Don't Be a Square...

2014 has been an incredibly exciting year for me so far: if you follow me on twitter, then you know that this is my last week doing my day job for a while. Starting Monday, I'm taking a six month sabbatical from my normal work to help run the intern program for my employer. I cannot even describe how  excited I am to have to this opportunity-- its going to be a complete 180 from what I'm doing now, and an incredible way to develop some new skills! 

But if you thought that was the only change I've had this year, then you would be wrong. In early February, I joined the Board of the very newly founded Young Professionals group of The Cleveland Orchestra- The Circle

The premise of The Circle is very simple: For $15/month ($20 for 2 people), your membership includes tickets to 6 concerts a year (one every other month). On the non-concert months, you will have a unique opportunity to network or volunteer and generally get to know other young professionals in the area. While the 6 concerts a year are intriguing and appealing on their own, its the non-concert months that offer a really unique experience.

February was a non-concert month, and our unique experience was a behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming presentation of the opera The Cunning Little Vixen. Yeah, you read that right--- THE OPERA IS BEING PRESENTED IN CLEVELAND IN MAY!!! The evening began with a short discussion led my Mark Williams, Director of Artistic Planning at the Orchestra. Mark told the story of how one night at a bar, he and director Yval Sharon  came up with the idea to bring The Cunning Little Vixen to Cleveland. Performed in Czech, The Cunning Little Vixen is a challenging, yet quick (only 90 minutes!) piece, the examines the transience of nature. 



Mark Williams (far right), Yval Sharon (immediately to his left) and the rest of The Cunning Little Vixen conceptual team. 


Then came an interesting piece of news--- this will not be a typical operatic presentation-- this one will be a multimedia presentation featuring live music and singing, video AND animation!! And THEN we got a peek of what that would look like, and I pretty much died and went to heaven.

Here are some screen shots from the presentation. The pictures don't really do it justice, but the best way I can describe it is this: the end result with have live performers of course, but the set itself will be animated and presented across three massive video screens, creating a panoramic video. The animation is a combination of digital animation and hand-drawing, creating a semi-3D experience. Its sorta like 80s Saturday morning cartoons + Pixar + live musical. And yes, there will be subtitles. 



The presentation and sneak peek was then following by drinks + snacks, and an opportunity to actually meet and talk to the director, animators and artists, who are incidentally really young, impossibly cool, interesting people. One of the artist/animators is actually going to have a show on adult swim in the next few months! I also spent some time chatting with some of the young musicians, who are incidentally all also members of The Circle and frequent its events! Who knew the Orchestra was this fun and approachable?!?!

Needless to say, I am SUPER excited to see this presentation live in May--- did I mention that TICKETS ARE INCLUDED WITH THE CIRCLE MEMBERSHIP?!?!?!? Some of the upcoming events include a Fridays@7 concert on March 7th, and a behind-the-scenes tour of Severance Hall on April 8th! Additional details on the upcoming events available here and while there's still work to be done on online membership, you can join (you can do a 6 month trial membership) The Circle by calling 216-231-1111. 

So if you're looking to experience something unique in Cleveland, or are looking to expand your current circle of friends and meet other interesting young professionals with similar interests, I hope you will consider joining The Circle. 

Disclosure: I am a paying member of The Circle. I am also a Board Member for The Circle. All opinions, as always, are 100% my own.