Sunday, October 10, 2010


The date seems significant, yes? One on which to take stock.

Our dearest friends from Seattle just left yesterday after a week's visit. It was, of course, remarkable to have them here, to add their eyes to ours looking at this lovely land, and our nearly 25 (25!!) shared years of friendship brought comfort and familiarity and joy to the week. It has also thrown our situation into sharper relief. This couple has been in Seattle since 1989, when MtMn and they were in law school together. Their rich life of career and friends and volunteerism and culture is more than two decades deep in that beautiful city. Thanks to the way we can communicate today, I have connection to them and to lots of friends from that many years. But sitting with these dear two for a few days puts me in touch with what the itinerant life makes impossible, or less possible. Not yet rooted in this new soil, something inside me reaches toward them, or maybe just out to some version of home I've lived, somewhere.

Sunday morning, six weeks into the Staatsoper and not quite eight into Wien, I sit on my couch with a cup of tea feeling unsure, foreign, alone.But I also feel accomplished, supported, and comfortable, because it's not hard to return to the joys and rewards of a life that includes many homes. A walk with a new friend, a few hours of Skype, and much MtMn time will make this a perfect day worthy of any city. I'll go put my feet on the ground, this ground, and try to feel myself standing.

I wish you could see the new production of Cardillac that we're opening next week. It's a very precise, expressive, non-realistic way of telling the story, and the singers and orchestra are in terrific form. What we can do with rehearsal time is extremely impressive. In the same week, we'll open a Barber of Seville without any stage or orchestra rehearsal, in which three young singers will make their Staatsoper debuts. At the same time, we'll have performances of Lucrezia Borgia, the premiere of a new ballet, and we'll rehearse Salome and L'Elisir d'amore. There are also a few performances of the children's opera. That takes us through next Sunday.

In the meantime, MtMn goes to the Shaolin Temple, trains, goes to jazz clubs, trains. Sometimes he plays in the street. Soon it will be too cold for that, but yesterday I could hear him in the pedestrian zone by the opera house as I finished up some paperwork. I closed up my computer and my office and went down into the street, setting my face against the chilly breeze, following that beloved sound.


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