About his future performing and writing projects

Thomas Rimes talks about his future performing and writing projects

[Excerpts from Thomas Rimes’ Interview with Ingrid Scott]

I.S. Do you see yourself staying in the US?
T.R. Yes, for the remainder of the year (2008), though my wife, Kim, and I are talking about moving to Germany in the New Year because I’m finishing a contract I’ve had for the past couple of years at the Washington National Opera. Several people have advised us that there are better opportunities for us in Europe. I’m very interested in doing as much conducting as possible in the next couple of years. There are so many more small and medium sized operas houses in Europe and it’s a great place to get experience and to learn a lot of repertoire that isn’t done elsewhere.

I.S. A greater variety?
T.R. Oh sure. There’s more opera houses over there, and the sheer fact of the numbers means that a lot more works are done there than in America, and yes, there are many opportunities to do more repertoire for the first time over there. I find that many young musicians in the States and Australia who get a little bit of experience in their home country are being advised to go to Europe. We’re also looking forward to the experience of living there for a time. Musicians like us do so much of our work studying European music and it is so valuable to have the experience of living there. I have been fortunate to spend a lot of time in Italy for summer festivals in the past few years and I have learned so much from have the direct contact with the musicians and artists in that country. It is such a great experience for musicians. It really enriches what you’re doing.

I.S. So what do you have in the pipeline as a composer now?
T.R. Well, I have a couple of things. I’ve enjoyed the process of writing The Long Ride Home, and was pleasantly surprised how well it came out, particularly when we presented it on the stage. It felt like a strong cohesive piece and this has inspired me to do more writing. When I look at all the things I’ve done in music, opera composition brings together so many different strands of what I have done. I realize that the writing of an opera is a long process especially as I feel that I should either write the story myself, or be a big part of writing the story and libretto. At the moment I’m working on a couple of ideas for stories I think would make a good opera and seeing which one would be the strongest.  It will be a while before I sit down and write the music and develop the libretto.

I liked the freedom that I had as the creator of the story and the librettist of The Long Ride Home, to change details in the words all throughout the composition process. I didn’t have to collaborate or get permission from anyone who owned the story or had a stake in it. I had a wonderful freedom to develop it the way I wanted, and in the rehearsal process it became easy to change a couple of things.  I’m certainly very interested in collaborating with other people, in developing stories, but I like the idea of creating something from my own experience or from scratch, rather than using a movie or a novel, because there are so many restrictions with copyrights. You can’t just go ahead and make the changes that you think might make it work as an opera.

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