I’m on Amtrak, watching the handsome Philadelphia skyline on my way back to DC. What a week. Today was a bit of icing on the cake, a lovely masterclass at Rutgers. The cake was, of course, a week with the Domingo-Cafritz artists at WNO. I am always grateful for the intense, detailed, and totally enjoyable work I do with these singers and pianists.

The topic of this whole trip seemed to be connection. The connection between words and musical line, between the inherent music of a language and the form and pace of a composition, between breath and everything else. And there was a particularly sweet vibe of personal connection as well: WNO is rehearsing the Ring, so the house was filled with compatriots of mine from Wagner and Strauss performances the world over.

Thank you, as always, to Michael Heaston, Ken Weiss, and Francesca Zambello for inviting me, and to my new and wonderful hosts Betsy Bishop, Patrick O’Donnell, Eddie Chama, and Pam Gilmore. Go Rutgers and PVI! And to Alan Held, Bill Burden, Ryan and Tonya McKinny, Catherine Martin, Renee Tatum, Eve Gigliotti, Melody Moore, Meagan Miller, Dennis Peterson, Marcy Stonikas, Tom Bagwell, Irene Spiegelmann, Derek Inouye, Michael Baitzer, Philippe Auguin, Laura Krause, Laurie Feldman, Christian Räth, Steve Gathman, Jiwon Kang, David Hanlon and Lindsey Wise, Chris Hoh and Dan Elmer – it was so wonderful to see you all.

I go back to Ann Arbor refreshed, inspired, and grateful!

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