Viswa Subbaraman

Opera and Orchestra Conductor

The Times They Are A-Changin'

It’s been a busy few weeks for me.  On a personal note, I am in a new apartment, so I had to deal with the wonders of moving.  (I have yet to meet anyone who is excited about moving – excited about being in a new place but not about the actual move).  In much the same way, Opera Vista is “moving.”  We’re not picking up and moving towns, but we’re in the process of completely changing what we do and how we do it. We’re really excited that Crisp and Raw (thanks Zachary Hunt and Yvonne Boustany) have taken the time to work with us on our new logo (to be unveiled soon).  They are also working with us on a new website, so you’ll see an entirely new face to Opera Vista starting in the fall.  You’ll also see an incredible season of programming.  In the past, it has seemed as though we have not really been able to take this company into the programming that we believe is needed in Houston – mainly because we did not have the infrastructure to deal with it.  We’ve always been proud of the festival, and that is still the crown jewel of the season, but for the first time, we have planned an entire season for Opera Vista.  (I know there are some of you wondering what the season entails, but we won’t be announcing it until the wine dinner at Julia’s Bistro on July 29th).  (Thanks to SAVAGE and Ashley Rundall for donating the invitations to that, and of course, thanks to Edward Sanchez for setting the dinner up).

As you can imagine, taking a company and putting a new face on it is daunting.  The questions of what that face/look should be, does it fit the long-term strategy of the company, does it match my shoes all seem to somehow impact the decision making.

It’s been a crazy busy summer for the board, staff, and volunteers, but I can’t tell you how excited we all are.  I went to one of my board member’s block parties the other day, and I was surprised at how many of his neighbors came out to say, “Oh, you’re the opera guy? James has told us all about Opera Vista!  When is the next production?  I think James is more excited about Opera Vista than his job!”  Let’s hope that’s not entirely true because we need James to keep his job, so he can donate and continue to be the board president of Opera Vista.  I can’t tell you how it feels to know that the projects I’ve designed along with Joe Carl White, Opera Vista's Executive Director, have made the board so excited that their neighbors already know, and we haven’t even released the season yet!

In past blogs, I’ve continuously harped on about how it is the artistic director’s/music director’s duty to come up with interesting programming that excites the community.  It’s not an easy task, especially when you have finances as a big concern.  This season has proved to me that if you come up with new and interesting programming that gets people excited, the donations start to build.  (We accept checks and all major credit cards).