Thursday, August 25, 2011
12 of the Opera World’s Best Singers. 1 Stage. 1 Night Only.
Photo of Lawrence Brownlee taken by Andrew Propp
Today's post is from Barbara Parker.
This was our marketing tagline for last night’s Opera’s Greatest Hits performance. While this accurately quantifies the performance, what it doesn’t account for is on this particular night, the sum was far greater than its parts.
Wolf Trap has carved out a very exclusive and highly regarded niche as one the world’s best training grounds for aspiring opera singers. We see the talent emerge with each and every opera performance at The Barns and the Filene Center. What was demonstrated last night is where these singers go post-Wolf Trap and how they utilize the foundation of training that we provide. Where do they go? Everywhere. To opera houses around the world. What do they become? Superstars of the opera world. Denyce Graves, Alan Held, Lawrence Brownlee, Robert Orth. The list goes on and on and on.
Photo of Denyce Graves taken by Andrew Propp
There was not a single misstep in last night’s performance, not a wrong note. What makes this all the more amazing is that each of these singers donated their time and talents to this performance; that they came together for one rehearsal; were in Virginia for a total of 36 hours; and weathered an unexpected earthquake in the middle of it all. As often happens in live performance, there are things outside of our control. It was unfortunate that Stephanie Blythe and Carl Tanner both were unable to sing due to illness. They were missed and certainly would have further illuminated the bright and shining solar system on the Filene Center stage.
The last item on the Wolf Trap mission’s statement of values is this, At Wolf Trap, we value the power of the arts to change society. During no other summer performance have I seen this value come to life on the Filene Center stage in such a dramatic way. The interspersed commentary provided insight into the lives of these singers then and now. Each person shared how special Wolf Trap is to them. Singers and administrators who often spent only one or two summers here talked about how Wolf Trap had changed their lives. Mission accomplished.
Photo of Full All-Star Cast taken by Andrew Propp