Humanistic Approach Hopelessly Loses to Laws, Management, & Market Law

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on January 15, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

This week, I tried to flee from the grave feelings I experienced last week working on my piece about the situation with the Met Orchestra Musicians, so before diving further into this issue next week, I turned my attention to the situation in Germany, where the government supports culture and musicians in ensembles keep their income, while the freelancers are supported by the government directly. …


Support & Donations Without Hope of Fighting for Real Changes

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on January 8, 2021

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future.

The way you enter the New Year sets the tone for the whole year ahead, the old superstition said.

And I wonder whether we should then expect this year to be indifferent, treacherous, insulting, and almost hopeless for the musicians and the whole opera industry after the Met Opera’s management left its musicians out of work during the holiday celebrations? …


What the Industry Needs to Do to Look and Feel Better in 2021

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on December 30, 2020

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future. The choice of topics discussed, how they are researched, and how they are portrayed is conducted independently of OperaWire’s editors.

The opera industry was having a weird time this year. Like all of us, they spent most of the year locked in four walls, communicating with their audience on Zoom, checking the archives in search of anything to diversify a boring everyday routine, and discovering the possibilities of remote work. …


Power & Pride in the Voices from the Abandoned Stages

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on December 18, 2020

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future. The choice of topics discussed, how they are researched, and how they are portrayed is conducted independently of OperaWire’s editors.

Today I watched numerous videos of South African opera singers on Youtube. Classics, ethnic songs, pieces by modern African composers — so original and fresh in my ears. When did we get so limited forgetting to discover all those little treasures around the globe? …


Review: Kasia Głowicka’s ‘Lilian’

This review contains spoilers. The author strongly recommends that you first get acquainted with the work on Spotify, and later come back to the article.

I wish I could start my acquaintance with works of the composer Katarzyna Głowicka with something more tangible — lighter or heavier, whiter or blacker, louder or quieter. With anything else at all.

Kasia’s past commissions include Warsaw National Opera House, La Monnaie, Holland Symfonia, BBC Scottish Ensemble, Ensemble Recherche, Holland Symfonia, and European Contemporary Orchestra. And there is (and hopefully will be) much to say about her works with The Airport Society in Brussels.

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“Lilian” review is a cover story on Operawire.com on December 17 and 18.

But when I start my work with the Polish composer’s piece, I have only read an interview speaking about “Lilian” and then I listened to it immediately. …


Layoffs, Pay Cuts, Immature Digitalization, and Other Dismal Results

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on December 11, 2020

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future. The views of the author may not reflect editorial opinion.

With the end of the year approaching, we all strive to sum up the results. After a nervy October, confusing and disappointing November, December arrives in style.

Suddenly, the industry in crisis doesn’t look “so bad.”

The Met Opera is active in showering us with hits and festive specials. Theaters around the world are announcing new seasons. And numerous Holiday recitals are coming soon. The Teatro alla Scala just opened with a bang and the Teatro San Carlo di Napoli started its streaming program. And that’s just the tip of an iceberg that has seen other European theatres experiment with “live” streaming, provoking us with something truly unexpected like “La Bohème” with Jonas Kaufmann as Rodolfo. And of course, we can’t overlook the work done by independent opera companies, arguably the greatest pioneers of the operatic digital world. …


MusicAeterna and Teodor Currentzis 2020 Review: Fragments Part I — Traviata

Nadezhda Pavlova — Violetta
Yulia Sayfulmulyukova — Annina
Viktor Shapovalov — Dottore Grenvil

Teodor Currentzis — conductor
musicAeterna — orchestra

December 4, 2020
This review originally appeared on Operawire.com on December 7, 2020.

I’ll be honest. I frankly turned my back to classical productions being streamed lately, and listened to some exceptional pieces just to keep abreast with what’s happening in the industry.

Sometimes, they were beautiful voices. Sometimes it was about an unusual approach. Or maybe another would have a special not-to-miss status. But there were always entire layers of problems — the industry tried but couldn’t find the right way to take advantage of the online space. …


Because Speaking Only for Oneself Turned the Opera World into a Very Unpleasant Place

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on December 4, 2020

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future. The views of the author may not reflect editorial opinion.

First, I’ll say, that the work done by singers and other opera professionals is as amazing as hard, and I respect what they do a lot. And I always say, I’m not judging the singing, because I strongly believe that every artist on stage tries to do their best. …


Teatro Grattacielo 2020 Review: Fedora

Fedora — Michelle Johnson
Loris — Jeremy Brauner
De Siriex — Marcello Guzzo
Olga — Maria Brea
Desire — Samuel White
Dimitri — Eugenia Forteza

Israel Gursky — Music Director
Teatro Grattacielo

December 1, 2020
This review originally appeared on Operawire.com on December 3, 2020.

With Christmas approaching, more and more opera companies — big and small, having no alternative in view, have come to accept the online space as their new address. But still, this new home seems alien and risky. There’s so much to be afraid of, to avoid, to make mistakes with. …


When No Question is Too Serious

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on November 27, 2020

Every Friday, Polina Lyapustina delivers a short essay on some of the most sensitive topics in the industry with the intent of establishing a dialogue about the opera world and its future. The views of the author may not reflect editorial opinion.

“Through the stories we tell through classical music, we can confront political issues, history, philosophy, and injustice. The art form of opera is, like the music itself, larger than life.”
— Barbara Hannigan

Last week, the soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan received the Opera Canada Rubies 2020. She gave a powerful speech about the power of art, which while bypassing the borders of entertainment, intended, first of all, to contribute to society. Opera, according to Hannigan, is a compelling social tool. …

About

Polina Lyapustina

Journalist, Opera Critic, Essayist, UX and Product Designer, Heavy Reader

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