I was so happy when the opportunity to partner with the Philharmonic Center for the Arts came up. I jumped at the chance to produce this play about our greatest opera diva, La Divina, Maria Callas, in such a perfect setting. And so the fun began.
First, the small stuff: how could we both sell tickets and serve our audience without confusing anyone? The collaboration was friendly from the start. There is always a creative solution when we earnestly seek one. Kathleen van Bergen, Naomi Buck,and Laura Clemo have all been wonderful. Women with great experience, at the top of their game, and willing to figure out every detail to our mutual delight.
Then of course the exciting part: figuring out the perfect set, not only to represent a recital hall in Julliard, but one that would meet the special demands in the Daniels Pavilion. And casting! What fun to find opera singers and music makers. Rehearsal at the Phil has been really fun. We were able to have a baby grand in rehearsal! Normally, because we rehearse in the Norris Center, I just go directly to the office on lunch breaks and rehearsal breaks. But here I couldn’t do that, so I took a daily walk to the Starbucks in Waterside and, much like playing golf, it was another great way to get work done, as I ran into several patrons and important-people-around-town such as Dorothea Hunter-Sonne, Editor-in-Chief at Naples Illustrated, on my journeys.
I am excited by the prospect of cross-pollinating our audiences a little more. Introducing one to the other, and creating art in this beautiful space. This piece is an incredible homage to beauty and art and passion and heart. A wonderful look behind the curtain of what it truly takes not only to create art truthfully but to actually live one’s life as an artist.