In my mind, although I am not suddenly been freed into three months vacation anymore, Memorial Day marked the arrival of summer. Since Portland, life has been a blur, flying by with that stressful feeling of tying up loose ends before the semester ends. Those Camrina Buranas seem like they happened months ago. Carlos' incredible energy on the podium, the orchestra's passionate playing, the chorus unable to stop themselves from dancing along and singing with unabashed joy, and the unselfconscious, smiling faces in the audience that reminded me of why I love being a musician are all distant memories now. The concert up at Tannery Pond last weekend felt in some ways like my final exam of the semester. After we were done and in the car on the way home, I felt the sudden rush of my mental seasons changing. Returning home Sunday night, I had the sensation that I was about to embark on some summer adventure, as if I was about to head off to Interlochen Arts Camp again for the summer.
My summer "music camp" experience is spread between four places this year. My first adventure is actually almost over - the American Premiere of Jake Heggie's new song cycle, Friendly Persuasions, was yesterday afternoon. As always with premieres, it felt very adventurous, but really gratifying, Jake's music is always full of an incredibly wide and fun range of emotional drama and humor, and I am looking forward to pushing the envelope even further with the next two performances.
After our final concert on Tuesday, I head up to San Francisco Opera to be a cover for their upcoming production of Ariodante. Having a month to focus on Handel, revisit Lurcanio, watch and learn from an incredible cast, and explore San Francisco is something I have been looking forward to for a long time. Next comes a month at an authentic music camp experience at Marlboro. I've been waiting to go back since I left last August, and every time I speak of Marlboro, I do so dreamily and with that tone of someone who has had a life-changing experience. My final stop will be at the Ravinia Festival in August, where I will get to step into Pedrillo's sweet and rambunctious shoes again.