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posted by nathan at 7:00 PMJune 16th, 2014
I'm thrilled to announce that I'm now the General Director of what was formerly called the Opera Department at the University of Illinois and is now known as Lyric Theatre @ Illinois. Julie Gunn is the Director of Lyric Studies and Jerry Siena is the Artistic Administrator. The program is going to focus on classic performing skills for undergraduates wanting to study musical theater and/or opera. We will continue to work on advanced skills for graduate students. The program will mount 2 fully staged operas and one classic musical theater piece and will workshop new pieces that are heading for professional theaters.
Next season we'll produce The Elixir of Love directed by Jerry Siena and conducted by Eric Weimer. The Merry Widow will be our second show of the season conducted by Raphael Schlusselberg and directed by Stephen Fiol. Our last piece will be Into the Woods conducted by Louis Bergonzi and directed by Jessi Hill. Our workshop will be a new piece by Gene Scheer and Billy VanHorn called Polly.
This is going to be an exciting new era for University of Illinois. Thanks for everyone's support and we look forward to seeing you all that the theater.
posted by nathan at 11:43 PMNovember 27th, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving everyone and also happy Hanuka! I guess this is the second day. Mandy and I are planning a Hanuka surprise for the audience tonight. We're ending this tour with a bang!
Off to NYC tomorrow. Rehearsals start Saturday for Flute. Hopefully, I'll have some brain left after this monstrously long flight, but first things first.... Show number 4!! YIPPY
posted by nathan at 2:18 AMNovember 27th, 2013
I had one of the best birthdays ever last night. Mandy and I performed at the Sydney Opera house. It was my debut to a sold out concert hall. After the opening number I was surprised by a cake which my son Dylan brought out to me while being serenaded by the audience accompanied by a bagpiper! it was absolutely wonderful!
This morning we flew to Brisbane for our final show. For fun I went to a koala sanctuary with Julie and Dylan where Dylan was able to hold one and we were all able to pet kangaroos!!!! it was absolutely wonderful.
This trip is coming to a close quickly, but it it has been the kind of experience that makes me hope that I get to return very soon.
posted by nathan at 8:54 PMNovember 23rd, 2013
I'm having an amazing time here in New Zealand. The Mandy and Nathan show opened in Melbourne a couple of days ago and now we're in Auckland for a show tonight. Yesterday, a gorgeous day, was spent on the Waiheke Island which is about a half hour away by fairy. This is truly a beautiful part of the world and worth the long flight. Another thing to note is that I can't name any other place in the world where I have had consistently excellent meals one after another. There have been a couple of high end restaurants, but mostly I'm talking about coffee shops, sandwiches, a Tapas restaurant....they all serve excellent food. It's very impressive.
I'm about to head over to the theater to prepare for show number 2, but out my window I can hear a troop of bagpipers playing because of the Christmas parade (seems a bit early but I suppose if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving you have to do something) and it's helping me get psyched up!
I must admit, though, that Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer sounds a bit weird with bagpipes. Sort of sounds angry....
posted by nathan at 8:46 AMOctober 24th, 2013
Tonight the audience at Theater an der Wien is going to be a little larger. At 7pm here in Vienna (1pm Est, 12pm Central, and 10am Pacific) will be a performance of A Harlot's Progress by Iain Bell streamed live on Theater an der Wien's website. It's the first of many operas to come by this great young composer. If any of you get a chance to see some of it I can highly recommend doing so. Diana Damrau is perfection in the part of Molly and is supported by excellent artists all around.
I can't wait for this piece to make it to the US and elsewhere in the world.
I find it incredibly fulfilling to be a part of world premiers and this one, in particular, has been a joy.
posted by nathan at 6:06 AMOctober 16th, 2013
I can't believe it's been since February that I made an entry. I think all of the social media is a bit distracting so I've closed my facebook account and will focus on the website a bit more.
I've had several world premiers since February, have won a midwestern Emmy, graduated a daughter from high school and sent her to college, been to seen on TV with Kelli O'Hara in Carousel (which was an awesome experience), sung Lancelot at the Glimmerglass festival, tipped over a canoe losing my iphone in a lake, watched my brother in law marry the beautiful Kathy Puti,.... it goes on and on.
Right now I'm in Vienna loving this city. We had a world premier at Theater an der Wien of "A Harlot's Progress" by Iain Bell. It was a HUGE success and I hope it goes all over the world. I love Iain's writing. The orchestrations are vivid and compelling while allowing for the words sung onstage to be completely clear. The great Diane Damrau plays the harlot, Molly, while I'm her bad boy boyfriend James Dalton. We have another show tonight. I can't wait!
Come see the show! Theater an der Wien has all the friendliest musical ghosts you'll ever find lurking in it's corridors.
posted by nathan at 4:38 PMFebruary 17th, 2013
I just wanted to let you all know that I'm going to have to postpone my Zankel Hall recital this Tuesday because of a family medical emergency.
We were so looking forward to this brand new recital and with working with our friends in the Pacifica String Quartet, but I'm afraid life had other plans.
Hopefully, we'll be able to reschedule before too long.
posted by nathan at 12:53 PMJanuary 25th, 2013
I'd like to thank everyone at the party last night for coming. The American Repertoire Program and all of us at OCP greatly appreciate your support. Although I didn't get to meet all of you last night I look forward to other opportunities in the future to do so.
I'd especially like to thank Allen and Judy Freedman for hosting this party. They have a beautiful home and are the most welcoming of hosts.
posted by nathan at 5:37 PMDecember 18th, 2012
The American Boychoir school celebrated it's 75th year this year and invited me to join the choir this past weekend for their annual lessons and carols service at the Princeton Chapel "Voices of Angels" and then a family concert "Winter Wonderland". It was a quick trip, but incredibly fulfilling. The boys did sing like angels and behaved like excellent young men. Anyone out there who has a son or grandson who loves to sing I'd strongly encourage him or her to look into the American Boychoir. They've just moved into a new building (I understand it looks a lot like Hogwarts which never hurts).
posted by nathan at 11:13 PMDecember 10th, 2012
I just returned from Philadelphia after having attended a workshop performance of the new opera by Jennifer Higdon and Gene Scheer based on Charles Frazier's "Cold Mountain". The workshop consisted of five highlights from the first act of the opera. I was bowled over. I don't have the words to describe just how incredible this new piece is. From the very first notes that are sung the audience is on the edge of it's seat waiting for what will come next. I know the piece isn't going to make it's debut for another 2 and a half years, but I'm already anxious for it to happen.
I'd like to just say congratulations to all the students at Curtis Institute who performed for the workshop. You all did an incredible job.
I'm back to Pennsylvania in a couple of days to perform with the American Boychoir. This is my first time with an all boy choir and I'm sure it will be a lot of fun. If singing with a bunch of men in the opera Bill Budd is any standard by which to judge such events I know I'll have a good time.
BTW, don't forget to look for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas show this year. It's a beautiful event and a great way to start off this season of love, giving and forgiveness.