Having a partner who isn't a musician will also be a great way of making sure you don't lose your friends in the process of gaining a romantic relationship; you'll always need to have those cathartic, industry-specific conversations with people who get your shorthand, and it's a beautiful thing to have a few things that remain specially reserved for you and your singer friends.
The players onstage, who in fact make up "Canada's only Opera Improv group" had fun and poked fun. They conjured up cringe-worthy audition situations, laid out solid impressions of well-known opera bosses, and basically roasted every stereotype of "Canadian contemporary opera". By design, what happened onstage was not only relevant to the audience, but hopelessly intertwined.
Interestingly enough, it's a reason to stay well-rounded, even while pursuing something time-consuming like singing; having something to say comes from having opinions on the world, and those are easier to come by outside of the bubble of singing and opera.
Certainly, if you look at opera's plots in a vacuum, perhaps you could find evidence of misogyny. But it would entirely miss the point of opera - art, really - to ignore the opinions of its composers and librettists.
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Opera has always had a close relationship with moral dilemma and ugly human behaviour. We can watch an opera about corrupt leaders, prejudicial hate, or fatal sexism - and still, when the curtain falls there always looms the question, "then what"?
We can do better. We can espouse and proclaim the value of vocal health, technique, and efficiency, while recognizing with great respect and awe the beauty in non-traditional voices, and overcoming the professional and territorial myopia that threatens to rob us of our innate desire to hear the gift of a great voice raised in song.
Singers, if you show up to a coaching or a rehearsal and you feel the urge to tell your coach or conductor that you're under the weather, ask yourself this: what do you expect will be the outcome of your volunteering this information?
Spontaneity counts for a lot, especially in an environment that seems like it's all about first impressions. So singers, as you pack your bags and board your flights for your summer program(s) of choice, don't forget to add to your repertoire binder some Gerswhin or some Sondheim or even some inappropriate Puccini.
None of this is to minimize the work and merit of the 2017 Dora Award nominees. Yet it's a list that's desperately incomplete. Perhaps the juror qualifications exclude too many people with knowledgeable and unbiased connections to the Toronto industry. More importantly, maybe the TAPA membership qualifications are prohibitive to what much of Toronto's opera and theatre scenes can manage.