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Money & manners: one critic's observations from her really great opera seats

Money & manners: one critic's observations from her really great opera seats

There's a funny catch, though, because when you're sitting in those pricey sections of the opera house, your neighbours are likely of a certain demographic; basically, they're sitting in those seats because they're good, and they can afford them. The important thing to note here is not that there are wealthy people who go to the opera, but that there's likely a stark difference between their tax bracket, and that of someone who writes about opera for a living.

Jenna Simeonov
Opera's sexual assault secret

Opera's sexual assault secret

There are the rumors of programs stockpiled with shockingly handsome young singers, the conductor who trolls dating apps for singers in his production, the director who always has to show singers how to stage a love scene by taking the soprano's place and kissing the male lead.

Dan Kempson
A singer and her ego

A singer and her ego

Like I said, this is a stereotype. But even if the opera singer herself is a humble, down-to-earth type, the above scene is still part of her job. She might be a sci-fi nerd and an excellent giver of hugs, but she's still standing up on that stage holding flowers and looking like a cross between a swan and Grecian fresco.

Jenna Simeonov
Sung Jin Hong: Seoul searching

Sung Jin Hong: Seoul searching

If The Rite of Spring "kissed the earth" through a savagely primitive lens, that temple-food-inspired table celebrated our planet's primordial bounty from a more intimate perspective. The meal was prepared using centuries-old methods and crafted with ingredients that shared their origins with the mountains themselves. Traditional Korean cooking has nurtured a patient alchemy, where delicacies, seasoned with time to develop deep undercurrents of flavor, emerge transformed.

Sung Jin Hong
Using your voice again: a plan of action

Using your voice again: a plan of action

This can be a vulnerable process, and in sharing this writing with you, I do feel quite vulnerable. Who knows how and where I will be compelled to sing more frequently again, but I do know that my voice has power and I can likely use it to improve the situation of my friends, family, communities, fellow humans, and of the earth.

Rebecca Woodmass
Keeping the thread: moment-to-moment awareness in singing

Keeping the thread: moment-to-moment awareness in singing

The body only does what the mind tells it and allows it to do. Intense, almost loving attention to every single note can help realize a tricky passage like this. When it comes to runs and coloratura in general, this approach is useful because it can help give fast singing a real clarity, accuracy and a sense that there is plenty of time to sing all the notes and for them to be heard.

Darren Saady
Just in time for fall: Shoperatic!

Just in time for fall: Shoperatic!

It's Suzanne Vinnik and Sara Duchovnay of Shoperatic.com! We're excited to announce that after talking about our new online peer-to-peer marketplace for what seems like eons, we are LAUNCHED and open for business! When we ran into a little technical snafu in beta testing, we reached out to our friends at Schmopera who were able to help us figure out the problem and got us back on track!

Suzanne Vinnik Sara Duchovnay
Body-shaming, product-selling, & knowing the difference

Body-shaming, product-selling, & knowing the difference

But with a minimal amount of online vetting, a professional musician should be able to tell the difference between an organization which is about presenting concerts that put their artists in the spotlight, and one that offers "background wallpaper" in a variety of patterns and colours. There's nothing wrong with either, but each come with their own set of expectations.

Jenna Simeonov
Getting vexed over Wagner & other narcissisms

Getting vexed over Wagner & other narcissisms

The appalled opera goers make claims about wasted money and travel time, and they take a strange stance of half-defending, half-blaming the performers onstage. But the main objections seem to be the apparent "desecration" of Wagner's work. "Yes, I naively assumed that Wagner’s family had obeyed his very exacting wishes, and that Bayreuth was the place to see his operas as he intended them," writes Peacock.

Jenna Simeonov
The value of creating new work for singers

The value of creating new work for singers

"I appreciated that we weren't the focus of the project; we were the vessel for it. Everything in the experience was about making the art better and it was our job to the best performance possible. In any opera, the music comes from the libretto and every note means something. To have that be the full focus of the project meant that was a different musical experience for me."

Colleen Maybin

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