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It seems to me opera is just as relevant as an expressive art as anything else.
If something is successful with the audience, it's automatically suspect; the reverse is to say that not to reach audiences is the greatest compliment an artist can receive!
If I felt that one of my operas did not come off I would certainly say so.
If an American audience is given a serious musical theater piece that is well produced, dramatically gripping and wonderfully acted, they'll respond to it.
I've never set out consciously to write American music. I don't know what that would be unless the obvious Appalachian folk references.
I was interested in what was really going on in Salem at that time, and I resolved to investigate this seemingly unorthodox treatment of the people and the period.
I was encouraged by my mother and, to a lesser extent, by my father.
I think anything that is expressed directly and as honestly as possible will last.
I had all the normal interests - I played basketball and I headed the school paper. But I also developed very early a great love for music and literature and the theater.
I find it enormously valuable to be sure that that the pacing is what I think it is and that the scenes have the shape I think they have musically and dramatically.
Anyone who creates something new or does something different artistically is going to be singled out.
America tends to worship the modest talent because it doesn't put us in an uncomfortable position vis-a-vis the artist.
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