Monday, February 08, 2010

Wolftrap Virtual Season Launch... my little piece of the pie

HI all!  I've been sitting on a fun little project for the past week or so and AT LAST I get to share it with you.  I think this may just  be the first in a series of short interviews with interesting women. FUN, RIGHT??

OK, Let's do it...

Kim Witman of the Wolf Trap Opera Company is celebrating today’s announcement of the WTOC 2010 season by doing guest blog posts and interviews in a few places across the blogosphere.   You can see links to all the others here.   As always, WTOC is doing a wildly interesting mix of rep with some really stellar young talent.  I hope one day to join them myself, but in the meantime, let's take a peek into the mind of the lady pulling the strings.....

Is there a “typical” day for Kim Witman?
    Typical non-summer day:  Corresponding with production teams, refining staff schedules and responsibilities for the season, planning special events for donors and patrons, writing supertitles, reviewing budget figures, writing and editing program books, planning workshops for the next commissioned opera, preparing preshow talks, managing databases, researching repertoire, writing artist recommendations for competitions, reviewing box office reports, remembering to breathe deeply.
    Typical summer day: Whack-a-mole.  Show up and problem solve.
What is the best part of your day?
    Depending on my frame of mind, it’s either a creative challenge (writing supertitles, brainstorming with artistic staff, researching repertoire for future casting) or a satisfyingly linear task with a tangible outcome (a beautifully geeky spreadsheet, a clearly-documented cut list, a well-edited bit of copy.)
What part do you dread?
      Meetings.  Thankfully, they are few.

If you had to sum up in one sentence what you want an audience member to take away from a visit to Wolf Trap this summer, what would it be?
      That they’re glad they came, for whatever reasons matter the most to them.

What is the thing you are most proud of at Wolf Trap?
      The positive regard in which our alumni hold their WTOC experience.

What is something you’d really like to see change at Wolf Trap?
      We desperately need venue renovations at our main theatre, The Barns.

What are the best books you’ve read in the last year?
    The Black Swan (Taleb), Drive (Pink), The Last Lecture (Pausch), Three Cups of Tea (Mortenson), What the Dog Saw (Gladwell).  It’s not that I don’t read fiction, I do… it’s just that I haven’t really liked a bunch of what I’ve read recently.  And after I turned 50, I promised myself that I wouldn’t force myself to go any further than 50% through a book that I hated.  Life is getting shorter and shorter.
What blogs do you read every single day?
    Yours, of course
    Sadly, there are 175 blogs in my Google Reader feed.  I spend no more than 20 minutes on them a day, though, and therefore there’s lots of surfing.   About half of them are music and arts-oriented, and the rest are technology, marketing, psychology & general news and ideas. 
What are your three “desert island” bits of music?  
    I am so spectacularly bad at this.  Every day I have a different answer.  Today, I will give you the 3 songs in my iPod shuffle that gave me particular pleasure during my most recent plane ride: “Slow Me Down” by Emily Rossum, a cappella version by the Virginia Sil’hooettes; “Take It with Me” by Elvis Costello, sung by Anne Sofie von Otter; and Handel’s Lascia ch’io pianga.  All kind of mellow, but that’s where I was that day.
What reminds you who you are?
      My kids and my husband.

Who are you leading? Where are you going? Does it matter?
    I will lead anyone who trusts me enough to follow.  I’m trying to go in the direction of the dreams of those who trust me.  And it does matter.
What is delighting you today? 
          Feeling connected.

Hope you all are delighted with our little interview.  I know I am.... and can't wait to read the other blogs dedicated to celebrating the day!   As soon as the links are live, I will post a few over here.  Happy virtual season launch, Wolftrap, and thanks to Kim for sharing her time!

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