This week I bring you a little interview with our most recent chorusmaster/assistant conductor candidate, Francesco Milioto. I was curious about what it's like to come in and have what essentially amounts to a month-long audition. Francesco was great to work with, and I appreciate the time he took to answer my questions.
Where are you from?
Born in Toronto, Ontario CANADA but I now live in Chicago.
What's your background? Where did you go to school, and what did you study?
My background, Sicilian. Started playing piano at 6 or 7. Came home from school and my father had bought me an upright piano and put it in my bedroom. I never asked to play an instrument, never played one. He had already signed me up for lessons. I guess it worked out. I went to the University of Western Ontario for my undergrad in piano performance where I studied with Ron Turini, a former pupil of Horowitz. Then for a Masters in Orchestral Conducting and Opera repetition at the University of McGill in Montreal.
You came to join us mid-season, and were thrown right in. You didn't meet the Tosca chorus until the first rehearsal, and then hit the ground running with chorus rehearsals, staging rehearsals, artist coachings, previews, a recital. Can you tell me a little bit about this experience? What is it like? Is there a particularly unique challenge to this situation, or is it pretty much par for the course for anyone who guest conducts?