Wolf Trap Opera Company: The house that Kim built
Classical music critic/The Classical Beat
At first glance, the Web site of the Wolf Trap Opera Company looks like many other opera company Web sites. You can find information on upcoming shows (including Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro,” with performances Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday), interviews with the young singers and a link to the company blog.
Click through to the blog, though, and you’ll see a difference. Most opera company blogs, when they exist, are updated occasionally by a staffer or intern. The Wolf Trap Opera blog, however, is the personal platform of the company’s head, Kim Pensinger Witman. It affords a behind-the-scenes look at the whole process of putting on operas, from the 500 to 600 singers Witman hears audition every fall through to the jitters of opening night. For audiences, it’s a peek behind the curtain; for singers, it’s a rare chance to learn what someone hearing their auditions is actually thinking. This summer, Witman is posting on it every day.
“One of the reasons that I have the blog,” she said this month, sitting in her clean modern office in the administration and rehearsal building behind the Wolf Trap Barns, “is because I’m not an insider. I did not grow up with this.” She added, “Had I not worked in this industry, I may not even have become a patron, because it felt so forbidding to me. So I came in through the back door, and now it’s my job to kind of open up the front door and let other people know.”
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