Tonight was the Butler Opera Center’s scenes program. I love scenes programs: the sheer variety of repertoire, the quick changing up of style, story, and singers. I love watching our student conductors lead with confident and expressive hands. I love hearing the surprises: a new steadiness of tempo, a beautiful wash of color, a chance taken. I love the expected and awaited payoff of long and steady work. I love hearing a voice beginning to take on its full form. I love putting Handel recitative next to Puccinian sweep, astringent tastes next to sweet, and grooving on the contrast.

And tonight is, in addition to all that, also bittersweet. I have just two days left here at UT. What a joy to lead and listen tonight, to enjoy what these remarkable students have learned, and to learn from them again.


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