Friday, February 25, 2022

The New Music Conundrum, Toppled for One Night


The Debussy Trio plays Davis/Babcock/Wolfgang/Mason/Broughton/Krouse, Mason Home Concerts, Mar Vista

In college, I once saw Elvis Costello and the Attractions booed off a Berkeley stage for playing songs from an unreleased album instead of the familiar ones the audience was pining for. Costello was plainly enraged at the response. The mutual revulsion that suddenly flashed between audience and performer created a strange energy in that auditorium that I’ve never forgotten in the four decades since.

Classical music audiences tend not to boo, stomp their feet, or throw things if they don’t like a new piece of music, while classical performers don’t usually sneer at audiences whose attention has drifted away during the work. But both performers and audiences have experienced that strange, hostile energy when the latter feel they’re being made to endure new music premieres that don’t engage them, and when performers present music they believe in but the audience doesn’t.

Audience reticence is a problem for the contemporary, living composer. But hit-and-miss programming choices contribute to that reticence, a condition that effectively blocks all but the best-hyped concert-hall composers from gaining a foothold with audiences.

On one unseasonably warm February night in West LA, however, the Debussy Trio dissolved that Gordian knot as if it were silk and presented a concert of six compositions by living composers—Don Davis, Bruce Babcock, Gernot Wolfgang, Todd Mason, Bruce Broughton and Ian Krouse—that left the audience wanting more. It shouldn’t be such a rare experience for new classical music to sound fresh and emotionally relevant, but every piece delivered inspiration and joy. Without letup, the concert engaged the senses with music that etched vivid scenes in the mind’s eye, sometimes at a meditative pace, and other times with a rocking pulse.

Each piece was, obviously, commissioned for this group’s instrumentation of flute, harp, and viola—a line-up that first appeared a little over a century ago in works by Dubois, Debussy, and Bax—but while the ensemble sound was a broadly unifying factor, it was striking how varied the concert experience was, and what a journey it enabled.

The Debussy Trio: David Walther, viola; Marcia Dickstein, harp; Angela Weigand, flute.

Much credit goes to the celebrated Debussy Trio, for their energy, charisma and precision, their manifest knowledge of and love for these pieces, and their alchemical talent in rendering such a wide range of sounds from just these three instruments. Harpist Marcia Dickstein, flautist Angela Weigand, and violist David Walther each gave us spot-lit moments of virtuosity and brilliance, but their shape-shifting ensemble playing was what captivated me the most. In this concert, you were constantly questing, constantly rounding another corner or reaching a new overlook.

Credit also goes to Mason House, an ideal setting for music with this blend of sounds and silences. The Debussy Trio play with such charm and conviction that they could captivate in any venue (even the Super Bowl halftime show!), but it was a rich privilege to hear them in such an intimate, empathetic concert space. Certainly awareness that four of the six composers were in attendance boosted the sense of a shared special moment, but ultimately it was their musical statements that lifted the audience, and sent us buzzing into the patio afterwards for chili, margaritas and animated conversations.

The ideas driving each piece seemed intimately connected to one element or another of the familiar world. At times I heard sounds that evoked the ocean, the desert, the sounds and feelings of Los Angeles, and the world of TV and movies where some of these composers have worked. Mason’s A Day at Toroweap specifically evoked a lookout point at Grand Canyon National Park, and included a slide show of canyon and river images. But really all six works brought vivid images to mind, whether from cinema or from our own memories.

Here is the set list and a little background on each composer:

Don Davis, False Conclusions (2019). Davis is a UCLA graduate, a composer and conductor for film, TV and concert halls, best known for his work on The Matrix trilogy, who has won multiple Prime Time Emmy nominations and one award for music in shows like seaQuest DSV and Beauty and the Beast. Davis’ political opera, Río de Sangre, premiered at the Florentine Opera Company on October 22, 2010 after excerpts were performed by the Los Angeles Master Chorale and the New York City Opera. False Conclusions set the mood for the concert in its first few measures, which evoked a timeless vision of awakening in the desert, feeling the sun, hearing birds and other creatures and rising to experience the world anew.

Bruce Babcock, Springscape (2006). Babcock, a Cal State Northridge-educated composer, conductor and orchestrator, won an Emmy for his score on Matlock and nominations for Father Dowling Mysteries and Murder, She Wrote. He has had an active career writing works for concert performance, including pieces performed at Carnegie Hall, Schoenberg Hall, Royce Hall and the Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival. His choral work, All Unto Me, composed for and inspired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was performed at All Saints Church, Pasadena, with Archbishop Tutu in attendance. Springscape also evoked a sense of awakening, with its bell-like opening and its constant sense of movement and metamorphosis, with Dickstein’s harp launching us forward into what felt like a morning promenade, a scene full of energetic life.

Gernot Wolfgang, Eyes Wide Open (2016). Wolfgang was educated at USC, Berklee College of Music and the University of Music in Graz, Austria. He was nominated for a classical music Grammy for his 2016 album "Passing Through", and has received more than 40 from individuals and organizations like the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Orchestra of the Jazz Festival of the European Broadcasting Union. Eyes Wide Open was also a bit cinematic, with the Kubrickian nod in its title and hints of Hitchcockian mystery. But this piece was really a showcase for Dickstein and the many ways the harp can tell stories and paint images.

Todd Mason, A Day at Toroweap (2020). Mason is the proprietor of the eponymous Mason House and impresario for this series of West LA house concerts. He studied at Juilliard under Elliot Carter, where he received numerous awards including the ASCAP Young Composers Award. The Juilliard Orchestra, the Sofia Philharmonic, the Lyris Quartet, the Angeles Quartet, the Argus Quartet and members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra have played his music. Toroweap is the name of a cherished lookout in Grand Canyon—the only one from which one can see all the way to the Colorado River running through the canyon. Mason’s piece gave audiences yet another take on the idea and feeling of awakening; in this case awakening to a place of splendor and scale, a place for which one’s eyes can’t be open enough. Mason’s writing for harp in this piece was stunning.

Bruce Broughton, Trio (2019). Broughton has composed dozens of pieces of chamber music, orchestral music and music for wind ensemble. He has numerous film and TV scoring credits including the films Silverado, Tombstone, the John Hughes remake of Miracle on 34th Street, the Homeward Bound series and The Presidio among many credits; and wrote music for episodes of TV shows ranging from Gunsmoke, the original Hawaii Five-O, Dallas, Quincy M.E., Tiny Toon Adventures, the Emmy-winning theme for JAG, and the Emmy-nominated score for The Blue and the Grey among many credits. Dickstein explained that Broughton’s piece had been commissioned by her mother to commemorate her father’s death. If the first four pieces were mostly about an individual experience of the world, Trio felt more like a heightened conversation, with the viola, flute and harp embodying the voices of memory, swapping stories with fascinating details about a life well lived.

Ian Krouse, Tri Chairde (1993). Krouse is recognized internationally as one of the leading composers of classical guitar music, having pioneered development of the guitar quartet. His most important work is the Armenian Requiem, based on the traditional Armenian requiem liturgy, scored for four vocal soloists, string quartet, organ, Armenian instruments, children’s chorus, choir, and orchestra. It was commissioned by the Lark Musical Society to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and received its premiere at Royce Hall in 2015. Like most of this program, Tri Chairde had cinematic qualities, with flautist evoking innocent eyes exploring a new world. Eventually the focus shifted to a prayerful harp solo with a more Celtic feeling, and then to the violist playing a rough-hewn passage full of double-stops and other fiddler techniques, resolving into what felt like Irish dance music.

I left the concert feeling well cared for, my soul nurtured by all the good new, unheard music. I was in awe of each composition’s power to make me feel and see the world through the composer’s eyes and ears. Clearly, these contemporary composers have no better friends than the Debussy Trio.


Mason Home Concert, 3484 Redwood Ave., Mar Vista, CA 90066, 6 p.m., Saturday, February 12, 2022.
Images: The performers: Todd Mason; The composers: composer websites.

Saturday, February 12, 2022

Meditations and Journeys at Long Beach

Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, painted respectively in 1842 by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim,
and in 1846 by Eduard Magnus.


Long Beach Symphony at the Terrace Theater, Long Beach Performing Arts Center

Following their splendid season-opener last November (reviewed here), and the much-delayed but reportedly highly successful Violins of Hope concerts in January—which sadly we were forced to miss—the LBSO’s journey back from Covid oblivion continued with their February concert, which proved that there’s plenty of mileage left in the time-honored overture/concerto/symphony formulation, if the program is as meaningfully designed as it was here.

Anna Clyne.
That said, I do wonder whether to call their February concert’s centerpiece, DANCE, by the English composer Anna Clyne (b.1980), a “cello concerto” (as the pre-concert publicity, program note, and other external references do) is a bit of a misnomer; notably Clyne herself does not so designate it, either in the downloadable list of works from her website or on the published score.

I’ve always been drawn to the view that what drives a true symphony (and by extension, concerto) is “the interpenetrative activity of all its constituent elements” (to quote the late Robert Simpson)—tonality, rhythm, and melody working as equals to navigate a definite progression and growth through the work's course; a journey, if you will, that arrives at a different place whence it started. 

By this measure, the five movements of DANCE for me did not quite add up, which isn’t to say that there is not much of beauty and immediate appeal, as was evinced by the enthusiastic audience reaction to this performance, given by the Israeli-born cellist, Inbal Segev, who commissioned the work. The LBSO were skillful partners under Music Director Eckart Preu, who included Clyne’s earlier Within Her Arms for 14 strings in the 2017 Veterans Day concert and clearly has great admiration for her music.

DANCE, composed in 2019, takes its inspiration from a five-line poem by the 13th century Persian poet Rumi, each line heading in turn each of the five movements (slow-fast-slow-slow-fast). The music becomes a kind of meditation on the implications of these words, with Clyne’s expressive intentions made explicit in plain English. Thus the “Tender” first movement responds to “[dance] when you’re broken open” with a gentle, Coplandesque, string oscillation over which the cello intones the first of the work’s several, much-repeated and insidiously memorable melodies.

Inbal Segev.
Movement II is marked “Earthy and Fiery,” and launched by rapid, jagged cello ostinati (more savage here than on Ms. Segev’s recording): appropriate to “[dance] if you’ve torn the bandage off.” The “Reflective” third movement is “[dance] in the middle of the fighting,” with its successor “[dance] in your blood” marked “Regal and Expansive.” However, by the time the “Fierce” movement V “[dance] when you’re perfectly free” arrived, the structural modus operandi—a main melody repeated in increasingly ornamented form as a kind of ritornello between more dissonant episodes—was for me getting a bit samey.

The soloist is hardly ever silent throughout the work's 25-minute span, and the greatest rewards to be had, aside from those ear-worming melodies, were textural, in Clyne’s resourceful writing for the cello against the wide variety of timbres she draws from quite modest forces. Amongst the most striking were the teeth-edging whine of bowstring against crotales (small suspended brass discs) blending with the cello’s topmost register; haunting counterpoints from deep marimba and vibraphone in movement II, and a particularly fearsome cadential descent by unison bassoon, contrabassoon and tuba shortly before the end of the finale.

Eckart Preu’s pre-concert talk placed the current prominence of Clyne and her work firmly as a positive end-point in the journey of women composers from their plight during earlier decades and centuries of musical history—that of being variously downgraded, sidelined, patronized, or ignored. One of the most notable victims was Felix Mendelssohn’s older sister Fanny (1805-1847) who, despite showing as much musical promise from an early age as her brother, was conditioned by the mores of the time to accept that her “real calling, the only calling for a young woman—[was] the state of a housewife,” in the words of her father Abraham.

Fanny's music room at the Hensels' house in Berlin.
Given that she proceeded faithfully to fulfill this “calling” after her marriage to the painter Wilhelm Hensel in 1829 until her untimely death from a stroke at the age of only 41, it is remarkable that she wrote as much as she did (no fewer than 466 works in the catalogue completed in 2000 by the musicologist Renate Hellwig-Unruh).

Though dominated by individual songs and short instrumental and piano pieces (some of positively Lisztian drama and fervor), her output does include some larger-scale chamber works as well as several cantatas for voices and orchestra, and one work for orchestra alone. This is her Overture in C major H-U 265, dated to 1832 by Hellwig-Unruh, which formed the opening item in the concert.

Like nine-tenths of Fanny’s output, it remained in manuscript for many decades after her death, and only came to any kind of prominence in the 1990s. Nonetheless, the LBSO played the overture like a familiar repertoire piece, from their affectionate phrasing of the call-and-response between woodwind and strings that imbues the Andante introduction, to the lithe and nimble articulation of the main Allegro di molto body of the work.

Felix Mendelssohn's music room at
his last home in Leipzig.
Finally, a symphonic masterpiece that fulfills Simpson’s dictum as well as any. Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A major Op. 90 “Italian” was the result of another journey, in this case the purely temporal one that took the composer to Italy in 1830-31. While in Rome he began to sketch the work, but it was only in response to a commission for a symphony from the Philharmonic Society in London that he took it up again and completed it in 1833.

This performance seemed to me a model of balance, insight, and commitment, with the string strength, reduced to something like 10-8-8-6-4, enabling much inner detail to come through clearly despite the foggy Terrace Theater acoustic. The opening Allegro vivace had plenty of momentum without being unwontedly hectic, and the seal was set on the movement's success by Preu's inclusion of the exposition repeat, here even more necessary than usual due to Mendelssohn's delectable 23-measure lead-back that otherwise goes unheard if the repeat is omitted.

The inner movements seemed even more like two sides of the same coin than usual—the Andante con moto Neapolitan religious procession rather more of a sunlit, picturesque amble, little different in motion and mood from the succeeding Con moto moderato minuet, where Preu's relatively relaxed tempo enabled him to move seamlessly and without any gear-change into the horns-led trio—as indeed Mendelssohn marks no alteration of speed here. 

Finally, the Saltarello had all the point and energy required without its Presto marking leading to the sort of hysterical dash that some conductors indulge in, so that many intricacies were delineated rather than smudged past. The famously self-critical Mendelssohn revised the "Italian" after its first performance in 1833, but remained unhappy enough with the finale to never publish the work. Posterity, however, has judged it the perfect conclusion to his symphonic chef d'oeuvre.


Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, Terrace Theater, Saturday, February 5, 2022, 
8 p.m. 
Images: Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn: The Mendelssohns website; Anna Clyne and Inbal Segev: artists' websites; Music rooms: Wikimedia Commons.

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Friday, February 4, 2022

Three Ladies Sparkle in San Diego Così

Courtesy San Diego Opera

INTERVIEW: Sarah Tucker, Samantha Hankey, Alisa Jordheim 

San Diego Opera, Civic Theatre

San Diego Opera’s performance of Mozart’s Così fan tutte on Saturday, February 12, 2022, celebrates the Company’s safe return to the Civic Theatre since February of 2020 and the first time this opera has been presented by the Company since 2005. Three young American sopranos head the cast. As Fiordiligi, Sarah Tucker made her company debut as Micaëla in 2019’s Carmen. Mezzo-soprano Samantha Hankey makes her Company debut as Dorabella. Alisa Jordheim, as Despina, made her SDO debut as Gilda in 2019. All three, with their sparkling, youthful voices, are making names for themselves in major houses worldwide.  

I caught up with this dynamic trio during their hectic rehearsal schedule. Their onstage chemistry as two sisters and their confidante definitely carried over in this lively discussion—and we laughed a lot! 

Erica Miner: Is this your first time singing together? 

Sarah Tucker, Samantha Hankey, Alisa Jordheim: Yes!

EM: How’s it going so far? 

SH: Beautifully. 

EM: It’s only been a few days since you two “sisters” started rehearsing. Since you’re only just getting to know each other, do you feel you’re bonding in a close, sisterly way? 

ST: We were just laughing about this. Both of us are only children [Laughs] in our real lives, so we were thinking it’s going to be an extra challenge to feel like sisters. But I think playing sisters you come to start bonding right away. You have to listen to each other musically. 

Sarah Tucker
Courtesy of the Artist

SH: Also, as the rehearsal process continues, we’ll just naturally get closer. I’m really looking forward to the next few weeks of putting the show together.

ST: She’s my neighbor in the building we’re staying at. 

SH, ST: [Both Laugh] 

EM: So, you hear each other practice. 

ST: Yes. Barely. I have not heard you. 

SH: Good!

Samantha Hankey
Courtesy of the Artist

EM: This opera is really unique, in that you two are singing in thirds much of the time, as if Mozart wanted you to be sisters musically. 

ST: Exactly.

SH: I believe I had read that when Mozart originally composed the opera, the two singers were in fact sisters. 

EM: He also had wanted to marry his wife’s sister but ended up marrying Constanze, so sisters must have been a theme for him. Do you feel there’s a problem with the plot as far as women’s roles in today’s social climate? 

Alisa Jordheim: It’s true, the story is challenging! Believing in and exploring the characters’ true human emotions despite ridiculous circumstances helps me accept the plot, and Mozart’s music brilliantly reflects each character’s emotional state. The men’s trickery, while humorous, forces the sisters to seriously examine their feelings and consider whether or not they’re choosing the most ideal partner (a relatable question). Despina believes in gender equality and agency in one’s circumstances. She is a very layered character—her past experiences have given her a cynical outlook. Digging deeper below the surface of these characters is what makes them and their story relatable today.

Alisa Jordheim
Courtesy of the Artist

SH: I think that could be said of most operas that we bring to life. It’s our job as artists to make the characters as modern and relatable, as human as possible. It’s also the job of our director to make it accessible. Opera as art is meant for the people of the time. It’s the glasses that you put on for the piece. 

ST: Also, just because misogyny or unequal situations happen in an opera doesn’t necessarily mean they’re being promoted. I think you can send a message with a modern lens without changing the plot. Audiences are smart enough to pick up on those things, through the same lens we’re looking through. If we come to a consensus about how to deal with those topics as artists, the audience will be right there with us. 

EM: When the music is this sublime, I tend to tune out other issues. 

ST: I see it as an opportunity for creativity. Our director has come up with some interesting theatrical conceits to deal with some weird things in the plot, clarifying and keeping it lighthearted and funny even though we might be giving a message that’s a bit different from what Mozart originally intended. 

EM: What period is the production set in? 

SH: It’s a little complicated. It’s initially set in the 1950s, a kind of vaudeville setting, Toward the end it becomes clear that it’s a show within a show, like The Truman Show

ST: A Shakespearean play within play. The 50s is a perfect setting because those rigid gender roles were such a part of what we envision as the American ideal at that point. We’re also bringing in an Americana element. I’m excited about the 1950s costumes [Laughs]. Other things might not have been ideal in that era, but silhouettes for evening gowns absolutely were. 

EM: That’s so much a part of the fun, especially when you like and relate to them. You’ve all sung an impressive number of roles. Which have been your favorites? Which have you not yet done that you would like to do? 

SH: Dorabella is the role I’ve been dying to come back to. I absolutely love the music of Così. There’s nothing like ensemble singing for me. I haven’t done the role in almost 7 years. It’s exciting and a unique challenge to bring it back to life, dust off the cobwebs, relearn it with a more mature voice. I also love singing Sesto (La Clemenza di Tito). I think that’s my favorite Mozart role. After this I go on to sing Cherubino again. 

EM: Sounds like Mozart is at the top of your list. 

SH: If I could have dinner with someone, it would be Mozart. I think it would be so much fun. 

ST: Me too [Laughs]. There’s such ecstatic joy in his music. For me, Fiordiligi is quickly becoming a favorite to sing. I can’t say what I think about playing her yet because we haven’t really done that. I think I’m going to love it. Prior to this I loved Tatiana in Eugene Onegin. I’m obsessed with Russian opera. I love Tchaikovsky and Romantic music. I hope to do it again. On my wish list would be Violetta and Desdemona in Otello

EM: That’s quite a wide range. Dramatically it gives you a huge spectrum. Tatiana’s transformation throughout the opera gives you so many opportunities to milk the drama. 

ST: It’s all her inner emotions and turmoil. It’s so raw in the music. I love that opera.

EM: Desdemona is a whole different challenge. 

ST: Yes, that one I keep for the future. 

SH: I’ve also done Octavian, in ’21. That was probably my favorite experience professionally thus far. And I dream of singing Charlotte. 

ST: Oh yes. 

EM: Ah, Werther. Talk about raw emotion. You also both have sung Wagner. 

SH: [Laughs] A little bit. 

EM: Sarah, you did Freia. 

SH: I scream, “Help me, help me” a few times and then that’s it [Laughs]. “Save me, save me!” 

EM: Had you ever imagined you’d be singing Wagner? 

ST: No! I thought maybe one of the Rhine Maidens at some point. What I was surprised to learn about Wagner is that he actually wrote lyric roles that don’t necessarily require the same dramatic heft in the voice. Freia is one of them. She’s the goddess of love and beauty. I guess she can have a little more lyricism in her sound. But the most fun part about that production was singing with my husband, who was playing the giant who falls in love with me and kidnaps me [Laughs]. I’d love for us to do Faust together. 

EM: Samantha, you’ve sung Wellgunde in Rheingold. Was that fun? 

SH: Oh, I love singing in German. I approach everything now as if it was German. It’s my favorite language to sing in. I spent time in Germany and for me the language is musical. There’s so much sound within the consonants. We have this perception that Wagner is supposed to be this huge music, but when he was composing it for Bayreuth the instruments were largely gut strings, and the pit is so far underneath the stage. When I was performing Das Rheingold at Bayerische Staatsoper, I was hearing a lot of very light voices singing these roles. It sounds completely normal in a 2500 seat house. I’ve done the Ring Cycle at the Met. It was the first time I’d ever worked with Wagnerian singers. I remember thinking, “Wow, this is just the next level of singing.” Incredible voices, but lyric voices as well. We all have a place. 

ST: I think he intended it to be more like bel canto but failed to keep the orchestration light enough [Laughs]. 

EM: He just couldn’t help himself. The orchestra was all-important to him. 

AJ: Some of my favorite roles have been Gilda in Rigoletto, Constance in Dialogues des Carmélites, Rosina in Il barbiere di Siviglia, Cunegonde in Candide, and creating the role of Lola in Aldridge’s Sister Carrie. I’d love to sing Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier, Cleopatra in Giulio Cesare, and Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

EM: What was it like to perform Constance in one of the most dramatically difficult final scenes in opera?  

AJ: Dialogues des Carmélites is one of my favorite operas. The final scene is among the most haunting and moving in the entire repertory. My “sisters” and I bonded so much throughout the production, which made that final scene even harder to get through without crying! It’s impossible to avoid a deep visceral response to the sound of the guillotine and hearing the voices drop out one by one. Constance is such an endearing, mystical character and Poulenc’s music is so affecting—a character I’d love to sing again soon!  

EM: What’s coming up for you all after Così

ST: Pamina (in Magic Flute) at North Carolina Opera. I’ve got to relearn a lot of dialogue [Laughs]. We’re thankfully doing the dialogue in English. 

SH: I head back to Munich for nozze di Figaro, then to the States for a Tully Hall Juilliard alum solo recital in New York. Then Munich singing Octavian in a revival of Der Rosenkavalier at Bayerische Staatsoper. A live audience instead of livestream. I can’t wait. 

AJ: I am thrilled to be making my role debuts as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro with Virginia Opera and Adele in Die Fledermaus with Central City Opera. 

EM: How would you describe your feelings, from the perspective of your journey during this pandemic as a performing artist not in a performance venue? How has it affected you, over the past two years and now?  

Samantha Hankey
Courtesy of San Diego Opera

ST: Just grateful for whatever opportunities. When everything slows down it forces you to come back to yourself and remember why you’re pursuing music, which I found grounding. I feel less of the “what’s next” feeling I used to get before the pandemic and just enjoy the production I’m a part of. 

AJ: This pandemic has been physically and mentally challenging for us all in so many ways. I appreciate the joys of travel, collaborating with others (in person!), and sharing live music and theater with an audience even more than before. I am filled with a renewed sense of gratitude for every opportunity to perform. While the past two years have been immensely trying, they have also enabled me to focus on who and what is most important in my life. As a result, my husband and I had a covid-safe wedding in February 2021. 
Sarah Tucker
Courtesy of San Diego Opera

SH: There’s this sense of joy and appreciation in the room. We’re all so happy to be back at work together. Before, people would be wanting to go on break or leave rehearsal early. I feel that every opportunity we have to be working is a newfound appreciation, both in Europe and the States. The safety measure and what’s allowed by the government are all over the map. What I notice most is how grateful the audiences are to be there. It’s palpable at curtain call, how live theatre is needed. It’s an escape, so much a part of everyone’s lives. 

EM: And for our souls. This has been a delight. Thank you so much for sharing. Toi, toi, for Così

Così fan tutte runs for four performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre February 15, 18, and 20 (matinee).