I have finished a busy final week of rehearsals with Pro Coro artistic conductor candidate, Magen Solomon, and performed with Pro Coro today.
Overall, I can say that the Dusk to Dawn concert and rehearsal process was a very interesting and unique experience. I definitely had some mental and vocal blips (more than I would have liked) during the concert but it seems that I was not the only one. I think we would have all liked another rehearsal or two just to solidify some of the music. As well, there were some unexpected kinks throughout the process such as a incorrect edition of a Bach score (we didn't receive the final copy until the Wednesday before the concert). However, a lot of the collective blips in the performance were at unexpected portions of the music which didn't surface during rehearsals.
As for my thoughts on the Solomon herself, I won't comment just yet because I'd like to work with all three candidates before I form my opinions. However, I am assembling notes which I will be happy to share in a blog post at the end of the process. I just want to say, I can't begin to imagine the challenge it is to arrive in a new city and work with a new group of singers on music one loves and knows so well. However, I will say this about Magen as a person:
I love how she shows us exactly how she is feeling---if the music is good enough to be moved to tears, she will have tears in her eyes.
I had a fantastic time working with Magen. You can tell she genuinely cares for her singers. She showed it in her beaming warmth, which was evident when she brushed aside my goodbye handshake and embraced me with a hug following the concert.
I wish her all the best in the process of Pro Coro artistic director decision making and look forward to the arrival of the second candidate, Mark Bailey, who will arrive next week to start rehearsals next Friday!
Until then, all the best readers.