This site is a special place for my students, friends and colleagues. I will share thoughts, and I will also share musical examples on this site.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What do we do to our own Art form?

“Stop apologising, stop trying to sell our music by dumbing it down. Sell opera on the basis that it is like nothing else on the planet, not on the basis that it’s superficially cool and hip – that is so phoney.”  Joyce DiDonato

She has a great point.  We spend so much time trying to make our art for "viable" for an audience, that we continue to make them dumber.  

Opera isn't really about sitting around and cooing about voices, its meant to be in your face, take a real, honest look at society.  But American directors, intendants, and even singers don't get that.  Do something silly, show off some pecs, do "Opera Acting" rather than finding a real, honest connection to the character, or find a Dramatic Soprano who looks like a young Cindy Crawford to draw in the audience.  Look superficially at the text, get pissy that somebody has an origional idea, or that the piece isn't "period." Or, Heaven forbid, that we do the work in English so that the audience is getting the message at the same time it's being delivered.

To "make them love us" is really NOT what this art form is about.  If you want that, go into Musical Theatre, because it's all about dumbing down the audience, or maybe "catering to" is a better term.  I don't care if my audience "loves me" or not.  I do care that they have been moved, that they have been involved, sometimes to the point of hissing me when I walk onto stage (If I were playing Enrico again).  
It's my job to move you.  Sometimes to offend you.  Sometimes to make you love me, other times, hate me. At least you'll be engaged and not fall asleep. And it will really make you think.

If you want entertainment, go to a Michael Buble concert.

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