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Italy Inspires. Period. And that's the beauty of working here.

I’ve always had a love / hate relationship with working in Italy. I like to PLAN. Ideally with colored pens! I like to use timelines, spreadsheets and budgets when organizing an event. Which, in Italy, in all honesty, is about as naive as thinking that you can make nonna’s perfect lasagna by using a written (gasp!) recipe.

The most frustrating thing is that there seems to be no direct correlation between the hard work you put in and the actual outcome. Most of the time, when you work your ass off, and you worry about this, and plan for that, and yell because things are late, and your expectations are high, then everything seems to go wrong.

But if you just relax a little, accept that invitation to a two hour lunch, learn to negotiate over a tasty cappuccino, or make genuine small talk first over a glass of wine, before asking for what you need, then, by some small miracle, all things suddenly start to flow and fall into place.

The lesson I’ve learned, I guess, is to love the process (and the prosecco!), because, hell, if you can’t enjoy the journey, then really, what is the point!

This weekend in Milano with Theresa Goble of Vox Integra turned out to be one of those miraculous days when all things just seamlessly fell into place: from the moment our stylish black Mercedes Uber whisked us to our first meeting, we knew it was going to be a good day: from the serendipity of meeting just the right people, at just the right time, in just the right place; to the random good luck of having a free pizza delivered to our table, our aperitif surprisingly paid for by a most charming new friend and collaborator, to finding a corner table at a scrumptious trattoria one minute before all of Milan flocked in, with a line forming out the door by the time we left.

Our day was exhausting, but full and productive. We accomplished more in 6 hours than we could ever have done in months of planning over the phone or by email. But even more importantly, it was fun, joyful and rewarding. We laughed and we even shed a small tear of joy while toasting at the good fortune of having met such generous, interesting and wonderful people. People who inspire because they do what they do for the love of art and music and nothing more.

Italy inspires. Period. And that’s the beauty of working here.

Feltre and Mola di Bari, 2020, here we come!

The above picture of Caterina (left) and Theresa (right) was taken in Feltre on the Staged Opera Scenes Course 2019.

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