In the Park with…
Gary Thor Wedow
Conductor, Opera in the Park
1. Where were you born / raised?
LaPorte, Indiana. I’m a native Hoosier, also attended Indiana University (go Big Red!)
2. What is in your ideal picnic basket?
Fried chicken, potato salad (I’m a curious connoisseur of potato salads), pickles, pea salad, and some sort of cake (carrot???) for dessert.
3. My most memorable moment performing outside was…
Difficult question to narrow down; several as I am a veteran of the Santa Fe Opera and also a former marching band member. Perhaps the funniest was when the last act of The Rake’s Progress needed to be delayed because a pair of amorous skunks had taken up residence in the last act set and wouldn’t be dislodged; after much consultation and planning, there was a carefully directed flood of water at their hangout and they scurried away, disgruntled and definitely not fans of opera.
4. My favorite outdoor performance I’ve attended was…
An Elektra at the Santa Fe Opera which took place in a lightning storm surrounding us as if planned by the gods.
5. My favorite summertime activity is…
Hiking, walking, gardening, being lazy on a lake.
6. My ideal vacation is….
I love “staycations” as I travel so much and I love being home in New York City, but also enjoy traveling. I’m lucky in that often at the end of many of my gigs I can have a mini vacation to explore a new city or area.
Bonus: One question you wish someone would ask you (and the answer).
Q: How did you get the name Thor?
A: My grandfather was Carl Thor, a proud Swede, and I inherited his name. By trade a woolens designer and head weaver, he was always the first trumpet in the local city bands and came from a long line of musicians. I’m very grateful to him and my family for their musical support.
Join Gary for Opera in the Park on Saturday, July 23 at 8pm in Garner Park. FREE admission; visit madisonopera.org for more information.