Friday, May 22, 2009

Dysprosium, Technitium & Palladium

I've historically been a bit frustrated about our inability to tap into the wealth of knowledge, ideas, questions, and enthusiasm that lies within all of the artists and staff who spend a summer at Wild Times Opera Camp. This summer we've decided to be proactive, and we've established a weekly discussion forum - a series of "table" talks. Earlier this week, we had some fun with the Naming of Things. The first noun that came to mind was "Symposium," but that sounded so helplessly stuffy that I don't even want to attend. We ended up with:

Wolf Trap Opera Company’s

Periodic Table

Elements of our Craft

Although a few of these sessions will include guest faculty and artists, and they will be open to Wolf Trap interns, staff, and all members of the WTOC, the intention is not to do a dog-and-pony show type of panel discussion for the audience. It takes very little to put me on the Master Class expert struts his stuff for the benefit of the assembled unwashed soapbox... Remember this? (Ignore the font color disasters if you follow the link.)

We want to create an environment where our artists can brainstorm and share their own knowledge about all manner of things related to our profession and art form. So, to that end, and thanks to the ever-creative RT, here's the first draft of our Tuesday series:

June 2
Es 99 – Einsteinium
(Be smart about stuff)
Cautionary tales, ideas, and strategies about the business of singing. What's working for you, and what isn't? Where are the smoke screens? Where's the line between professional and personal?

June 9
Ca 20 – Calcium
(Strong bones make for a healthy body)
With guest artist Susan Shields
Most of us will never be dancers, but there are ways that we can honor our bodies and bring an enhanced awareness of our physical selves to our work as musicians. How can we get over our inhibitions to embrace this? And let's stop pretending that we can get by without doing so.

June 16
Dy 66 – Dysprosium
(True love is hard to come by… look it up)
A Così fan tutte Panel Discussion
The sky's the limit. Often said to be an opera more for the performers than for the audience… Who belongs to whom?

June 23
Ac 89 – Actium
(becoming someone else on stage)
with guest artist Leon Major
How is acting for singers different than for theatre actors? Where do you find your point of departure? Do you recognize your own process?

June 30
Au 79 – Gold
(He who makes the gold has some of it taken away)
with guest Aaron Urbanek
You can't spell arias without an I, R, or S: Tax Tips for the Working Musician.

July 7
Tc 43 – Technitium
(All the geek you can handle)
A discussion about Web 2.0, led by yours truly. What it's like to be on the bleeding edge of living in the cloud. (Got any more geeky metaphors?)

July 14
Pd 46 – Palladium
(And other ancient artifacts)
Ulisse Panel Discussion
Digging into a baroque opera. Is it for the faint of heart?

July 21
No 102 – Nobelium
(Altruism is a good thing)
FYA/WTOS Round Table
This year's Filene Young Artists speak candidly with our Studio Artists about their experiences with young artist programs, summer programs, grad school, etc.

July 28
Cm 96 – Curium
(Too little too late)
A Bohème Panel Discussion
What it’s like to update a classic. And what's with this new concert staging hybrid? Is it a trend, and does it require a different skill set from the performers?

I'll file reports this summer from the brain trust:)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This sounds phenomenal!