I’m listening this Sunday morning in Singapore to a radio broadcast from St Louis of the Four Last Songs by Strauss with the SLSO and my favorite living female opera singer, Christine Brewer. She’s from southern Illionois, near Saint Louis, and got her start with the St Louis Symphony Chorus. These days, she’s the best of the best in the opera world. Not only is she an amazing musician with a once-in-a-generation quality voice, she’s also super cool and down to earth. Every time she sings with us in St. Louis, she brings an elementary class from Marissa, Illinois, where she used to teach school. She’s genuinely nice and truly a real person, which is rare in the opera world of superdivas.
One of my favorite moments in 9 years playing with the St Louis Symphony was a performance of the Britten War Requiem, when Christine was placed in the front of the chorus, right behind the trumpet section. It was a little bit like the old Memorex ad.