Here's the display at Houston's Hobby Airport - the Southwest employees get my vote for Most Festive!
We're travelling on Halloween, which is a little strange. I'm a little sad to be missing it at home, as the new wave of tiny neighborhood kids are dressing up for a first or second time around the block. I'm not a huge fan of costumes for myself (my favorite one is the gypsy costume from second grade...paisley scarves, hoop earrings and GOBS of green eyeshadow. I was gorgeous.) but I absolutely adore seeing the kids in their costumes. And candy...any holiday with candy is good by me. The scary part? Not so much of a fan - I'm enough of a scaredy-cat in real life that I'm pretty easily terrorized.
Yesterday was a full day of auditions, both for the Young Artist tier and the Studio tier. Lots of great singing, lots of brilliant, funny, interesting choices. I tend to notice the stagecraft of the singers as that's something that's interesting to me. I will say that after 3 days of auditions I've seen lots of dynamic, complex characterizations. But I've also seen more than a few monochromatic aria readings, lots of self-pity (which IMHO is rarely an interesting choice in any aria) and closed eyes. This is a tricky point, as sometimes the action in the aria may justify closing your eyes to imagine something delicious or to stop seeing something horrible. Often in an audition it ends up seeming indulgent and - more importantly - cutting off the connection between the singer and the listener. I want you to tell me a story, not shut me out! The audition is such a strange construct...distilling so much information about the aria, the scene, the singer in such a short time is difficult, and even more so if the folks behind the table can't hook into your storytelling. My two cents, to take or leave...
Three days of strong showings... it bodes well for some really difficult choices for us over the next few weeks, but also for some first-rate opera next summer! Seattle, here we come!