Having had the great fortune of conducting The Magic Flute a number of times over the years, I admit I was not expecting to have so much fun conducting this opera with the amazing students at Western University. How wonderfully refreshing it was to work with such eager singers who displayed an excellent collaborative spirit. Although the rehearsal period was longer than what I am used to, the time actually flew by quickly due to the enthusiasm of the performers. It was extremely rewarding to witness the growth and improvement throughout the rehearsal process. The results were well worth the effort as the performances, all six of them sold-out, were terrific and received enthusiastic standing ovations.
In addition, the orchestra comprised Western University students plus one or two professionals to fill the empty spots. Let’s not kid ourselves, Mozart is not easy to play well and these students did a marvelous job indeed. It was an absolute pleasure to work with such supportive orchestral musicians. They accompanied the singers like a true professional opera orchestra. What a joy!
I feel privileged to be part of this spectacular program at Western, built largely by one of Canada’s leading singers, Ted Baerg. Congratulations to everyone involved and I am looking forward to participating again next season.