us of our obligation to use our talents.. Sometimes we succeed.. often we fail.. all the time we are blessed.
Success and failure …

Best McDonalds around...

Upward basketball began today and we had an 8am game for Joshua. Afterwards we went to the McDonalds at Stony Point in Bon Air...(intersection of Forest Hill and Huguenot) I have been thinking a lot lately about how a sense of community contributes to my happiness, my goals, my family etc. 20/20 ran a cool segment last night on "finding happiness" and sense of community was the single biggest contributor...

We spent the morning making new friends at Upward, cheering for basketball, enjoying a McMuffin with neighbors and friends at what is the coolest Mickey D's I have ever seen.. It feels like an upscale cafe, almost coffee shop environment, staff is friendly and courteous.. pretty amazing. That place definitely makes a difference in people's days.. builds communities and makes people happy.

HMMM.. maybe McDonalds is the driving force for our culture and future?.... they certainly seem to do a better job of getting their message across than most churches...

Stress of performing... on opera singers

This is definitely the world I left back in mid 90s.. but I don't think that this is any different from any other performing artists life. Travel, and stress are part of what we sign up for when we choose this path. I agree that the trick is to balance work and life. That is pretty hard, when you work is your life... as this article dictates so clearly.

Kids make some amazing music...!

For a short ride through some beautiful musical moments, check out this video of the students of the Da Capo Institute in their finale concert for Fall 2007. 
I heard them on day one back in September.. and wow what a difference...