The maestro with the cast
From the chat with the artists at the end, more funny bits came up. When asked how he keeps such an intense level of energy on stage, the very experienced Mr. Palombi replied: "because I'm young!" Later he did add that the level of energy is possible when the artists feed from the public. An enthusiastic public like the one in Charlotte greatly contributes to motivating the artists.
Ms. Graham, when asked if the performance is physically demanding, said she was not only tired, but starving, given that before the show they typically don't eat a lot. A member of the audience then gave her a portion of nuts, which she enthusiastically started eating.
Chinese bass-baritone Sun Yu was also very funny in his description of how happy he is that he is performing opera in America - in China, he says, opera has still trouble getting established, given the competition with other traditional art forms: "We were doing Das Rheingold in Beijing and at the beginning of the performance, the house was full. At intermission, they were all gone!"
An audience member asked - "You are singers, how do you learn how to act?" The Maestro said: "Act? What is that?"