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The singers pictured above are the cast for the conservatory’s first Zarzuela production of La Gran Via and La Dolorosa.

The singers are: (back row from left) Yuri Porras, Roderick Gomez, Martin Philip, Juan Sanchez-Lozano, Jorge Gomez, Abraham Aviles, Ellen Cowan, Andrew Moore, Andres Andrade, Sara Rosemond, Benito Galindo; (front row) Lizette Amado, Sally Mouzon, Marta Johansen, Ramon Perez, Marina Torres, Angela Cadelago, Suzanne Lustgarten, Virginia Voulgaris, Natalia Llarena, Judith Barnes-Kerrigan.

 

What Does the future Hold for the Jarvis Conservatory?
 

The Jarvis Conservatory has a more solid basis than any of the other small opera or theatrical companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. The other operas perform in public buildings and are always at the mercy of the building operators; the Jarvis Conservatory owns its own facilities, a beautiful theater building with practice rooms plus a serviceable annex for creating and storing sets and costumes. This, plus a modest endowment, gives the Conservatory the basis for a good future. Equally important may be the international reputation the Conservatory has developed. In our first two years we gained a measure of recognition that would normally require twenty years to achieve. We have the reputation of being the prominent producer of Zarzuelas outside of Spain itself. Our productions are better quality than even most Spanish ones and the videos of our productions are the best in the world. Our Baroque Ballet is also quite exceptional and noteworthy.

We’ve had suggestions to do Wagner’s opera’s but they require a huge orchestra and cast and furthermore I agree with Verdi that Wagner’s music is much better than it sounds.

In August 1997, I attended the 50th Anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. There were over 250,000 attendees from all over the world. During the 50 years of its grand festivals, Edinburgh has developed incomparable facilities for its events; there are fine theaters and festival chambers all over town, enough to support eight major productions all at one time with another 25 or so theaters suitable for moderate sized productions. The people of Edinburgh over the years have become sophisticated theater goers and know how to attract top talent from around the world. The many different festivals during the year form the major economic support of the city.

Along this same vein, I remember when I was a small boy my father, along with other city fathers of our little Sayre, Oklahoma town (population 3,000), was trying to start a junior college. I thought they were just wasting their time; but on a recent visit to Sayre to see my mother I found out differently. The little Junior College which started with about eight students fifty years ago has become a four-year college with 1,000 students and is part of the State University system. The magic of starting something is that it may really turn out to be important. I believe that the secret of future Conservatory success will be the quality training of singers and the great performances that can be achieved in the fine opera tradition. It is easy to be average; the trick is to be the best.

 
 

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