Viswa Subbaraman

Opera and Orchestra Conductor

The Offseason (Part 2)

I’m often asked what it is that we in the arts do during the off-season.  (Usually it’s phrased more in the form of – “it must be great to have so much time off.”)  I WISH!  One of the nice things about the summer is that there are no pressing engagements.  In other words, we aren’t constantly looking to the next show and having to deal with keeping a production together. Right now, our big focus is on the entirety of next season.  In Opera Vista’s case, this is a huge prospect because as you will see very soon, OV’s 2010-11 season is going to be off the hook.  In a lot of ways, Opera Vista has done the impossible for the past 3 years.  We’ve managed to put some pretty amazing productions and create an internationally known opera competition together on very little cash.  (Think toothpicks and duct tape.)  What this has allowed us to do is truly build a production infrastructure that is extremely efficient.  The biggest drawback (aside from the toll it took on me and Joe Carl White and our respective families) is that we have relied on the kindness of our singers and instrumentalists to help us out in relation to their fees.

Opera Vista’s board recently decided that it was time to take the next step and build OV to the next level.  The OV Board of Directors is an interesting (and motley) group.  I think the average age of the board is around 30 years old, so we’re dealing with a young but passionate group of people.  They should get awards for being young professionals who truly believe in the mission of new opera!

It’s a huge testament to the board to watch them come together and learn what it means to be on a board.  They have really taken it on themselves to look at what we’ve accomplished and decide that with more support, Opera Vista could truly begin to build world class productions of truly important works by living composers.

Given this decision to push OV to the next level, it’s proving to be a busy summer.  You’re going to see a completely new-look OV in the fall (new logo, new website, everything).  We’ve had some great supporters jump on board and decide to invest in our little company, so we’re going to be able to better accomplish our mission in bringing great new opera to the Houston community.  I am truly excited about the season we’re soon to announce.

The past few seasons have been truly constrained by finances.  It often felt like the productions that OV truly believed in were tabled for future seasons because we simply could not afford to do a credible job with them – the production values demanded more money than we could spend.

What you’ll see in the 2010-11 season is what we’ve been dreaming to do with OV for the past four years (think elephants).  It’s going to be a sensational season, and I couldn’t be more excited.