FGO's production from 2018 stars Ana María Martínez as Florencia, the Brazilian soprano journeying home via the Amazon river; amid the storms and cholera outbreaks, Florencia and her fellow passengers travel into a murkey combination of fantasy and reality.
These concerts are designed to conform to CDC health guidelines, including pre-performance health screenings, partitions separating singers and accompanying musicians, and the wearing of masks where possible.
Opera people, hang in there. You're being troopers and innovators and generous people despite losing the thing you love and your ability to live comfortably. It's so awful, and my heart hurts for you guys. But when you're not being live opera singers, you're still being public figures who can set a good example and be good citizens.
But now, that last card has been revoked. Live isn't currently an option, which means neither is an acoustic sound experience. Opera companies are being generous (perhaps too generous?) with their online offerings, but none of it includes that singular experience of hearing an unamplified voice carrying over an unamplified orchestra.
Online opera is all the rage, guys. And I don't know about you, but my super serious problem right now is deciding what on earth to watch in my jammies with my big wine glass and maybe some of the cookies I made as bribery tokens while my son is potty training.
As the title suggests, this podcast is about finding bits of hope even when all your gigs are cancelled because there's a global pandemic. Schmopera editor Jenna Simeonov checks in with artists as they deal in their own ways with the loss of income, loss of motivation, and even the loss of identity.
Frankly, we should all be so lucky to get real-time commentary by Pynkoski. He's endlessly interested and interesting; he even had me craning my neck to see what he was on about with this business about downbeats being up in a choreographed fencing duel. For nearly 35 years, Opera Atelier has been putting up shows that, take it or leave it, have an aesthetic that is 100% fleshed out.
This year has certainly been different, though - and maybe you’ve noticed the change in tone since I’ve gone from being Schmopera’s primary voice, to its behind-the-scenes editor and sometimes-guest author.
“Even though I was brought up speaking Irish Gaelic, it didn't occur to me to commission composers to write on Irish Gaelic texts,” says Ní Mheadhra. “Colonization does weird things to a country.”
You likely noticed that most of the stories are anonymous - but that doesn't mean I never got a name. It's a weird mix of feeling entrusted with delicate information, and feeling laden with a secret that's not mine to tell.