The best part about being on the road is seeing new places and meeting new people. I’m currently directing Puccini’s Il Tabarro and Suor Angelica at Opera Delaware as part of the Puccini festival. Like some other experiences I’ve had, I’m staying as a guest of a lovely couple in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, thirty minutes from Wilmington. Commuting to and from this idyllic country-like setting has a feeling of escape to it. After a day’s work of collaborating with artists and designers I come “home” to silence, to trees, to solace, and, more often than not, a nice meal and a glass of wine thanks to the couple’s generosity. I have all of the privileges of access to many markets and shops that you could find in just about any American suburb. A highlight, however, is a weekend Amish market full of fresh food. The hustle and bustle of cities is exciting, but the simple pleasures of a warm home surrounded by nature provides an artist’s retreat and therefore allows for moments of reflection and relaxation. No wonder I always feel fresh when I go back to the rehearsal hall the next day.