The Tongue & The Lash features some of the night's best singing. Markel Reed as Baldwin orates with a steely baritone that comes with some bite; tenor Jonathan Johnson exudes an easy power that's slightly unnerving — even a bit colonialist — in his portrayal of Buckley, fan of racial segregation.
Simple and evocative language, a close relationship between visuals and text, even a few great rhymes thrown around — this is the stuff of excellent children's literature. And in case I'm not clearly driving my point home, the stuff of great operas.
My psuedo-psychological theory is this: I'm not so much anxious for the shows themselves (although, I can still feel the stomach-pangs that hit me all last year, each time a cancelled production popped up on my Google calendar); rather, I'm naïvely waiting on society to rewind, to go back to "before".
Star mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves, Grammy-nominated countertenor Anthony Roth Constanzo, acclaimed stage director James Robinson (who directs both Fire and Porgy at the Met), and David Lomeli, Santa Fe Opera's Artistic Administrator and Casting Director at the Bayerische Staatsoper — they'll all join Blue for a 90-minute discussion moderated by Opera America CEO Marc Scorca.
The second iteration of the RBC Artist Fellowship has been announced, with an aim to give voice and professional experience to Canadian artists in their early careers. Applications for this year's Fellowship are due October 4, 2021; you can find the forms in English and French.
"What I think happens a lot, is that you have people who are maybe more stereotypically attractive in thin bodies, who maybe have medium voices — not the best voices in the world." These singers are well promoted, Anchel says, and they get opportunities to work with opera's best. "So they get really good at singing, even though maybe their voice isn't that amazing."
"Women who are independent, strong, and sexually liberated have a long history of receiving society's scorn because they refuse to break themselves in order to fit the approved mold. Carmen is many things, but a slutty, evil temptress? Nope."
But if you ask me and my opera-bias, the big draw for this season's 21C is the world premiere of Gould's Wall, the new opera by Brian Current and Liza Balkan, produced by new-opera leaders, Tapestry Opera.
I intend to take it all in, and I'm particularly excited to experience Will Liverman and Nicole Cabell in a production together. Plus, Patricia Racette's Elle is an exciting thought.
The Monster I Am Today is an excellent pick for the contemporary opera fan. It's grand and operatic, with its emotional peaks and depths. For me, it's a completely new — and frankly, overdue — perspective on this beloved art form. It's a fresh read, and I highly recommend.