I know it has been an incredible amount of time since I have posted. There has been so much going on that I haven’t had the opportunity to sit down and think – much less blog. But, I’m back, so let’s catch up. (Normally, I hate posting my “news,” but since it’s been so long since I’ve posted, I’m going to share the news!) The first truly exciting thing is that the Houston Press honored Opera Vista with their 2010 MasterMind Award for our artistic creativity and innovation in adding to the Houston cultural landscape. I don’t know whether I can tell you how honored we were to receive this award. Like any other start-up business, the first few years are difficult – there is a challenge around every corner. Now, tack on the fact that we are a non-profit organization that depends on your donations, and it makes starting a new company a bit more complicated. Through it all, with amazing personnel and great support from the Houston community, we’ve been producing innovative and creative opera. To receive an honor like the Houston Press MasterMind at an event that focuses primarily on the arts, their Artopia gala, we were truly over the moon.
We’re also gearing up for the 2010 Opera Vista Festival and the 2010 Vista Competition. It’s going to be a really interesting festival. For those of you who haven’t been (but I am sure are already planning on going – March 20 to 27, 2010), the festival’s primary focus is the Vista Competition. It’s an American-Idol-style competition for new opera. Composers from all over the world submit new works, and we narrow the submissions down to 6 or 7 operas. We bring in an expert jury (think Simon, Paula, and Randy – but in Opera form). We then perform a short excerpt from each opera, the jury then comments on the selection – with the composer standing right there. Then you, the audience, votes for the opera that you would like to see us perform in its entirety.
I'm off to be on a grant committee for the Texas Commission on the Arts, so in the next few days, I'll write a bit about that. In the next few weeks, I’ll write a bit more about the works in the competition and new opera in general. I will also be going out of town towards the end of the month to conduct the Yakima Symphony Orchestra in Yakima, WA. It should be a fun trip since I’ll be conducting some truly great music – the “big piece” on the program is Beethoven’s Symphony no. 7, so I’ll also be writing a bit more about that in the next few weeks!