November 18th, 2015 – Bel Canto, based off of Ann Patchett’s best selling novel, will be Lyric Opera’s first world premiere production in over a decade. Thus, in celebration of this momentous occasion, Lyric has been hosting a variety of special events for the community, including “From Page to Stage,” where author Ann Patchett and Bel Canto curator/Lyric Creative consultant Renée Fleming had a conversation about bringing Bel Canto from the book’s “page” to the opera “stage.”
The auditorium was filled – there were three rows reserved for donors and such, and the rest of the auditorium was taken up by the public. I made sure to arrive early so I could get a decent seat. I didn’t see many students there unfortunately, but nonetheless, I was glad that I could make the trip downtown to see this event.
After hearing a variety of great anecdotes, including those about how Fleming and Patchett became friends, how composer Jimmy Lopez and librettist Nilo Cruz were chosen for the opera, etc., I was ready to go back to campus for a night filled with studying. But – something incredible happened – as everyone else was leaving the auditorium, I noticed that Fleming and Patchett were hanging around near the front of the stage. I went up to see if I could ask for a photo, and I got more than I expected! After talking to Patchett and getting her signature/photo, I got to meet Renée! We talked about what I was studying and my involvement with Lyric as a University Ambassador. She kept suggesting me to join the Lyric Young Professionals after I graduate from college, in which I gave a enthusiastic “Definitely!” Afterwards, General Director of Lyric, Anthony Freud, was kind enough to take a photo of me and Renée – it was definitely the highlight of the quarter so far!