I have to say I was kind of honored to be invited by my City Opera "boss" of eight seasons to his birthday party. Robin Thompson basically handed me my career on a silver platter (he hired me right out of Juilliard and continued to promote me through the City Opera ranks, and I worked there every single season for 8 straight years) and I owe him a debt of gratitude. I was super-psyched that after all our years working together and getting to know each other, that he now considers me enough of a friend to invite me to his milestone birthday party. I won't say his age here in case he wouldn't want me to, but he really does look fantastic even if he were 10 years younger than he actually is.
The party was held at Vivolo, a lovely italian restaurant on the east side, and he had the entire upstairs party room for his 40 guests. Other than me, the only singer present was Lauren Flanigan, and I was happy to be sitting at her table because she's a very fascinating person, and we had the chance to talk quite a bit during dinner. The party was also peppered with a ton of "movers and shakers" from the business - several important managers, higher-ups from the Met, and even some luminaries from the Art world. I was seated next to an art dealer/ manager who manages the likes of Chuck Close among others, and also at my table was the head curator from the MOMA, and the former president of the City Opera Board. I always feel small and uninteresting among people like these, but I try my best to hold my own and learn what I can from people who have obviously led pretty interesting lives.
Friendship is important - I'm just glad that all different people consider me their friend. I hope it's always that way.