I came to Civitella to begin my fourth opera. My goal was simply that, to begin, to leave Italy with SOMETHING, anything. I am leaving with three completed scenes, but that is so obviously not the point of the last month. Maybe the point was to wander through the library for entire afternoons, or to take three walks a day, or to talk for hours with my Fellow artists over bottles of Laurino, but whatever the point, something in me has changed, irrevocably. I leave Italy tethered, for life, to its land, people and history. Civitella was the crack that let light in when I needed it most, the aperture through which I found an intense, vital connection to a world more beautiful than I had ever imagined.