“First day of school” – even after many years in this business, that’s always the feeling of a first rehearsal. Today we begin principal rehearsals at the Houston Grand Opera for Das Rheingold, the first installment of Richard Wagner’s monumental tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen. Houston is doing one opera each season for the next four years. I’m thrilled to be back assisting on this project after having been involved in some of the very early planning stages four and five years ago. I’m excited about the wonderful cast and just simply in love with the piece itself. Also tonight is an orchestra rehearsal of Ricky Ian Gordon’s A Coffin in Egypt, which I’ll be conducting in April. New information, new situations, old friends: a great day.