OPERA NEWS magazine, published by the Metropolitan Opera Guild, celebrates its eightieth anniversary in 2016. So, I had a conversation with Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll to discuss the occasion.
The August issue is especially interesting. The cover story is devoted to young people managing opera companies of their own. With no expectation of financial reward, with "day jobs" competing with the time needed to make art, more and more singers and composers are developing their own companies to create their own work. Also profiled is the creative dynamo Beth Morrison. She's not reinventing opera. She's retrofitting opera for the 21st century and beyond.
Here are excerpts of a conversation I had earlier this week Opera News Editor-in-Chief F. Paul Driscoll:
OPERA NEWS, once thought of as a "house magazine" for the Metropolitan Opera, now makes a point of profiling those who are telling stories using words and music today, sometimes theirs, sometimes, Verdi, Mozart or composers and writers yet to be heard enough.
Those of us of a certain age are missing out if we sit glued to our recorded performances of days gone by. They will always be wonderful. But we miss out on the new, the untried and the experimental to our own detriment.
Quoting producer/impresario/artist Beth Morrison, in the current OPERA NEWS she asks the creators of new work "What do you want to write? What's the idea in your mind that you think nobody's going to do? What is too weird, or you're afraid of it, or you think somebody else is going to be afraid of it? Talk to me about that."