I had been in Madison just six days before my first trip to the Dane County Farmers' Market. Madison had already shown itself to be an idyllic setting, with the imposing dome of the capitol building looming large over the city of pristine parks and sparkling lakes. However it was at the market that I began to realize why everyone I had met before and after arriving sang Madison's praises almost to hyperbole (or so it seemed): this is a capital city with a small town feel, a tight-knit community where neighbors still believe in friendliness and "getting to know you." Granted I'm coming from New York and more recently, Bangkok, much larger and arguably less-friendly towns. Still, there is a certain something about Madison that makes it special, and that something is most tangible at the Dane County Farmers' Market.
This past Saturday I returned to the market with my Madison Opera shirt on and brochures in tow, ready to work our information booth with volunteer extraordinaire Hannah. It was great to talk about opera, Madison, and more with the local farmers, students, and curious passersby who stopped to say hello. One woman Hannah and I met turned out to be the cousin of Regina Resnik, the great mezzo-soprano! It was a lovely morning, and there seems to be real buzz about our new season. The gorgeous pictures we have of Jun Kaneko's sets for Madama Butterfly are certainly helping, and it looks like the Overture Center box-office could be dealing with a lengthy line come October 6 when single tickets go on sale!