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July 28, 2009

TT: Unrest cure

I'm still knocked out from the protracted siege of work that led to the premiere of The Letter in Santa Fe last Saturday. I've been doing my best to get some rest, but the aftermath of an opening night can be almost exhausting as the prelude to it. I've been inundated with calls and e-mail from friends and colleagues, and I also have a couple of looming deadlines that are keeping me from basking in the echoes of last week's applause. Mrs. T and I are going to a concert of Paul Moravec's chamber music tonight, and we'll be seeing the second performance of The Letter on Wednesday. My guess is that both occasions will be enormously gratifying--not least because I won't have anything to do but sit and listen.

Needless to say, not everybody liked The Letter as much as the first-nighters who cheered us to the echo. My old colleagues at the Washington Post, for instance, published a scorched-earth pan on Monday, the thrust of which was that Paul and I should take up another line of work. I can't say I enjoyed reading it, but I believe I can stand the heat. I ought to be able to: after all, I've been dishing it out for most of my professional life! Gian Carlo Menotti, a hugely successful opera composer who got more than his share of bad reviews, claimed to be dismissive of critics. "They often spoil my breakfast but never my lunch," he said. For my part, I'm old enough by now to be reasonably sure of myself, and I plan to have a good lunch today.

Meanwhile, life goes on: I have to finish writing a Commentary essay on Alan Ayckbourn, a task that would be more pleasant if I weren't so tired but from which I wouldn't dream of shirking. So excuse me while I get back to work. Writing opera libretti is great fun, but it doesn't pay the bills.

UPDATE: I just finished the Ayckbourn essay and sent it off. Twenty-eight hundred words, thank you very much! Shall I take a nap now? Or perhaps I should get going on another libretto....

Posted July 28, 2009 12:00 AM

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