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Three days out

from Tuesday, June21st of the year2011.

Wow, so, big gestures, big motions. We’ve done the thing where we made a big mess and are now cleaning it up. It’s like that moment when you pack for a trip when the house looks like a tornado hit it and then suddenly pants are rolled, smocks folded, socks packed inside shoes and suddenly things have a shape, an organizational itinerary, and a purpose. That’s where we’ve just gotten this afternoon — things that yesterday I thought to myself, “oh my god I am the worst composer in the world I cannot believe I did that” are now seeming okay and, dare I say without jinxing it, pretty good? Such is the strange ballet, I’m learning, of this genre. The music requires all these other elements to sing along in order for the whole thing to work. If the music’s good but the staging is weird, it doesn’t work; if the video is genius but the music is wrong, it doesn’t work. The whole thing is a giant series of trust-falls. We had some clean pairs of ears in last night, which is really useful. I was thinking the other day about how many composers conduct their own operas — Tan Dun and John Adams come to mind immediately. I don’t know how they do it. I would go completely and absolutely insane. Rumon Gamba, Jamie Burton, and the music staff here are outrageously patient and collaborative in a way that I think I’d stop being after about ten minutes of the stop-and-start it requires to technically work through a show this complicated. Anyway, that is my quick update for the day. Everybody go buy the Bon Iver record, and also Seeing Is Believing, which are both out today in the US.


  • brilliant work, sir, bravo! so much love for the brightness and effervescence of every note, phrase, and song. thanks to Q2 i’ve heard it a bit and now i can let it sink into my bones. dually, best of luck with two boys premiere! i’m sending all my london mates and waiting for the new york premiere!

  • I heard a few pieces recorded on Seeing is Believing on Q2 as well; I think my favorite is actually By All Means! It’s such a well-crafted piece of music. Also I now have a mancrush on Nicholas Collon.

  • Toi Toi Toi!

  • Toi toi toi to the Two Boys posse! Today, I’ll receive my Seeing is Believing disc and I’ll be listening to Q2.

  • Do they say “break a leg” in operaland? If not, I wish the appropriate greeting. I am sure it will be great. Bravo. Hug. John

  • Wonderful!! Listening as we speak. Hold steady, dear man; your team is doing it’s job.

  • oh no——grammatical error. “its” job please forgive! 😀

  • Opening Night! I am so excited you would think I had something to do with it. Or could be there to cheer. But I will cheer here! Congratulations!

  • Congratulations!

  • Just back from the opening night of Two Boys at the ENO. Absolutely stunning. How it all came together so seamlessly is simply amazing. Nico’s music is full of light and shade, always fleet of foot, with spot-on orchestration, and the Thai gongs bring a wonderful, unsettling queasiness to the proceedings. The staging is extraordinary and really transforms the production into a theatrical experience that perfectly captures the duplicitous world of cyberspace. My boyfriend was totally won over and he’s the guy who walked out of ENO’s production of Berg’s Lulu. We were totally and utterly gripped. Many congratulations, Nico!


  • Congratulations!
    When does it come to the Met? 🙂

  • hey Nico, when you are not BUSY AS FUCK (so in forty years or something) would love to know yr thoughts on the Bon Iver album!

    [Nico replies: I love it! Love his voice. Love listening to it. Very happy.]

  • “When does it come to the Met? ”

    The 2013-2014 season, in the ENO production. I hope it’ll be “Live in HD”! I received “Seeing is Believing” last week. Love it.

  • Travelled from dc to London for opening night. Really enjoyed the opera, Nico.

  • Can’t wait for this to come state-side! I’m totally there.

    Also Nico, I wanted to say how much the “Seeing is Believing” concerto has meant to me. My bromance and I have been listening to it on repeat for a few weeks, and it is precisely what I want music to sound like right now. So mature; so many nooks; so thought-out; so rewarding. You’ve won my total admiration a little more with this one. best