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In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Pay Attention to that Man Behind the Curtain

Jun 15, 2011 8:10:00 AM
By BLO Staff

“It will
not always be summer: build barns.”

                                                          -- Hesiod
Ah, the
summer at BLO. Quiet phones, reasonable amounts of email, the Scooperbowl! In
the Artistic Department, this is most certainly a season to rest, lick our
wounds, and in many cases, use up all of the vacation days we have accrued over
the last eight months. Some of us take particular joy in attending the summer
festivals of other opera companies, and as we stand by the bar after the second
intermission, sipping a gin and tonic without a drop of production-related
anxiety, it is possible to remember how enjoyable opera can be. 
But, like
all good things, vacations are soon over, and we soon find ourselves back in
the office, looking ahead in the calendar. Almost immediately after the close
of the season (and often before), we are busy adding flesh, tendons, and other
viscous material to the skeleton that is the upcoming season. While casting is
generally complete at this point, there remains a mountain of contracts to be
issued, meetings between directors and designers to schedule, and a great big
mid-summer concert to coordinate.
This
period of preparation is awfully rewarding, and certainly one of my favorite
points in the year. From this vantage point, we can see the events of the next
year slowly coming together, and the production that was only a twinkle in our
eye a few years ago, starting to come into focus. This is also calming to us,
because we are, as a rule, terrible at dealing with free time (we simply don’t
know what to do with the stuff), and notions of impending arrivals and other
deadlines are reassuring.
So, as we
head towards July and the office air conditioners spring reluctantly to life,
we can be found pushing that huge opera-rock up the hill towards Opening Night
(Sisyphus-style), but also maintaining a healthy ‘love-you-from-here’ sort of
attitude.
-- Erik
Johnson, Artistic Coordinator

Topics: behind the scenes, BLO staff

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