Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Once again the holiday season has completely snuck up on me, and I was shocked to realize that we are just one week away from New Years Eve and a whole new year.  Didn’t the Merola Grand Finale happen just a few minutes ago?  Wasn’t I just writing about the end of the summer? Time flies when you’re having fun I guess.

And what a fun year it has been! Remember that fantastic Spring Benefit at the St. Regis back in April, with that stunning performance by the Adler Fellows?  Or what about the excitement of meeting a whole new group of Merolini back in June? I had a great time spying on rehearsals at Day at Merola and having a picnic at Yerba Buena gardens while the Merolini performed the Schwabacher Summer Concert. And who could forget the singing talent displayed at Il barbiere di Siviglia? Or the laugh out loud antics of the final number at the Merola Grand Finale?

And over at the War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco Opera was featuring more Merola alums than I can list in one post.  Susannah Biller, Leah Crocetto, Kendall Gladen, Susan Graham, Thomas Hampson,  Nadine Sierra… the list goes on and on. I think every production this season was filled with Merola alums, including the incredible Ring Cycle.

What was your favorite Merola moment this year? I think my favorite Merola moment would have to be listening to Leah Crocetto as Liù in Turandot and knowing that I worked for a company that helped shape this fabulous singer.  It was an incredibly moving performance, made all the more moving by my connection to Merola and, by extension, my connection to the amazing singers that come out of the program. I think that’s what makes Merola so special. And I know that it’s this connection to the opera stars of tomorrow that makes our membership so continuously generous and unfailingly supportive.

I look forward to another year of amazing memories to come in 2012, and I hope that you (and all our members) will be there to share in it with all of us! From the whole Merola staff, we wish you very merry holidays and a happy new year!  We will see you in the New Year!