The Winds of Change in Opera

You know, it's weird. But I see a seismic change for opera coming on the horizon.

The moment's actually happened I think, but the repercussions will be pretty big.

I don't think it is a dire thought, nor do I think this will happen overnight. All the same, things will be different.

Look at the social and, really closely look at the cultural climate we are in..

Art happens in the open, not in a vacuum. It reflects the tone of an era, the vision of a time. It certainly can be a reflective view of who a population was, aspirations, fears, triumphs, but art also reflects what is now... and more, shows our future.

The rate of new opera in America continues to roll unabated. This leaves fewer warhorse operas are being produced. Certainly not a major percentage of change now, but just stick your finger up and feel the air's direction.

I've always had questions about what will we do in this century. My biggest concern was:

-- 'As producers' and players' and participants' lives are affected by the very strong winds of change, how will we reflect the past? What composers do we take with us into the next 100 years??

What I forgot was that new eras come with their own concerns and preservation becomes more of an afterthought to the question of "what now?"

How many times can a company produce shows that obliterate our concerns? Even prescient re-staging can seem like the point is being missed in some respects.

For example:

#Metoo - where women are powerless to authority and die tragically

#Appropriation - a massive elephant in the room. How does THIS play out? The Euro playing the fantasized version of some other culture, the taking a role from a minority, the casting of a minority, in non-minority derived roles.

There are only so many plot points, true. But I have that feeling those points will be made, serving today with more music derived from today than in a long time.

Composers get your quills ready. Things are going to get really bumpy around here!