Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Official...

Rehearsing Mozart Requiem with the OJSC in 2008

... I'll be going back to Bolivia this summer to conduct Mozart's "Coronation" Mass! Some of you know I've been twice before; it'll be great to return and see the talented singers and instrumentalists I've come to know over the last few years.

My first trip to Santa Cruz de la Sierra (now having surpassed La Paz in population, SC is Bolivia's largest city...over 1 million inhabitants) came in 2005. Roland Schlieder is conductor of the Orquesta Juvenil de Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and an alum from Butler, where he studied conducting with me. Knowing of my (somewhat rusty) Spanish skills, he invited me down for that first visit to help him prepare his chorus for performances of Part One of Messiah. In that week of rehearsals, workshops and masterclasses, I was very impressed by the eager dedication to learning the singers demonstrated. And, they were a most friendly lot...treating me like a king, taking me to the best restaurants in the city, and making sure I felt welcome.

One of our many live tv interviews in 2008

I returned in 2008 to rehearse and perform Mozart's Requiem. With Roland's great orchestra, and a talented quartet of soloists (from Bolivia, Panama and the U.S.), and the great choral singers, we had a great experience together. Jon was even able to fly down for a few days and join us for some of the concerts.

So I'm looking forward to going back. I'll be there for nearly two weeks, so that will be my longest stay thus far. I'll teach masterclasses in conducting, voice and score study, in addition to leading rehearsals for the choir and orchestra. Now to start scraping off some of the rust from my Spanish!

Dining out with my Bolivian friends!

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