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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Assistant to Sir Charles Mackerras 1997-98

The focus of my conducting career has been on Czech operas and in particular those of Leos Janacek. I was first inspired by the world's foremost Janacek conductor Sir Charles Mackerras. It was encouraging to see how an Australian could learn the Czech language, study in Prague, and then go on to a successful life of conducting all of Janacek's operas.

Thus, Sir Charles was my major role model, and I was fortunate to be able to follow in his footsteps when I was engaged as an assistant conductor at the Prague National Theater (1995-97). I worked there as assistant to Bohumil Gregor and Jiri Belohlavek on Janacek's operas: Jenufa, Kata Kabanova, & The Cunning Little Vixen.
In 1996, I first met Sir Charles during his work on the Glagolitic Mass with the Czech Philharmonic. To my complete surprise, he engaged me to be his assistant in 1997 on a recording of Kata Kabanova with Gabriela Benackova (photo), and again in 1998 I worked with him as assistant on Dvorak's Rusalka with Renee Fleming & Ben Heppner.

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