The world looks bleak through the Ol’ Opera Glasses nowadays. There doesn’t seem to be a single person out there in the world who is not affected in some way by the global pandemic of COVID-19. The economic and social implications of this virus are clearly staggering and many of us are just realizing what it all means: cancelled gigs, performances, services, teaching, school plays and, of course, the general worry for our loved ones
I am looking for the bright moments within this gloomy reality.
Many people are facing unemployment and lost wages, while other people, such as food and healthcare workers, are putting their health and safety on the line, to care for-and support-the rest of us. To all the healthcare and hospital workers, grocery store workers and food delivery people, THANK YOU for making our time in quarantine and social distancing as safe as possible. And as artists we are doing our best to share our talents with all of you in new, innovative, and virtual ways, thanks to all of the technology out there. I am going to feature some Boston area companies offering innovative virtual content for all you, as well as some beautiful groups making music from around the Globe!
Opera companies and artists are learning to adapt to this new world of isolation and virtual communication. We, as musicians and artists alike, are being driven by necessity to think outside the box. Opera and music are not going away, but we need an outlet. We need to keep the music ALIVE. It is so important that Boston Lyric Opera is streaming the recording of their cancelled production of Norma for free. You can tune in starting today, Sunday, March 29th at 3pm at blo.org/norma or classicalwcrb.org
Beginning Monday, March 30th, Opera On Tap Boston (OOT), will be releasing daily videos and cocktail recipes to be paired with the @MetOpera‘s Nightly Streaming Broadcasts. They will post the cocktail ingredients list in the afternoon, and release the video (which will include an opera synopsis, fun facts, as well as the cocktail assembly) by 7PM, so that you can guzzle it all before the stream begins at 7:30 PM EST. To learn more about Opera On Tap Boston, and to see the posted cocktail recipes, follow them @operaontapboston on Facebook. To view the 30-minute Opera-on-Tap pre-Met broadcast videos CLICK HERE to view OOT’s YouTube page. To check-out the Metropolitan Opera’s schedule of streaming operas go to www.metopera.org
Disney, Starz, Amazon Prime and HBO are making sure there are new Musicals added to their content as well. We need to keep the music playing! A simple search on Facebook and YouTube, and you will find Mini Living Room Concerts, artists posting videos of themselves singing new songs and arias
Boston based Mezzo Soprano, Britt Brown, (pictured above) sang a Living Room Concert to raise money for the Boston Singers’ Resource Relief Fund. CLICK HERE to watch her spectacular performance!
If you would like to donate to this noble cause, for the Boston Singers Relief Fund, CLICK HERE!
And my personal favorite – videos of people singing together – apart! It’s so awesome!!
And then of course, there are also artists posting videos just to make us smile for a few minutes:
And the most beautiful part of this virtual sharing? People, I find, are there for each other. You need help setting up a Zoom account, well, 4 people have offered their help. Want a list of best practices for online voice lessons? Let me send that to you. Would you like to talk and feel better? I’m here whenever you need me. Businesses may be taking advantage of this new lifestyle we find ourselves in, but it’s welcome. Need resources to homeschool, books online, audio books, music lessons, piano tracks or orchestration for practice or performance – it’s all there and a lot of companies are giving initial discounts, or free monthly trials.
People are doing their best to be seen and heard – and it’s a beautiful thing. We don’t have to give up everything because we need to stay home. Communities of people are “gathering” together to help one another get through this the best they can. Singers are singing. Opera Companies are streaming. People are Listening. And music continues to move us, even virtually!