Love of opera, and getting perspective

Love of opera, and getting perspective

Jenna Simeonov

I got into writing about opera because I wanted to tell people about this very cool industry of mine. The art is enormous and stunning, and the people who created opera are extraordinary folks. I knew that most people my age didn’t have much exposure to opera, and it seemed like an obvious way to bridge the gap, to show just how fascinating it really is.

Over the last year and a half, writing has become more rewarding than I ever anticipated; I’ve met way more artists, and seen many more shows. I started to look at my own industry differently, because I was able to ask lots of questions, and get lots of answers.

When I decided to give the writing thing my full attention, it was a positive plan. Yes, I wouldn’t be able to give the same amount of focus to my work as a pianist, but this decision was about pursuing something that had me truly excited, at a time when I was craving something new. I put the constant search for gigs on hold, and began to write, as full-time as I could.

So, when I realized that the last of my gigs (for the foreseeable future) was upon me, I really shouldn’t have been that surprised, right?

It was a strange revelation, to realize that I didn’t have anything on my plate to practice. I didn’t have to get any music ready for a concert, I had no new opera to learn. The to-do list of practicing has been ubiquitous throughout my adult life, and the constancy was a comforting thing.

The work of any serious musician is ongoing and cumulative, and it becomes inseparable from her ongoing, cumulative life. For me, every spare moment would be spent tinkering with a few bars of whatever piece was currently taking up the most of my current mental space. I loved the evenings I had free, where I could dodge all social invites and spend a quiet, leisurely night of practicing my pile of scores.

I suppose we all get philosophical when change is in the air, and after that “last gig,” I philosophized on my now very real decision to trade the piano for a laptop (keyboard for keyboard, really). I went from being a student, entirely enamoured of music and opera, to a professional turning my passion into a business; at that point, I couldn’t help but start to ask new questions, which were mostly variants on “why do it?”

Now, it’s about getting these questions answered; it never occurred to me I could figure out the music business by stepping away from the piano for a while. I suppose that’s perspective, seeing the forest for the trees. Unfamiliar as it may be, I can’t argue with the clarity I’ve found, even in the infancy of my little blogging experiment.


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