Monday, October 14, 2013
Just returning from three wonderful concerts in San Francisco. Along with Maestro Pablo Heras-Casado, and my colleagues Audrey Luna, Alek Shrader, Isabel Leonard, Charlotte Hellekant and the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, we performed excerpts from Thomas Adès' The Tempest as well as Mendelssohn's Die erste Walpurgisnacht. It was a great experience. My colleagues are all fantastic singers and that really added to the enjoyment of the three concerts that we did on three consecutive evenings. Maestro Heras-Casado is really nice guy, very down to earth, no ego crap going on. So it was a really nice collaboration. The Tempest is crazy hard to sing (and play, and conduct! ) but it went really well for everyone. The Symphony played beautifully, and in the Mendelssohn the chorus sang with real power and sensitivity. I have a lot of admiration for the people of the San Francisco Symphony. They treated us with great care and respect and did a lot of very nice things for us, like taking us to and from the airport in a town car, providing very nice accommodations for everyone, having a sitdown dinner after the final performance at the wonderful little bistro down the street called Absinthe. Yesterday afternoon my wife Tina and I enjoyed the wonderful weather at Hog Island restaurant in the Ferry Building on the East Bay, eating oysters on the half shell and clam chowder. It was a delightful end to a wonderful trip. I look forward to continuing my teaching at USC starting tomorrow. But I also look forward to any chance to go back to San Francisco: to sing at the Opera: to sing with the symphony, or to enjoy the quintessentially American city of San Francisco. Tina's and my dream is to go to San Francisco, eat as many oysters on the half shell as we can possibly hold, and then spend a few days in the wine country! Just thinking about it makes me relax!