Monday, June 07, 2010

Monday, June 7th - Asheville, North Carolina

I'm about half way through my vacation period. Some of it has been vacation, some of it has been away work of one type or another, but it has all gotten me up and out and around. Tommy and I started the period off with a road trip to Fort Worth for the Fort Worth opera fesitval. Three operas in three days. The drive to Texas was uneventful and we arrived on a hot memorial day weekend. We went first to the art museums. The Kimbell (excellent collection) and the Modern (excellent building)and then spent the evening at Bass Performance Hall with 'Elixir of Love' (reset as a cross between Oklahoma! and The Music Man). It was great fun and we are friends with Adam, the stage manager.

The next day, we spent some time shopping and exploring downtown Fort Worth and for the evening, went to the world premiere of a new opera version of Reinaldo Arenas' Before Night Falls. Wes Mason, the baritone who played the lead, made his career with the performance and held the piece together with an able supporting cast (including another friend of ours). We both thought the piece very good and think it has a life outside of this initial production. Lastly, after a leisurely brunch on Sunday morning, off to the matinee of Don Giovanni, with our friend Susanna Phillips as Donna Anna. Designed as a chiaroscuro Velazquez painting, it was ably sung, especially by the women. Immediately after the performance, we leapt into the car in order to get to our next stop.

The next day and a half were spent driving the 1100 miles from Fort Worth to Beckley, West Virginia so I could have my quarterly meetings with the mine workers. We had a couple of days in WV and then a couple in Pikeville, Kentucky. The mine workers geriatric case management programs continue to grow and develop by leaps and bounds. It's expanding into new areas and will be taking more and more time and attention the next few years.

After Pikeville, back to Birmingham for a day and a half for a friends 40th birthday party and to do laundry. Now back in North Carolina where my play "Grimm and Bear It" is being done at the National Senior Theatre Conference. I gave the keynote address on Alzheimers and Performing Artists this evening - I'm being paid with a nice hotel room in Asheville which remains a gorgeous mountain resort town. I could see moving here in retirement. We have one more day here then back to Birmingham for a week to get the house back in shape after the contractors and then off to Seattle for a few days following that.