I went out into the house and looked up at City Center's beautiful ceiling while the New York City Opera Orchestra was rehearsing for the concert later that evening, and thought to myself: There. Really. Is. Nothing. Like. This. Seventy years were represented, savored, and remembered. My own twenty-three folded into the fabric of all that came before. Domingo sang, conducted, warmly greeted Julius Rudel—who gave the great singer his debut decades earlier; then glowed like a light bulb with everyone backstage—the life of the what-could-be-again party. Was it a kick to stand onstage with my colleagues and sing "Let our garden grow" from Candide, then hear and feel the waterfall of applause that washed over everyone?
I have no illusions that NYCO will rise like a phoenix, but then: anything can happen in this town. Meanwhile, my life as a teacher of singing remains my main occupation and passion, which is as it should be. Thank you for the memories, my beloved New York City Opera. It's always good to be with family.