It’s Final Siegfried Eve here in San Francisco, and as I gaze out at the clear blue sky (a true rarity these past few months) from my temporary condo at the Opera Plaza complex, I am thinking back on just how quickly the time has passed. Even though the past three months have been saturated with rain, wind, cold, clouds, and illness…and I am indeed ready to go home…I still cannot help but think about how, in 2008, I thought this day would never come; and am now sorry that it is about to be all over.
I must admit, I had been waiting to recreate my favorite operatic role of Mime for some time now, especially when our sister production of this new and thought provoking Ring Cycle was canceled in Washington D.C. a few years ago. I have to remember that I have been blessed with some truly legendary productions over time: The Otto Schenk production that the Metropolitan Opera made so very famous; the August Everding production that so many in Chicago still talk about; and now what will surely be a legendary and lasting production by Francesca Zambello. To be trusted to create anew a full Ring Cycle with so many talented singers, directors, stage managers, musicians, coaches, prompters, supernumeraries, volunteers, and company administrators; as well as the wholly prepared and ultra professional technical and stage crew, is simply the highest honor that one can hope to be granted.
I can only wish to produce one last fine performance, and go out with a bang in what is truly the Holy Grail of all opera. The second Ring Cycle was unusually complicated for me, due to a late breaking case of ‘shingles’ that seemed to come out of nowhere (second time in six months)!!! I wish to thank the medical staff that tended to me in an effort to restore me for tomorrow night’s performance…believe me, my fingers will be crossed until I sing the final note.
I know I will fall off an emotional cliff when it is all over–as I will not be going to work next week; but it is time for a bit of a rest, visits with family and friends, and a little world travel before I begin rehearsals again late this summer in Chicago for two fine productions of The Tales of Hoffmann, and Boris Godunov.
So now that I am packed (with most of my stuff shipped home), and have studied the score one last time (Maestro’s good orders), as well as having cleaned the condo unit (insist on leaving it as good as I found it); it is time to take my meds, watch the recorded WWE Monday Night Raw wrestling episode (my ‘trash interest’), and find a way to fall asleep (something I have not been doing too well these days), and hope to experience tomorrow night…
One Last Hurrah…