|Bob Mirakian (center) conducts the Toledo Symphony Orchestra on stage|
as character Olin Blitch preaches to the congregation in Toledo Opera's
February 2015 production of 'Susannah.' (Photo courtesy of Toledo Opera)
Bob Mirakian, following his exquisite direction of Toledo Opera's lauded production of "Susannah," recently issued the following missive to opera supporters in northwest Ohio.
Mirakian expresses pride in the people on stage and behind the curtain, remarks on this moment in his career, and encourages us to support that which has garnered such praise and offers back to the community in such amazing ways.
Sent Feb. 17, 2015:
[Mirakian includes an excerpt from The Blade's review, which you can read online here:]
"Performed before a full and supportive house in the Valentine Theatre, [Susannah] exemplified the best this company can deliver. ... [It] served as proof positive that the opera's strategic planning, artistic development, and pursuit of ever higher standards is really paying off."
Dear Friend of the Opera,
It was my honor to conduct Toledo Opera's production of Carlisle Floyd's Susannah this past weekend. Our production team, the Toledo Opera Chorus, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and our cast came together to create a compelling, innovative, and polished production that we were all personally proud of and thrilled to see so well received by audiences.
I have worked as a professional orchestra and opera conductor for more than a decade but this production was my first time working with the full resources of a professional opera company, representing a major milestone in my career and development. It was also an important production for our brilliant stage director Sean Cooper and our wonderful Susannah, Jennifer Goode Cooper, both artists of significant experience and ability who were given a new opportunity to share their talents.
If opera is to thrive, a commitment on the part of companies to identify and foster emerging talent, as Toledo Opera did with Susannah, is absolutely vital. It will not only ensure that the next generation of opera artists has a place to learn its craft and test its abilities but also that fresh ideas and perspectives will continue to invigorate opera as an art form.
Toledo Opera has made itself an important part of opera's future by continually seeking out the best ways of servings its community in the most financially responsible manner possible: dramatically improving its finances, developing excellent educational programs that serve more that 20,000 students each year, and expanding its season to three beautifully produced operas. It is currently one of the best regional companies in the country, and a cultural institution that Toledo rightly takes increasing pride in.
Opera, like all significant human endeavors, requires the support of a community that recognizes its value and nurtures its existence. Thank you for being a vital part of Toledo Opera's current and future success as part of that community. I hope you will continue your involvement through a gift of support for the brave, exciting, and successful company.
Robert E. Mirakian
To make a donation to Toledo Opera online, visit its online form here.