Singing the world premiere of this work last summer was exhilarating, and returning to the work this year for four more performances has been very gratifying. Musically, the Choral Union is a more confident, tighter ensemble, and the difficult parts of the work have improved tremendously. The dancers, many of whom are coming back to the work a year later, have matured into their parts. The demanding choreography by Peter Martins has settled quite nicely within the talents of the dancing ensemble, and the collaboration of dancers and singers is finally beginning to feel like a well-oiled machine.
It has been a memorable experience to collaborate with the NYC Ballet. This weekend I will once again be able to experience that unique moment when the stage manager says "stand by," and the curtain rises to reveal conductor Andrea Quinn's smiling face in the pit and a sold-out crowd filling the house. That exhilarating moment, which has been accented by applause even before Andrea strikes the downbeat at all the performances except for one, will always be one of the most cherished memories of this experience.