The Rumors of Opera's Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated (Pt. 1)

October 2, 2014 4:36 PM

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I first started ruminating on the idea for this post a couple of weeks ago when I was reading some glowing reviews for The Collaborative Works Festival in Chicago. The Collaborative Arts Institute was founded three years ago by three musicians: two of whom, Nicholas Phan and Shannon McGuiness, happen to be friends of mine, and so I have been eagerly following their progress. In only three seasons, the festival has collaborated with world class artists, presenting them in song recitals, and has created an organization which is not only artistically compelling, but also financially stable. All during a time in which a new press outlet or company head bemoans the death of opera and classical singing on a daily basis. The idea that two people I know, in spite of all the odds and the constant barrage of negative press about the "state of opera", managed to create something that makes a real artistic contribution from scratch got me wondering about just how many other companies and festivals featuring classical singing and opera had cropped up during this new millenium.

Surely it must only be a few. I mean, what has the bulk of the news been in the past five years in the opera world? New York City Opera closes, San Diego Opera comes within an inch of closing, and The Metropolitan Opera faces possible bankruptcy and a work stoppage if they don't make big changes wit...

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