It was a good Christmas for OHP. We went out into the community armed with mulled wine and sang in a variety of places, garnering, we hope, new friends and fans. But it culminated with the Sunday Times decision to award us with the accolade of Best Opera Company of 2010.
For a company of our size and constitution, that is a hell of an award really. But it presents another problem of course; how to follow it up. There is no question that the repertoire for 2011 offers ample opportunity for fantastic work and there are some exciting prospective performances to look forward to. It would be unfair to single any out but a glance at our cast lists will provoke some thought among you. Some terrific directors are back with us too along with debutantes, always an exciting mix. I have no doubt James will make all of the right calls. But this is the beauty of what we are engaged in, the 'on paper' season holds masses of promise but at this moment in time, we have nothing but the concept of our operas. People are about to buy tickets for something that is not yet created and I find that exciting and daunting in equal measure.
The rain is back with a vengeance so it is appropriate that the first technical meeting of the year is with the canopy company. The roof, which is always the first element of the build arrives in about seven weeks would you believe? We await decisions on sponsorships and a new box office server occupies rather more of my time than I would like. But the 2011 season is starting to feel pressing and immediate, a feeling that tends to bring out the best in us.