Today, the opera world seems firmly divided in two: those who are with Angel Blue, and those who are with Anna Netrebko. These two sopranos have become the current faces of the current issue in the opera industry, and I've already started making gross generalizations about people who choose one side or the other.
It's my thought that reviewers who disparage singers' bodies are only telling us some ugly things about themselves: that they don't think fat people can fall in love or have romantic experiences, and that they don't have anything better to say about an opera production even after the two years of shit we all went through with stages being shuttered.
To date, LYNX has worked with fifteen young writers and fifteen composers on new commissions which range in topic from experiences as a person with autism to climate change to favorite foods.
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".
I practiced every day. And every day I wanted to give up. I took detailed notes of what was wrong with my voice. My daily practice videos documented slumped shoulders, and a variety of hair cuts. On rare days I just stared into the camera. What was all of this for?
In a pandemic-ridden world, this is my call for kindness, patience, and compassion. It all begins with schmoozing.
Through the years the original Broadway cast recording, abridged as it is to fit the time limitations of a single “long-playing” vinyl disk, has remained the pinnacle of its major recordings. The soundtrack of the hugely successful film recruited legions of fans plus a few detractors, Bernstein among them, who found it overblown.
This silence is the loudest thing you've ever produced. It is absolutely deafening. It has left an entire generation of Canadian artists in confusion and tears. Culture is ultimately a set of actions, not beliefs. Your silence therefore is an act representative of your culture.
It's the kind of thing I imagined would happen within the performing arts - yes, even opera. True, the opera world isn't known for making sudden movements, but there are certainly minds in the industry who are staunchly forward-thinking; those people are experiencing some serious inspiration right now.
And speaking of the participating artists - I wonder very loudly how they felt about doing this for no fee, particularly those who found out about their cancelled Met contracts through social media posts. It's quite something for Peter Gelb to not call his contracted artists when COVID-19 shut everything down, and then ask them to come help "Save The Met" with a free performance at home. Yikes.