A Love Letter to the Teatro del Lago, Frutillar, Chile

Querido Teatro del Lago,

I had no idea how hard it would be to get to you, and it was worth every painful moment. First the 2 1/2 hour flight to Dallas, then 9 more hours to Santiago, where I had to wait all day (allbeit distracted by downtown Santiago and a delicious Peruvian steak lunch), so we could soldier on another 2 hours on a flight en route to Puerto Montt, where all of us, close to tears for lack of sleep, boarded a bus to ride another half hour to the hotel. Only to be given the news that we would need to travel yet another half an hour the next morning to get to you.

But you were calling to us, beckoning. And we obeyed.


You, on this happy spot, standing tall and welcoming us all in to your warm embrace. There has never been anything like you before! Your colorful exterior, your corridors reflecting the natural light and beauty of Frutillar and Lago Llanquihue.

Even in the first rehearsals it was clear that we would never again have an experience like this. To sit in such an acoustically live room and sing Bach all day...


The Ampitheater at Teatro del Lago; Photo by Juan Millán T.


...and to look past the piano, out the window at this...

Panorama LlanquihueW


You are almost more than I can bear.

And to think, you invited us all here, to Frutillar, from 12 different countries and speaking more than 6 different languages. You knew we would connect, we would make music, we would make friendships to last for years (and projects!) to come.

You knew we would love you!

We shiny, happy people:

Photo by Juan Millán T.


To sing the St. John Passion with Kathy Salzman-Romey and Helmuth Rilling during Holy Week--well, you have really out-done yourself! Maestro Rilling's intimate understanding of the Passion, how Bach wrote each piece, how he selected his motives, and created such drama reaches out from centuries ago and pulls our heart strings today. Only you can move us to such tears.


Ach Herr, lass dein lieb Engelein

am letzten End die Seele mein

in Abrahams Schoss tragen

den Leib in seim Schlafkämmerlein

gar sanft ohn einge Qual und Pein

ruhn bis am jüngsten Tage!

Alsdenn vom Tod erwekke mich,

dass meine Augen sehen dich

in aller Freud, o Gottes Sohn

mein Heiland und Genadenthron!

Herr Jesu Christ, erhöre mich, erhöre mich,

ich will dich preisen ewiglich!


Click here and scroll to #40 for a translation of this text.

Photo by Juan Millán T.


You are forever in my heart. And I can't wait to see you again!



P.S. This was only the first Academia Internacional Teatro del Lago, with new people and new projects in the future! Please see www.teatrodellago.cl for more information on the world's southern-most opera house and to get more information on the 2nd year of this amazing Academia. You will not regret it!!


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