Today is a big day, as a course I have laboured over under pretty intense conditions made the target date for its public launch! This course, all about conductors and conducting, was a huge labour of love for me. It was supposed to begin its life as an in-person lecture series at The Metropolitan Opera Guild in New York City, with plans for me to slowly chip away at turning it into an online learning experience for the company this coming summer. Then, as the COVID-19 pandemic turned our world upsides down, the in-person lecture series was cancelled, and we started discussing alternative plans for the course. In the end, I ended up taking on the monumental task of turning the course into an online learning experience in record-breaking turnaround time – just four weeks! I know Rossini allegedly turned out La Cenerentola in less time than that (it is said it only took him three weeks from start to finish), but this was the most ambitious timeline I had ever agreed to for such a project! Quarantined inside our small little house in the mountains of British Columbia, my husband volunteered to be my camera man, and with some clever furniture rearranging and lighting tricks, the living room was set up to film. After filming, I did all the editing and producing of lecture video footage from my tiny office loft, and the lectures and community engagement team at The Metropolitan Opera Guild helped with reviewing and proof-reading all the video footage and handout materials in our push to produce a polished final product. The original group of Boot Campers who signed up to take the course in person were the firs to experience the virtual product. It was launched privately for them at the end of April, on the same day they would have been making their way to Lincoln Center for the Saturday morning lecture. Now, after a few final tweaks, the course is available to the general public, and I could not be more excited for it to be released into the world! This is a topic I am deeply fascinated by, and thoroughly enjoyed working on. Building the course also came with the opportunity to interview my inspiring colleague and friend Victoria Bond, who really helped me dig into the detailed questions and nuances about conducting that students and audience members always wonder about. From conducting basics, to the history of conducting, to looking at legendary and influential conductors across history, this course is designed to be accessible to newcomers and enriching for long time opera lovers and classical music aficionados alike.
For more information about enrolling in the course, click here.