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…


How One Old Decree Continues to Threaten Italian Opera after the Pandemic

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on January 29, 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.

Back in 1996, the Italian government altered its approach to organizations representing priority national interests in the music sector. According to Legislative Decree #367, all institutions were to be transformed into private foundations. These novelties canceled government support for the opera houses and approved municipal funding in the amount not exceeding funds raised from private investors. …


Haymarket Opera Company 2020 Review: Acis and Galatea

Michael St. Peter — Acis
Kimberly Jones — Galatea
David Govertsen — Polyphemus
Kaitlin Foley — Damon, Chorus
Mallory Harding — Chorus
Ryan Townsend Strand — Chorus
Jianghai Ho — Chorus
Dorian McCall — Chorus

Craig Trompeter — Music Director
Chase Hopkins — Creative Producer
Garry Grasinski — Film Director
Haymarket Orchestra

October 30 — November 8, 2020
This review originally appeared on Operawire.com on November 7, 2020.

They say people tend to see what they want, but the tremendous professionalism of the team at Haymarket Opera convinces me that what I see is real.

No matter how anxious we…


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…


Should We Stir Up a Scandal About Postponing the Premiere of ‘Peter Grimes?’

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on April 9, 2021

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

This week, the opera world discussed breaking news — a COVID-19 Outbreak during rehearsals for a “Peter Grimes” production at Teatro Real de Madrid has vaulted the opera company that recently served as a symbol of hope for live performances in the pandemic world to the center of a noisy trial.

Joel Filipe from the backstage of Teatro Real

It was recently reported that more than…


This interview originally appeared on OperaWire.com on April 5, 2021

When the COVID crisis has hit literally every opera company — big or small — every manager was forced on deciding how to overcome it, based on their own experiences. Tenor and Opera Manager Chase Hopkins didn’t have much under his belt when in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit the United States, he was offered the position of the Interim General Director at the Haymarket Opera Company in Chicago.

The year of the pandemic was a kind of test of his leadership skills, as well as a time…


OA Gives a Lesson in Overcoming the Crisis While Undermining its Employees

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on April 2, 2021

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

On March 25, Opera Australia renewed its activity starting with a run of “La Traviata” at Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour.

Director Constantine Costi reapproached the inaugural production of the venue from 2012, adding new elements to the striking set design, and introducing the choreography by Shannon Burns.

Photo by Jesse Hammer

This is how Australian critic Jo Litson starts her review:


Does Opera Industry Need Managers to Demand Public Support?

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on March 26, 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.

On March 24, Opera Managers Association International issued an open letter, demanding “solutions” to the Global Culture Drain.

During a month marking one year of global quarantine, the association published a very balanced and smoothly written note, where, in 750 words, one barely finds anything to argue, though there are no certain points or solution either. …


Progress At the Met Remains Unclear & the Results Are Unpredictable

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on March 19, 2021

After writing my initial article at the beginning of January 2021 regarding the conflict at the Met, I found that a lot of readers had little understanding of what was actually going on. How come the Met workers have been deprived of their sources of livelihood for months, and then, why didn’t they want to accept General Manager Peter Gelb’s offer, which would presumably return said livelihood to them?

And I got a bright idea — I could explain the whole situation and that deal to the audience, and therefore…


The Death of Controversial Conductor Has Further Exposed a Divided Opera World

This essay originally appeared on Operawire.com on March 19, 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.

James Levine died. And the short and direct words of facts seem the only way to speak about it. A very controversial and big persona of the music world has passed. It was announced on March 17, although it happened eight days before.

Immediately, the first stripes of the newspapers were full of short headings and very delicate…

Polina Lyapustina

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

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