a year ago
This was a superb program in all respects:
-- A most welcome reversion to an interesting and beautifully staged Traviata; and a stunning interpretation of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess in which not only voices but acting, chorus, dancing (with its eye-opening--for me--introduction to the creativity of Camille Brown), and stage setting all combined into an incredible experience.
-- I recognize that "herding cats"--dealing with the needs and impulses of a varied group in New York City where use of an unfamiliar-to-many subway system is the basic form of transportation--is a complicated responsibility. I'd like to expresss special gratitude to Karl Baudendistel for his unfailing reliability, efficiency, and above all good nature in running all the practical aspects of the program so successfully and with so much consideration.
-- As always, the artists speaking to and performing for our group were excellent, and I was happy at the inclusion of one of my favorites, William Berger. The special treat was of course Sportin' Life Freddie Ballentine whose delightful personality was so entertaining as he revealed some of the reality of the opera singer's world.
-- The New Yorker Hotel is unmatched in its location, including subway access, an advantage which overcomes the age of its rooms and their often-inconvenient configuration. The first-night dinner in its restaurant was good, and the breakfasts were OK. The bag lunches in our meeting room were also very satisfactory.
-- Food quality in restaurants: Chef Yu--good; ABA Istanbul--OK; Tir Na Nog--rather disappointing. Note: The deli down the block, Essen, is superb for take-out.
To both Karl and Daniel Egan, thank you so very much for another wonderul program!