The 11th of the month is strange now. It has taken on a taint; maybe more so now that I am swimming in the shoals off the coast of this opera about the events of September 11 and beyond. So when the date pops into my consciousness, I see not only a bright blue day with cooling temperatures after a soaking summer storm, but I see the opening of our project zooming toward me, and I see the idea of September 11.
And it becomes important for me today, perhaps on every 11th to rededicate myself to doing work that fosters harmony, closeness to those I love, forgiveness of those I hate and a personal meditation on forward motion, meaning what we do as individuals, families, cities, countries and the world to move forward.
And to do it better.
It is paramount that we all continue to believe both that what we do is tiny and personal and still hold tight to the credence that, since we are all connected, what we do here has effects elsewhere. What is that called, The Butterfly Effect?
I was asked the other day in an interview, if I fantasized about the future life of this production on bigger stages. The reporter was enumerating places like the Met, Glimmerglass, Santa Fe Opera, and I stopped her. Don’t get me wrong, we, I have invited all those impresarios. I want them to see this piece in its poky nascence, but what I told the reporter is this.
“ Producing a first iteration of a play or opera, or musical and thinking about the glorious future is like going on a first date and imagining your grandchild. You miss the scary joy, and anticipation of being on that first date.
I don’t want to miss things.”
This reporter was a woman, so I know damn well, that she knows women are ALWAYS wondering, IS THIS THE ONE? But sometimes how we behave can calm down our incessant future vision.
I am attempting to be viscerally present while living in this next monumental month of my life and really the first month of Calling as an opera. Calling never had all its music before. We never had a cast to inject voice, movement and emotion to the notes Doug (composer) and I wrote in the quiet of our heads and rooms. We didn’t have Marty (set) or Burke (lights) to define and illuminate where all these words and songs took place and we didn’t have Edith (music director) to play gloriously, while we sat back to listen. We were lacking Edisa (movement) to take the realistic motions of crowds and workers and transform them into iconic artistry. In short we are now a team, we are the embodiment of synergy. The sum of us is exponentially stronger than we are alone in our rooms, with synthesizers, or keyboards and visions dancing in our heads.