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But now, that last card has been revoked.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.
"I drifted off, and at some point, I saw a dark figure come into the room, with two more full glasses of wine... and the next thing I knew I was fully naked, and I didn’t know where I was. I eventually just went along and didn't fight it, I was completely incapacitated and drunk, mostly asleep and hours away from home with no available help."
"I haven't told people about this, and those I have, I have been very cryptic about names. This is because this man's wife is very prominent in my business, and although a part of me would love to go up to her and tell her exactly what kind of a man her husband is, I am too scared that she would not believe me, and would do her best to make sure I never work again."