OCTOBER-NOVEMBER TRAVELS

We had a really busy October and November this year. First we were in Stonington, CT from Oct. 3-8 doing supertitles of Salt Marsh Opera's production of La Traviata. We were happy to be invited again to stay with our friends, Bob and Virginia Montgomery. They provided the traditional lobster feast for us after the Sunday matinee, and invited our old friend, opera singer Adele Paxton and her husband Charley to join us. We hadn't met Charley before, and we really like him. Sorry, no pictures, but we've been invited back next year for The Barber of Seville, and I promise not to forger my camera again.

A couple of weeks after returning home, we found the fall foliage in Virginia at its peak, at its best in a number of years. We took a day off to travel the Blue Ridge Parkway, and lunch at the Ch. Morisette vineyard. Here are a couple of pictures from the parkway, followed by a view across the New River from our back deck:


 

The next two pictures are from Rte. 627, a shortcut from our house to Rte. 100N (we call it the "Cimarron cutoff") while the third is from Rte. 100N:

We were in Lynchburg from Oct. 25-30 doing supertitles for the Opera on the James production of Cosi' fan tutte. A lot of our old friends were involved in this production. Here is Craig Fields, artistic director of the company with a friend:

Andy Stucky sang Don Alfonso (actually, the characters' names were changed by Craig's imaginative revisionist staging, but I won't go into that here). The first picture was at the champagne reception after opening night, while the second was before Andy got into costume for the final performance:

I invaded the dressing rooms to get a picture of mezzo Peri Montane', Dorabella:

Despina was sung by a local soprano, Nora Moore, who did a really excellent job:

Soprano Penny Shumate, a really splendid Fiordiligi, didn't want her picture taken because of her state of deshabille'. This was the third opera we've done with Penny, who was a student of Clarity James' at Radford U.

In the mens' dressing room I found tenor John Pickle, our Ferrando:

In the picture below, John is joined by baritone Michale Mayes, Guglielmo, All of the singers performed excellently in a production that was applauded enthusiastically by sell-out crowds.

And here is David Neumeyer, president of Opera on the James, with a friend:

Patsy Bessolo was in charge of costumes, as she is at the Opera Roanoke productions:

From Nov. 5-11 we were in Cleveland, doping supertitles for the fall concert production by the opera department at Cleveland Inst. off Music. Again, no pictures, but here is one that horn player Wally Easter took this past summer when Heather and Feza were instructing at the Roanoke Youth Symphony summer camp at Ferrum College:

No sooner did we return from Cleveland than we went into rehearsal for Opera Roanoke's production of La Boheme. This was a truly outstanding production from the vocal point of view, with the best singing I can remember ever having heard in Roanoke. The orchestral playing left a lot to be desired, however, and the program notes were pretty pitiful. (For reasons known only to itself, the new management at Opera Roanoke declined to publish the program notes that Kathy and I prepared. If you would like to read ours, here is a link.)

Yunah Lee was an outstanding Mimi. (We'vc worked with Yunah previously in three operas.) Here she is with her sensational young Rodolfo, tenor Dinyar Vania:

Schaunard was another young singer, baritone Krassen Karagiozov:

Drew Dowdy, a product of the Va Tech music department sang the dual roles of Alcindoro and Benoit. Here he is with a friend:

The opera was staged by Ronald Boudreaux, head of the opera department at Converse College, where I studied voice, piano and cello many years ago (it's in my hometown of Spartanburg, SC). Here is Ronald along with production manager Stormy Edwards:

Scott Williamson, another very old friend, served Opera Roanoke again as assistant conductor:

Amelia Ball sang in the chorus. Here she is with her husband, mathematician Joe Ball, who is also a fine musician (I believe the Balls met when Amelia was singing in the choir at the local Cathoolic Church; Joe was the organist and choir director):