By Tom Lady
Welcome to another all-new episode of BRAVO Live!
For this episode, we are pleased to welcome back Lynne Mitchell, long-time Opera League member and volunteer and head of the League's team of light walkers, an unsung group of volunteers you learned all about when we interviewed her in our second episode of BRAVO Live! in August 2021.
This go-round, however, Lynne has hopped chairs, from interviewee to interviewer. And she sits down and engages in not one but two fascinating conversations about the proverbial prompter's box, that little box near the stage apron that we audience members take for granted to the point that often we forget it's even there. That is why you might be surprised to learn all that goes on under that discreet hood.
Joining Lynne are Nino Sanikidze, DMA, Head Coach of LA Opera, and Tamara Sanikidze, Director of the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
In the first interview ("Wizards of the Prompter's Box), they dive into and parse out what exactly a prompter's box is, what the prompter inside the box does and the crucial role prompters play in helping the artists under the klieg lights transfer their skills from the rehearsal hall and piano to singing with a full orchestra in front of an audience of thousands.
In part two ("Prompter's Box and Beyond"), Lynne, Nino and Tamara have a lively chat about the prompter's box, past and future. They go into Nino and Tamara's musical backgrounds, their lives inside and outside the (prompter's) box and how the prompter's box is one piece in their lifelong musical journey.
Check out the two interviews below.
About BRAVO Live!
BRAVO Live! is a relatively new series the Opera League launched in March 2021. Inspired by the League's flagship print publication, BRAVO (check out recent issues here and here), BRAVO Live!'s charter is to adapt BRAVO's interview format for the virtual space to spotlight today's brightest stars of the musical firmament, both in front of and behind the curtain.
By the way, if you missed the first two episodes of BRAVO Live!, check them out on the Opera League's YouTube channel.
Without further ado, please enjoy episode four of BRAVO Live! We hope you are entertained and enlightened.