DR. HOWARD KAPLAN AND ROMANA LAKS KAPLAN, Donors
The Center’s presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this season brings back memories of my first date with Romana. We go back to 1954 for that one. I was a young man in the army, stationed at Walter Reed, and I read whereby the Old Vic Company and the Saddlers Wells Ballet had put together a joint performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Being in the military, I ran right down to the USO and got a pair of tickets, which I found out later were scarcer than hen’s teeth.
I called a friend of mine up in New York (where I'm from) and said, “Look I’ve got two tickets to this performance, do me a favor — get me a special date.”
ANNE-MARIE LEMAIRE, Patron
When I was a young girl growing up in Vienna my family used to go to the Salzburg Festival and I remember the first time I ever saw their presentation of Jedermann (this means Everyman in English). It’s a medieval morality play about a rich man and what he has to do to save his soul on judgment day, a classic play. The festival displayed it outdoors in the plaza in front of the Cathedral. It was so impressive; I think it was one of the greatest things I ever saw.
I have adapted to this country, I’m happy here, I like it. But there’s always a certain nostalgia for this kind of a life.
EMILY CANTRELL, BM Viola Performance, UMD School of Music
I've been studying a musical instrument since I was two-and-a-half, and studying viola since I was 10. So going on 12 years I’ve really been preparing for a life as a performer.
Everyone in the audience, at least in my experience, wants you to do well. They’re there to see a performance that they can connect to and there’s this indescribable energy emanating from them.
JANE HIRSHBERG, Community Engagement Manager, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
A while back I was working on a project with a 200-year-old shipyard located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. We asked people to share personal stories and historical events from the shipyard. One of the groups we worked with was the Officers’ Wives Club, who had all kinds of stories about the challenges of being in military families, especially when their husbands were on submarines for months at a time.
One day, as he was standing next to a friend at the open locker, the friend asked, “What in the world is all that??” The officer/husband said, “That’s my baby!”
ANGEL GIL-ORDÓÑEZ, Music Director, PostClassical Ensemble
I was studying in Madrid at the university and at the same time at the conservatory in April 1978. A conductor I knew only by name — but knew by reputation as a very strange person, difficult to deal with — arrived in Madrid as a guest conductor with the London Symphony. I went to that performance, and that’s the reason I’m a conductor right now, because that experience was a lifetime experience.
I never in my life heard an orchestra sound like this. I thought, “What is going on here?” It was a total discovery.
ANA PATRICIA FARFÁN, MFA in Dance, UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies and Fulbright Scholar
When I was fifteen and living in Mexico City, I had the chance to attend a concert given by a marionette company. They “played” Rossini, Schumman, Revueltas, Cage … The precision and grace in the movement that these stick-boned beings showed that night left a deep mark on me.
I was looking up, admiring the mastery of these Moiras’ fingers while feeling myself tangled, trying to decipher the exact source of the marionettes’ movement.
CHELSEA FREEMAN, Student
Last semester I saw Rent here at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. A few of my friends were in it and it was just – it definitely moved me to tears and I don’t cry very often. It was very passionate and all the students were really invested in it. It was such a nice moment to see that happen and see them take the craft and take their art to the next level.
It was very passionate and all the students were really invested in it.
VICTOR AND DEBBY VARGAS
Victor, Network Architect
Debby, Assistant Director of Institutional Giving, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
We went to a benefit concert in Baltimore at The Peabody for the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter. Leon Fleisher and his wife were playing; they are animal lovers so they did the concert for free. Leon Fleisher played just a few songs, and his wife played several really fast pieces – amazingly difficult and wonderfully performed.
He played with such emotion that I just lost it.
TRICIA HOMER, Assistant Director, UMD Office of Community Engagement
I was a terribly hyperactive kid and my mom tried everything. She enrolled me in ballet, tap, jazz dance classes, sports programs and pageants. But nothing ever stuck! I had an incredible amount of energy and was always getting myself into trouble.
My stilts got taller and taller within weeks: 1 foot tall, 2 feet tall, 4 feet tall.
CHELSEY GREEN, D.M.A in Performance - Viola, UMD School of Music
At 4 years old, I began taking private lessons from a violinist in the Houston Ballet Orchestra. At 4, a child is in awe of almost everything, so of course, to me this woman was no ordinary violinist. She was, and definitely still is, a world-class musician who studied at Juilliard and traveled the world performing but made Houston her home. I thought, “That’s where I’m from, Houston!” The connection was nearly instantaneous.
Those moments impressed upon me that making music is something special, something that is not only moving for patrons but also for those who are part of the production.