A lot has happened since my last Quarterly.
To start with, we hosted our first in-person performance at St. Albert the Great’s in Minneapolis. Thank you Father Joe Gillespie for opening your doors to us! George Smith, a fantastic voice teacher in St. Paul and former director of The Rochester Aria Group, approached me this summer with an interest in reviving his most popular event, Classic Christmas. On December 2nd, we recorded it and then we hosted a live performance on December 21 that was well attended and ended with a boisterous standing ovation. It was a wonderful way to celebrate the holidays! A highlight from the performance was Karin Wolverton’s thrilling diminuendo and portamento in “Le Sommeil de l’Enfant Jésus.”
On a sadder note, my partner Christina Christensen has made the difficult decision to leave OOPS. I’m very sad to see her go. Together we accomplished some incredible things. In our first year, we compensated 40 artists with $20,585 over the span of 21 events. My hope is that I can continue to build on what we created together by helping singers make work for themselves and other local professionals.
Things are moving forward with “When Marian Sang.” We got the rights from Scholastic Publishing to produce a video recorded reading of the award-winning illustrated book and interspersing sung performances. Mikalia Bradberry will be reading and performing the musical selections. We are very excited to be partnering with MacPhail and grateful for their sharing of resources! We will also be working with Katie Condon, education specialist to MPR and Minnesota Orchestra, to create the accompanying education materials. The Zoom premiere will be on April 9th and will be hosted by radio personality Fred Child. RSVP here. The event is free!
We received a $15,000 Flexible Support Grant from the Metro Regional Arts Council to add four new dishes to our Recipe Series! We will be working with four of our Diversity Council members to turn their recipes into songs with a dash of storytelling. Join our mailing list and follow us to hear what Anna Hashizume, Adán Valera, Jared Miller, and Phinehas Bynum are cooking up for you…
Outside of OOPS, I am savoring being Mimì in Theater Latté Da’s 2-year anticipated production of La bohème. It is such a special show, and the cast and crew are unparalleled. It runs through February 27th, and I sing on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with Ben Dutcher as Rodolfo and Bergen Baker as Musetta. You can’t go wrong with seeing Corissa Bussian as Mimi, David Walton as Rodolfo, and Katie Henly as Musetta on alternate days!
I’ll leave you with a wonderful poem that my dear friend Charlotte Harrison sent along…
Everything is Waiting For You
by David Whyte
Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the
conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.