Ada3aConsidered the founder of scientific computing, Ada Lovelace continues to inspire through what I refer to as her ‘poetry of numbers‘. The daughter of the famously troubled poet Lord Byron and mathematics loving Annabella Milbanke, Ada was raised with a strict sciences and math only education. Annabella separated from Lord Byron shortly after Ada was born, fearing his influence on their daughter would be detrimental. Ada‘s artistic nature however would not be contained as she channeled her creative impulses to mathematics. And so the world was gifted with her extraordinary vision of numbers as she dreamed of inventions and machines, conjuring methods of calculations which resulted in the Analytical Machine.

Composer Kim Sherman, Librettist Margaret Vandenburg, Director Lisa Rothe, Music Director Kimberly Grigsby, and myself as Development Producer, are deeply engaged by her story.   How do we conjure and envision as Ada did? What creative genre could most fully explore the epic mind that is Ada? So we begin: conversations, research, first drafts, edits, read throughs, second drafts, edits, workshops, more conversations. And we are deep in it. Until at last, ADA the Opera, a glorious delicious complex study of an extraordinary life, is becoming a reality. Dear Kim Sherman has left the comforts of her inspiring New York City studio for the serene setting of the Banff Centre for the Arts in the Rocky Mountains of Alberta Canada, sequestered for an entire month as she develops the  score for our ADA. The orchestration and instrumentation of a work this size is a huge undertaking as each music voice supports the other, themes weave, math and music dance on the page.  Continually searching for Ada, drawing upon her essence in the crafting of each phrase.

We will  update on ADA‘s progress as we build to our first production. The process of creating partnerships, fundraising and production development continues and we are always interested in adding to our network. So please don’t hesitate to contact us, keep checking here for ADA updates, and in the meantime, enjoy this view from Kim’s studio at Banff.

Rocky MountainsLearn more about our ADA the Opera team here:

Kim Sherman (www.kdsherman.com) Margaret Vandenburg (http://www.barnard.edu/profiles/margaret-vandenburg) Lisa Rothe (www.lisarothe.com) Kimberly Grigsby (http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Kimberly-Grigsby/) Louise Fagan (www.louisefagan.wordpress.com)

It can start with a phone call ‘Hi, do you have a minute to chat?‘ or an email ‘Hey, not sure how busy you are these days but I have an idea to run by you…‘and I am swept into a story project.

As a Creative Development Producer  I bring an artist’s perspective and producer’s strategic opinion to a project. How can this story be creatively told while keeping the logistics and finances in control. What is the best way to develop the production with this particular artist or company, keeping their unique vision at the core?

With this mindset I have been able to bring a concept from idea to the fullest expression of itself regardless of its scope. Whether the Olympic Torch Relay Celebration held outdoors on Christmas Eve to a crowd of 10,000 and a live to air televised audience, or with a single singer/songwriter in the studio recording a new composition, this approach has remained the same. How can I best tell this story? In what medium will it find its voice – is it film, music, dance, written word, television, stage?

Throw out the templatesforge the right connections, build on past experiences and trust your instinct. There is little artistic fulfillment in repeating a set pattern of how to stage a show. Why copy someone else’s method of filming when your individual perspective is so compelling? Yes we begin with certain norms, a set of standard practices, then move from there. Not for the sake of being different, but because our voices are unique.  

Finding an audience is the  honest indicator of how effective the process of development was. If the book is read or the show’s ratings are solid then the project connected. And the bottom line is that any project I have worked on has required an audience as an indicator of success financially and artistically.

Typically when asked what I do, I respond with   ‘I tell stories’. Telling stories that engage, reveal, enlighten and connect us I believe is the thread that runs through the seemingly disparate productions that have filled my life. It’s a fabulous way to spend the day!