With many months of travel and time in Europe behind me, I’m back in Los Angeles to conduct Macbeth for the opening of LA Opera’s 30th anniversary season. A new season isn’t necessarily a conventional time for “New Year’s” resolutions, but I have resolved to find a way to continue to blog. I am stationary now for the next month or so, and so plan to be communicative. Keep looking here on this site for updates, anecdotes, and observations.
On October 8 and 9 I will convene and give the Keynote Address for an unusual two-day symposium at the Colburn School in Los Angeles titled, “How Should We Perform the Troubled Past? A Weekend of Concerts and Conversation.” This will be presented under the auspices of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School, of which I am Artistic Advisor.
“Be guided by this, there are three roles in this opera and three roles only: Lady Macbeth, Macbeth and the chorus of the Witches.”—Giuseppe Verdi
In 1847, Giuseppe Verdi stood the world of Italian opera on its head when he wrote his tenth opera in seven years. (He would later refer to that grueling period as his “years in the galley.”) This was no routine work. In writing Macbeth, he made a major leap into the future—his future, Italian opera’s future, our future. It would take half a century for the logical consequence of Macbeth to be fully drawn, and even then it would take another 50 or 60 years before its significance was recognized.
James Conlon’s storied 37-year tenure as the Music Director of the Cincinnati May Festival officially came to a close this year. The 2016 May Festival opened on May 20, 2016 and ended on May 28, 2016.
The 2016 May Festival paid homage to Mr. Conlon’s unprecedented tenure, with programs that recall artistic milestones and audience favorites from the past four decades.