Oops. So, I got really involved in painting my bedroom, lost track of time, and forgot to write my blog. In my defense, I had already thought about what I was going to blog about, planned it out in my head, and even discussed it with my friend Will. It's just that when I start a project I become unbelievably insanely focused on finishing it, and only just now when I ran out of paint did I stop and yell, "Oh no, my blog!!"
The only time I wasn't painting today was when I was having coffee with a friend of mine named Ted Huffman. I knew Ted from back when we were all studying singing together, but I always suspected he was secretly a genius. I was proven right this summer when I saw a production he had directed of Der Kaiser Von Atlantis. Except he didn't just direct this production, he actually started the festival where it was being performed, the Greenwich Music Festival, from scratch (over the past several years), and now his productions are getting written up in the New Yorker and reviewed in Opera News. And thank god, because his ideas embody just what I was talking about in my blog a few days ago about the BAM Dido that I saw; if you take excellent music making, and combine it with good directing and clear ideas, you can make an artistic creation on the highest level. You absolutely don't need a set that weighs a ton and that you need tractor trailers to transport around.
But Ted had yet another great idea. He decided to have this production of Kaiser made into a film. The production was presented in a church theater, and I don't know what the budget was, but it wasn't very big. But the impact of his production of this opera, which was composed by a prisoner of a Jewish concentration camp, was huge. He started with nothing, and now he has a fully fledged music festival, several great productions under his belt, and a very interesting film that will soon be premiered at a film festival in Pleasantville, NY. Opera companies should take note: Great things are possible with insight and ingenuity!
Okay - now I've got to remove the big easy chair and huge painting that are lying on my bed so I can sleep. And then I have to wake up and buy more paint.
It's scary what entrepreneurial artists are able to accomplish with a little money and a whole lot of drive and talent. Ted is some kind of wonderful! Thanks for this post.
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