I first worked with Ms. Mary Jane Johnson at Chicago Opera Theater working on a production of Owen Wingrave. She was Ms. Wingrave, and I pushed her around on a giant staircase along side many other Young Artists. It was an absolute blast and I am proud to have been in that production directed by Ken Cazan.
I am very excited to add her wonderful program (co-founded with Linda Poetschke) called the Taos Opera Institute to my growing seminar list. Dana Brown from Roosevelt University will also be there this summer, coaching, teaching, and leading morning hikes and yoga for twenty eight or so young singers. They really do a fantastic job at helping young singers “bridge the gap between academia and apprenticeships.”
This is a neat time of the year to see so many programs signing up. I think what really drew Mary Jane and Linda was the fact that this seminar is unique — I really try to deliver actionable substance. More generalized marketing and strategy seminars have their place. I personally have found those seminars to be hugely helpful. I try to add to that body of material a concrete action plan and a specific tool to solve a need. I think I am seeing it start to resonate.