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Doubling Down Low: Tales of a First Encounter with the Cimbasso

A few weeks ago I arrived in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to begin my first season with the Santa Fe Opera company. After 4 days of driving from Jacksonville, Florida, and the landscape changing from swamp, to more swamp, to forest, to ranch country, and to dry, mountainous terrain along the way, thoughts of the first rehearsal became more present.

Aside from a couple chamber ensemble engagements I have outside of the Opera, our season includes 5 operas of which I play on 3. We're doing a company debut of John Adams' Dr. Atomic which is a highlight for us, especially being so close to Los Alamos where the Manhattan Project occurred years ago and where nuclear research still occurs today. It's a production that Peter Sellars has reimagined and tweaked to fit best for our location and will involve members of the community called "down-winders" who were affected by the experiments years ago. I'll also be playing on Ariadne auf Naxos by R. Strauss and Puccini's eve…

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